23 November 2011
Paying for low-value purchases in South Africa is about to get a lot faster and more efficient, with banking group Absa making its “tap-and-go” contactless payment facility available both to standalone point of sale (POS) merchants and to those using advanced or integrated point of sale till systems.
In line with its soon-to-be-released prepaid offering, and the launch of several public transport initiatives, Absa is starting to gear up a merchant base to accept this form of contactless payment.
The system allows for customers quickly and conveniently to pay for small purchases simply by waving their contactless card in front of a secure contactless reader at the point of sale.
With no signature to check or PIN to enter, merchants can expect faster transactions, shorter lines and being able to serve more customers in less time.
“There is no additional transaction fee to the retailer as these are treated as normal debit or credit card purchases,” said Absa Card’s Willie van Zyl in a statement this week.
“Furthermore, it is aligned with global trends in mobile payment where, in future, consumers will be able to tap their mobile phones against these readers to pay for their low value payments.”
Ideal for high volume businesses
The contactless payment solution is ideal for merchant outlets with high volumes of customers where speed of service is essential – in particular, fast food outlets, coffee shops, movie theatres, convenience stores, fuel forecourts, pharmacies and parking lots.
Absa has imposed certain limits on this contactless payment which are aligned with the special exemption to control and manage these cards.
Tap-and-go transactions are limited to R200 per transaction and users will be able to load a maximum of R1 500 on the card at any time. The total monthly value load limitation is R3 000 per month.
“We are pioneering this new way to pay as part of making payments simpler for consumers, thereby making their lives easier,” said Van Zyl. “We have a roadmap of innovations that will change the way consumers purchase, hear about offers, redeem vouchers and coupons as well as make payments.”
Absa is also offering incentives to merchants to ease the cost-burden of the reader prior to the cards reaching critical mass.
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