With South Africa’s lockdown expected to last for at least a few more months, businesses have been embracing contactless payments and other digital solutions in the COVID-19 era. Now Mastercard and Netcash have announced a new platform that the pair have launched a QR billing system with SMEs in mind.

Called Quick Response it makes use of QR codes to facilitate multi-channel billing with schools and non-profit organisations also seen as potentially benefiting from the system.

Mastercard explains that consumers will be able to pay their bills by scanning the QR code generated by the system with any Masterpass digital wallet. This same functionality extends to the scan-to-pay option in the Nedbank and FNB banking apps, or with Zapper.

Consumers then select the payment card they would like to use and enter their bank card’s ATM PIN or One Time PIN number to authorise the payment.

Once this is done, Mastercard says their account will be updated immediately.

We are proud to partner with Netcash at a time when small businesses and merchants need an affordable payments solution to meet consumer needs as they are increasingly looking for contactless ways to settle their bills during this time of social distancing,” noted Suzanne Morel, country manager for Mastercard, South Africa, regarding the new QR billing system. 

This also frees South Africans from having to withdraw cash, hand over their payment card, or load a new beneficiary onto internet banking. Now they can pay for an extensive range of services and bills, anywhere, anytime they want simply by scanning a QR code,” she adds.

As for Netcash, it says it will automatically enable QR payments across its suite of invoicing services, via its integrated accounting and ERP software.

This will result in Sage accounting software being able to produce an invoice that will display a QR code linked to that specific document, which will automate the reconciliation process once payment is made, for example.

We are using the latest technologies to make it as easy as possible for SMEs to collect revenue from their customers. Offering a selection of seamless payment options that can be used across channels such as mobile, eCommerce, and in the face-to-face retail environment is an important part of achieving that goal,” adds Charles Pittaway, MD at Netcash.

 “Our strategic partnership with Mastercard allows anyone with a mobile device to process secure online payments by simply scanning the QR code on their bill and following the on-screen prompts. This is in addition to the 3D secure credit card payments already available through Mastercard, including the ability to process cash payments powered by Masterpass,” he concludes.