As more South African businesses prepare to open their doors to customers during lockdown, the availability of a contactless payment option becomes all the more important. For those businesses which do not have a tap facility on their card terminals, the number of alternatives are limited, but Nedbank has announced a new PocketPOS offering which could turn out to be very handy.

It’s called tap on phone by the financial institution, and as the name would suggest, it essentially turns your compatible smartphone into a mobile point of sale. It also happens to be a first for the African continent, according to Nedbank, and leverages the company’s PocketPOs system.

“The challenges presented by Covid-19 demand that the world of payments evolves even quicker, and banks must respond by providing innovative ways for businesses to connect with their customers through easy, inclusive and preferably contactless payments solutions,” says Ciko Thomas, group managing executive of Nedbank Retail and Business Banking, regarding the solution.

“Nedbank’s tap-on-phone functionality enables this by harnessing the power of mobile technology,” he adds.

The managing executive also explains that it uses the same security as physical payment terminals and meets Mastercard and Visa requirements. The security is further enhanced by the fact that customers do not have to hand over their physical bank cards to a merchant when paying.

In terms of device compatibility, Thomas confirms that an Android device running 7.0 (Nougat) or better, along with being NFC-enabled, is all that is needed for this solution. Interestingly there is no mention of compatibility with iOS at the time of writing, but we’ve reached out to Nedbank for more information on that front.

As for how the system will works sans swiping or reading of the actual debit or credit card, it hinges off of a collaborative partnership between Nedbank, Mastercard, Synthesis, and iVeri.

“We are pleased to partner with Nedbank to further support small businesses, as they adapt to meet the needs of their customers who are increasingly looking for contactless ways to pay, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic,: says Suzanne Morel, country manager for Mastercard South Africa.

“Tap on phone provides consumers with peace of mind and the freedom of choice in how they pay, either by tapping their card or scanning a QR code,” she adds.

If you’re wanting to make use of tap on phone for your business, Nedbank says that it is currently in the testing phase, but will be rolled out to customers across the country in the latter half of year.

“This client base will be increased during the second half of 2020, after which the technology will be made available to all Nedbank clients and third-party application developers,” the financial institution concludes.