VENTURES AFRICA – Following the conclusion of a business deal with leading UK technology company, mPowa, South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) has revealed plans to introduce a new mobile payment service to its merchant services offering in the coming months.
The contract with the tech company will see FNB embedding the mPowa tools and software into its merchant services, which will enable the bank tailor the look and identity of its card service.
mPowa, a point of sale device that enables credit and debit card payments to be made on the go, works by using a using a free mobile phone app and a reader that connects to a Smartphone or mobile device by plugging into its headphone socket or connecting via Bluetooth. This can be either a magnetic stripe reader (MSR) which can be plugged into the phones headphone socket or a Chip & PIN device.
With the use of mPowa, companies and individuals can accept card payments from their customers on-the-go, in a quick and convenient way. The mobile app is free to download on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices and functions as the control centre that accepts the payment.
mPowa was the first company to introduce this technology in the United Kingdom.
According to the CEO of FNB Business Banking Jacques Celliers, the introduction of mPowa application into FNB merchant services becomes necessary to ease merchant banking services to its customers.
“We have recognised the need to support our merchants’ desire for mobility and convenience. We will be looking to mPowa to provide us with a robust and secure mobile environment that will appeal to our demanding and techno savvy customers.”
“The South African economy requires an entrepreneurial culture to be incubated and supported from all stakeholders. Thousands of our small business clients are in the services industry and a fixed merchant device is not of much use to them. This new technology promises to allow our customers to accept card payments anywhere, anytime. It could mean the difference between success or failure for many of them,” Celliers added.
On the other hand, multi award-winning serial entrepreneur and CEO of mPowa, Dan Wagner express excitement in partnering with FNB. “We’re delighted to have signed this important deal with First National Bank,” he said.
According to Wagner, the deal will enable them to ”mobilise thousands of their business customers which in turn will allow them to be much more flexible in how they do business. In today’s marketplace, nobody wants to be tied down to a fixed location.”