Stanbic’s Contactless Payment, A Pace Setter

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  • Contactless payment systems come in different forms including credit and debit cards, smartphones or other devices
  • For banks, it improves brand positioning and increased revenues
  • This year it is estimated that all point of sale terminals in Europe will be contactless enabled

In the previous week, Stanbic Bank Limited announced plans to launch contactless debit cards and POS machines which offers easier processing of payments with faster checkout times which do not require signatures or pins to ensure convenient transacting.

This is a pacesetter.

As the Bank’s Head of Personal and Business Banking, Patson Mahatchi said, Stanbic will be among the first banks in Zimbabwe to introduce this new technology which has been accepted in 78 countries worldwide.

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This year it is estimated that all point of sale terminals in Europe will be contactless-enabled, so we do not want to lag behind hence we are introducing this innovative product in our part of the continent,” he said.

As the world is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one thing that has stood out is the need for businesses to go digital. Banks worldwide have been fronting the fourth revolution as the battle to attract customers through offering convenient services continue to intensify.

For a market like Zimbabwe, going digital has become even more important due to a continuous cash crunch, thus more payments are now being processed through the point of sale machines, online as well as mobile payment platforms like EcoCash.

What is contactless payment? And what are the advantages of using it?

Contactless payment systems are based on RFID or NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. They come in different forms including credit and debit cards, smartphones, smart cards, key fobs or other devices, including wearables (watches, smart rings…). Payments are enabled via secure contactless systems such as Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, or any bank mobile application that supports contactless.

What are the benefits?

Speed: It is estimated that contactless payments can be completed within 15 seconds and work twice as fast as normal cards. With less processing and handling of cash occurring, transactions are completed at a faster rate, turnover is likely to improve and queues are less likely to build up.

Secure: If you lose your card or it is stolen you are able to freeze the account or contact your bank who will disregard and amend fraudulent payments. As the user only needs to tap the card onto the reader, the risk of fraudulent activity or theft seems a lot higher. However, built-in protection ensures that the same transaction doesn’t occur twice by accident and that if intercepted, the details and numbers linked to the card cannot be decrypted as unique numbers are used for transactions that don’t correlate to card numbers.

Effortless: Contactless payments aren’t restricted to just cards. The NFC technology within contactless readers can interact with phones and connected accessories such as watches or rings. Apple Pay’s launch in 2014 allowed users to pay if they had forgotten their card or if it was out of reach, by using their phone to carry out the transaction.

Overall customer experience: As a result of faster, more secure and effortless transactions, shops can see an increase in throughput and a reduction in abandoned sales as the average transaction value (ATV) increases when a customer isn’t constrained by the amount of cash they are carrying and the payment process is efficient.

For banks – Brand positioning and increased revenues: By offering contactless options to their customers, banks not only promote a much-improved customer experience, but they can also offer added-value services and therefore differentiate from their competitors.

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