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Four new innovations: payment solutions out of Africa

M-Pesa mobile-phone money transfer service in Kenya (Demo)

Banking is one of civilisation’s oldest activities and has seen many different forms: from trading in livestock to metal rings. In comparison, banking today seems more sophisticated than ever. In A history of banking: from coins to pings, The Telegraph charts the timeline from when the world produced the first coins, to when there were printed cheques, debit cards, cashbacks and mobile banking options. Never before have people across the world had such easy access financial inclusion. We highlight four new payment solutions arising from Africa: a continent where there is an unprecedented increase in banking innovation.


  1. PocketMoni in Nigeria


Nigeria’s PocketMoni by eTranzact, began much like M-Pesa in Kenya, in that it enabled mobile phone users to do all manner of transactions without having to have a bank account. PocketMoni wishes to “redefine the mobile payments technology landscape” in Africa, by including more payment solutions features.  One of the payment solutions features includes cashing out at ATMs without an ATM card.


  1. M-Farm and M-Cow

Kenya’s tech entrepreneurs have solved basic problems with simple payment solutions. M-Farm is a mobile tool for farmers that enables them to send a text message to an information portal in order to receive a reply detailing the retail price of their produce. M-Farm’s founder, Jamila Abass, says: “(Previously farmers had) no information and no alternative market (except for middlemen that cited a price and bought the produce). We wanted to close that information gap between the farmers and the market.”


  1. Multi-purpose cards


Customers prefer multi-functional cards: gone are the days when only money could be withdrawn. General purpose cards have a wide range of uses, including that of buying prepaid airtime or electricity. Reload card, for instance, is a Visa card, and can be used for purchases everywhere Visa is accepted. Any ATM can be used or, a customer can withdraw money at Shoprite, Checkers and Pick n Pay tillpoints. In addition, Reload users can transfer funds to other Reload card holders instantly for just R1.  With this particular prepaid card, interest is earned on balances over R500, offering the customer significant added value. Should a customer want a statement, they can access one online at no cost.


  1. Smart POS and ZipZap


Instead of confining payment solutions technology and mobile payments technology to only one point of sale platform (POS), such as a till point, businesses are seeing the importance of payment integration. Welcome Smart POS. One of the trends Touch Dynamic identified was an increase in the integration of tablet POS with traditional card readers and till points. Small businesses have confirmed the integration of tablet POS as a major driver of business.


Payments Afrika noted that while “the South African retail sector is vibrant and inventive”, it’s constantly economically pinched. This is where ZipZap comes in.   ZipZap is the only South African mPOS solution that provides a card reader that can be used across all current mobile operating systems (Blackberry, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Desktop) and is the only one offering a solution compatible with all the latest Windows devices.

For more information on a mobile commerce solution that allows you to accept debit and credit card payments from customers anywhere through your mobile phone download ZipZap today.