More than 900 000 ratepayers in the City of Ekurhuleni can now pay their municipal bills online with their smartphones, using Masterpass, the global digital payment service from Mastercard. Announced today at the Mastercard Innovation Forum 2016 in Budapest, Hungary, this collaboration signals a world first with the South African municipality being the first to accept bill payments via this service.
To pay with Masterpass, ratepayers simply visit the City of Ekurhuleni’s e-Siyakhokha website, select the account they wish to pay, and choose Masterpass as the payment option. They scan the QR code displayed on screen using the Masterpass app on their smartphone and enter their ATM PIN or One Time PIN to authorise payment. Their account will be updated immediately.
“We are excited to launch Masterpass bill payments with the City of Ekurhuleni, making everyday payments simpler, faster and more convenient. Now ratepayers no longer need to carry cash and stand in long queues at customer care centres, nor do they have the inconvenience of logging into internet banking each time they want to pay their municipal account. With the Masterpass payment capability on their phone, they can now simply ‘scan to pay’ their bill – all from the comfort of their couch,” says Mark Elliott, division president, Mastercard, South Africa.
Launched as part of the City’s digital strategy to empower its citizens through technology, e-Siyakhokha offers ratepayers a one-stop portal for interacting and transacting with the local government authority. They can check their balances, look up historical statements, lodge billing queries, and pay their municipal accounts including rates and taxes, electricity and traffic fines.
“We want to use the latest technologies to make it as easy as possible for residents to pay their City of Ekurhuleni municipal bills. Offering a selection of seamless payments options that can be used across devices is an important part of achieving that goal,” says Ramasela Ganda, Chief Financial Officer of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.
“Masterpass appeals as a payment option as it is a versatile digital payments solution – ratepayers banking with any bank can download and use it, whether they have a debit card or a credit card. That means people can pay conveniently and confidently wherever they are and at any time. It also enables us to improve revenue collection and achieve efficiencies—in turn, freeing up resources to improve service delivery.”
The collaboration between Mastercard and the City of Ekurhuleni addresses demand in the South African market for more choice and simplicity in how people make payments for bills, goods and services. According to the Mastercard Impact of Innovation Study, South African consumers are eager adopters of new technologies and payment innovations, with 73% saying they are ready to pay with their mobile phones.
“The world we live in is constantly evolving and the ways we pay our bills should keep pace to best fit our needs and lifestyles - wherever we are and from whichever connected device we choose,” says Elliott.
Downloading, and using the Masterpass app is quick and easy. Consumers simply visit their device’s app store, download the app, complete their profile, and load their payment card information – including card details from both Mastercard and other payment networks.
“Masterpass speeds up and simplifies the bill payment process as ratepayers do not have the repeated hassle of entering their payment details each time they want to complete a transaction. Using our digital payments service, consumers are also assured of a safe and secure transaction,” says Elliott.