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By 11 February 2013 | Categories: news

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The last year or so has seen a number of financial institutions paying serious attention to their mobile offerings, and recently, it was Nedbank’s turn to step up to the digital banking plate.

The bank launched its PocketPOS, a mobile point-of-sale (POS) solution that enables businesses to process debit and credit card transactions by using a smartphone connected to a secure card reader. The launch follows Absa’s own Payment Pebble towards the end of last year, which similarly offers businesses an alternative means to accept mobile payments.

Nedbank explained that PocketPOS is suitable for any business that wishes to accept card payments securely without access to a fixed data or telephone line, or where low frequency of card acceptance does not warrant the higher rental cost of a traditional POS device.

Lowdown and highlights
 
“It creates the opportunity for many smaller businesses to accept card payments where this would not have been considered feasible up to now. It gives businesses on the move, such as plumbers, electricians or delivery services, the ability to reduce cash acceptance when making sales and processing payments on the road. Effectively, we believe PocketPOS will change the way they do business,” elaborated Sydney Gericke, the managing executive of Nedbank Card and Payments.

The device is designed for use in South Africa, where MasterCard, Visa and American Express-certified ‘Chip and Pin technology’ is required.

PocketPOS, which uses a certified secure card reader and advanced encryption to capture and protect the card data and PIN, comes in the form of two different secure card readers.

The first is a small device with a secure PIN pad that requires the merchant to capture an email address into the smartphone application and, on acceptance of the transaction amount, sends a digital receipt to the captured email address.

The second, alternative, device provides the ability to print out a physical receipt, much like in the case of a traditional POS unit. Both card reader devices have a secure pad for PIN entry and utilise Bluetooth technology to connect to the smartphone.

Give me the good news

The PocketPOS launch was also accompanied by some more good news entry level-merchants, who Gericke asserted could save up to 50% on their existing card acceptance costs. Additionally, the bank reported that its PocketPOS would be accompanied by “a choice of innovative pricing bundles.”

Business clients would be able to select the bundle most applicable to their transaction volume, while users would further be able to upgrade from one bundle to another should their transaction volume increase. Gericke explained that the cost of the device will be included in these bundles.

To the point

While PocketPOS will initially be available to a small, selected group of existing Nedbank clients, the bank assured that availability would be gradually increased to scale during the second quarter of 2013. Interested parties can further access additional information and log their contact details via the SimplyBiz website here.
 
“The benefits of this innovation are vast for both business and consumers. PocketPOS provides a secure alternative to cash and we are extremely excited about bringing mobile card acceptance to South Africa, as we believe this will be a true enabler of small-business growth in the future,” concluded Johnson.

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