Nairobi — MasterCard has rolled out a Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) technology in Kenya in a partnership with Equity Bank and Ezetap, aimed at boosting the acceptance of electronic payments in the country.
The partnership, which was finalised at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, will feature technology which allows merchants to receive payments via low cost add-ons linked to secure applications on their mobile devices.
MasterCard Sub-Saharan Africa Division President Daniel Monehin said that their collaboration with Equity Bank and Ezetap will help businesses and retailers boost sales through broadened acceptance.
"The MasterCard MPOS solution will allow Kenyan retailers who previously operated on a cash-only-basis, to use mobile phones as point of sale (POS) terminals and accept electronic payments," he explained.
Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi said that MPOS technology will assist in eliminating fraud in Kenya as the bank works closely with the chosen retailers in the pilot project to educate sales staff on how to correctly utilise the MPOS technology.
This MPOS pilot project, which was first announced on January 15 as part of the strategic alliance between Equity Bank and MasterCard to issue five million cards, will be targeted at selected merchant retail outlets.
This will give Equity Bank the necessary data to implement a more in-depth countrywide roll-out of the Ezetap MPOS solution.
The Ezetap solution has been operational in India for several months and consists of a lightweight and robust device that can be plugged into smart phones and tablets.
CEO of Ezetap Abhijit Bose explained that the solution is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PADSS).
"MPOS has the potential to transform payments in emerging markets. However, our experience in other markets has shown that technology is only half the battle," he said.
"To be fully successful, you need a strong set of partners, like MasterCard and Equity Bank, who truly understand the needs and concerns of the local merchants and consumers," he added.
Bose pointed out that small merchants in Kenya are taking the lead on the African continent in adopting technologies that provide low-cost flexible payment solutions.
"Until now, small merchants have not been able to offer the convenience and security of cashless payments to their customers, but this pilot project, and the technology that supports it, will eventually extend the benefits of electronic payments to all Kenyan merchants and citizens," he said.
The MPOS solution from Ezetap includes three components: A mobile phone, the MPOS card reader payment application and the Ezetap MPOS Card Reader that plugs into the mobile handset.
The card reader allows the retailer to swipe debit, credit or prepaid cards.
The quick, easy and safe payment solution is inexpensive to deploy, and offers the safety and convenience of cashless transactions.