CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

26 February 2013

Kenya: Mastercard, Equity Bank and Ezetap Introduce Mobile POS Technology

MasterCard in collaboration with Equity Bank have announced the introduction of Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) technology to Kenya in an announcement made at Mobile World Congress. MasterCard and Equity Bank have partnered with Ezetap, one of the leading MPOS providers to introduce this servic

Daniel Monehin, division president, MasterCard Sub-Saharan Africa commented, "Our collaboration with Equity Bank and Ezetap to introduce this innovative technology to Kenya 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."

This initial MPOS pilot project, which was first announced on 15 January as part of the strategic alliance between Equity Bank and MasterCard to issue 5 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. It consists of a lightweight and robust device that can be plugged into smart phones and tablets. The solution is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PADSS) global security standards.

"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," said Abhijit Bose, CEO of Ezetap. "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."

Merchants with transaction volumes of less than US$100,000 (KSh. 8.5 million) are able to revolutionize their businesses with the adoption of this technology. 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.

"We are thrilled to be working with MasterCard and Ezetap in our drive to offer inclusive, customer-focused financial services," said Dr James Mwangi, MD and CEO of Equity Bank. "MasterCard has an established global reputation as an innovative, reliable payments technology provider, and we are looking forward to building on our long standing relationship and pioneering the introduction of MPOS to Kenyan businesses."

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.

MPOS technology will assist in eliminating fraud in Kenya. Equity Bank will work closely with the chosen retailers in the pilot project to educate sales staff on how to correctly utilize the MPOS technology. Retailers who retain the card until the transaction is completed, check card security features and obtain authorization will avoid becoming a victim of criminal behavior, closely linked to cash transactions.

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