Innovectives Limited, Nigeria’s provider of secure and affordable transaction channels for the un-banked and under- banked public has launched SmartPesa, its mobile point of sales (mPOS) terminal into Nigeria market.
After two years of intensive process, National Inter- Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has certified SmartPesa mPoS for the Nigerian market. SmartPesa mPoS enables an existing banking network to be mobile, flexible and extensible at very low cost.
In a statement issued by the company, Innovectives’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Agha, SmartPesa mPoS works with existing banks, not against them, and so does not have the problems that plague proprietary mobile money solutions such as opening special accounts, reliance on customer behavioural changes and unclear legal/regulatory frameworks. “Cards are here to stay: with over 20% per annum growth, cards continue to be seen to be the workhorse of banking and payments around the world,” he noted.
While listing the key benefits of the SmartPesa platform, Agha said its provides a low cost alternative to tradition PoS solutions. According to him, it immediately provides all the benefits of a traditional Point of Sale (POS) solution at less than 20% of the cost. The platform can be quickly extended to include functions traditionally handled at branches and ATM’s such as balance enquiries, cheque deposits, and transfers at well less than 1% of the cost. Support costs are also significantly lower since distribution of devices can be through retail stores, ordinary mail or branch offices and faulty hardware can be immediately swapped out locally.
On security and compatibility, he explained that with EMV Level 2 compliance in hardware, SmartPesa supports the highest level of payment security (Chip&PIN) and can accept all local and international cards; that’s over hundreds of millions of cards globally. The platform can quickly incorporate new technologies including NFC and be integrated into existing applications through its Software Development Kit (SDK). The system is compatible with over 97% of current smartphones in use, including most low cost smartphones and commonly available tablets.
In addition, Agha said the platform was designed to be implemented in a financial institution’s existing data centre alongside the existing payment infrastructure (e.g. HSM, Switch). Transactions do not need to go to a 3rd party datacentre thus maximising transaction speed whilst there is no risk of data leakage to 3rd parties. Conformance to PCI-DSS guidelines ensures all banking and privacy regulation are satisfied from the start. Besides, he disclosed that the platform can be quickly extended beyond simple payments to include bill payment, agency banking and 3rd party services (e.g. airtime, ticketing).
Furthermore, unlike traditional POS devices, SmartPesa can update all devices to support future local and international cards, loyalty schemes or integrated inventory systems. Updates are done remotely and do not require costly hardware recalls or customer visits.
He said that company is finalizing on a robust national rollout plans with its partner banks and card payment scheme.