MasterCard today announced the launch of an Acceptance Development Program, for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME), that will extend the security and convenience of electronic payments to merchants and their customers.
The programme, which is in partnership with First Bank and GTBank, will see the rolling out of Mobile Point Of Sale (MPOS) devices to retailers, allowing them to process debit, prepaid and credit card transactions by using a smartphone connected to a secure card reader.
“MSMEs are an important sector in our economy, representing 95% of registered businesses in Nigeria. However, nearly 98 percent of all MSME transactions are still made with cash,” says Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President and Area Business Head, MasterCard, West Africa. “Using innovative payment technology, this program will help MSMEs reduce the costs of cash, increase sales, grow their customer base and improve cash flow, while making it easier and safer for their customers to pay.”
The MPOS solution comprises a MPOS payments application and a physical card reader with a secure PIN pad for PIN entry that connects to the merchant’s smartphone using Bluetooth. This negates the need for merchants to access a fixed data or telephone line, and helps them to overcome connectivity challenges as the devices use a range of data connectivity options including EDGE, 2G, 3G, and 4G. They also adhere to the ‘CHIP and PIN' certifications mandated in Nigeria, meaning consumers can be assured that their transactions are safe and secure.
“The rapid growth of smartphones in Nigeria provides a huge opportunity for innovation across all industries – especially in payments,” says Ojomuyide. “This program uses smart technology that transforms mobile devices into tools of commerce, and delivers services that will benefit all stakeholders in the payments ecosystem. It also supports the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cashless Nigeria policy, and will help this vital sector to connect more efficiently to the national and global economy.”