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Contactless payments rise in SA

Standard Bank has issued over 11 222 contactless devices to merchants across South Africa and the number keeps growing as consumers demand cashless payment solutions that are faster, convenient and more secure.

Over R16 billion in payment transactions has been processed by merchants in South Africa since Standard Bank first introduced the contactless payment technology to its customers in 2012.

More merchants are starting to see the true benefit of contactless payment solutions. Merchants that want to gain a competitive edge, improve operational efficiency, reliability and also offer consumers peace of mind are going for contactless,” says Andrew Wilmot, Head of Merchant Acquiring South Africa at Standard Bank, adding that the contactless payment solution eliminates or minimises cash on premises, helping business owners to focus on efficiency and increasing sales revenue.

The South African market is driving the ‚Äòtap and go’ method as a more common system of payment locally. Gauteng is currently leading with 54% of the total transactions processed through Standard Bank, followed by the Western Cape at 20% and KwaZulu-Natal coming in at 10%.

Mr Wilmot says usage in other regions is averaging at two percent with Eastern Cape slightly coming in higher at five percent. “However, we anticipate those figures to increase as more merchants realise the true potential of contactless technology in speeding up smaller transactions, where cash has traditionally been the preferred form of payment.

Contactless payment methods offer both consumers and merchants several benefits. Firstly, there’s the convenience of processing payments wirelessly with a tap instead of having to swipe a card. It’s also chip-and-PIN enabled, making it much more difficult for cards to be used fraudulently.

Secondly, our contactless terminals for merchants are designed to make one payment at a time on each card. One transaction must be completed or voided before another payment is processed, so even if a customer taps their card more than once at the checkout, they will only be billed once,” says Mr Wilmot.

Because there’s no signature required for purchases of R200 or less, customers can just tap and go. That is why contactless has taken off significantly in the technology, fast food and restaurants, fuel stations, supermarkets, convenient stores and movie theatres industries etc.

“However, we are likely to see the technology industry dominating in future since the tap and go payment method is more ideal for environments that typically process transactions that are below R200,” adds Mr Wilmot.

Customers can tap their Standard Bank MasterCard Tap & Go cards to pay at any merchant where they see a MasterCard PayPass or Visa PayWave sign. This offering forms part of Standard Bank’s consistent focus on providing customers with value in banking,” concludes Mr Wilmot.

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