Prophius, Mastercard Unveil Phone Payments Tech for SMEs

Adeline Okoronkwo

Prophius has unveiled its PayContactless solution certified by Mastercard, enabling small businesses to accept contactless payments using their near field communication (NFC)-enabled Android phones.

The move is expected to boost digital payment acceptance at small and micro enterprises in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and other key markets in Sub-SaharanAfrica, while supporting consumers’ preference for safe and seamless digital payment.

PayContactless leverages Mastercard Tap on Phone, a simple and cost-effective digital payment technology developed for micro and small businesses and traders, who tend to operate in a cash economy due to the costs and complexity of obtaining traditional point of sale devices.The solution turns Android smartphones into secure payment acceptance devices for contactless cards, mobile wallets and even smart watches with no additional equipment or set-up costs.

Small businesses will benefit from a faster checkout in-store, as well as be able to easily accept card payment on delivery, a milestone that makes Prophius the first Fintech in West Africa to be certified by Mastercard for Tap on Phone and furthers its mission to boost commerce and create seamless payment experiences at the storefront.

Commenting, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prophius, Olugbenga Adams said: “This is the next phase for us in our quest to enable commerce at the storefront in a simple, cheap and effective way.  “This is especially important for small businesses, which need to accept payments without the associated hardware cost and partners including financial institutions and Fintech companies that want to enrich their existing products with contactless payments acceptance.”

 Maintaining that PayContactless provides consumers with flexible, seamless, intuitive and secure checkout experience, he explained that to pay, the customer simply taps their contactless card or wearable against the merchant’s device.

 “If the transaction amount exceeds the cardholder’s verification limit for contactless, the customer will be required to enter their bank card PIN onto the merchant’s phone. This is safe for the cardholder, as the PIN is encrypted and is not accessible by anyone,” he added.

The tap on phone functionality aligns with Mastercard’s commitment to delivering quicker and more accessible payments, without ever sacrificing security for convenience, and supports the technology company’s commitment to connect 50 million micro and small businesses to the digital economy by 2025.

Also commenting,  Country Manager and Area Business Head, West Africa at Mastercard, Ebehijie Momoh said: “Small businesses are crucial for systemic economic recovery and by connecting more SMEs to digital commerce tools and affordable payment acceptance solutions, we are putting in place a strong foundation that can facilitate sustainable growth.

 “Through our partnership with Prophius, we can further support financial inclusion and help the businesses deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using a device they already own a smart phone.”

 Prophius is working with several bank partners across Sub-Saharan Africa, with the solution expected to be available to small businesses from October 2022 in selected markets.

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