Teasy Mobile’s Chief Technical Officer, Stanley Vandu says: “The choice of the Biometric/NFC technology was in line with industry standards as well as global best practices. Contactless payments have seen a steady rise in countries that have deployed such”.
“In addition, our platform supports a whole range of services which would allow Teasy to provide a whole bouquet of financial services ranging from m-commerce, cinema to bus ticketing solutions. This is in addition to the already existing banks account transfers, airtime top-up, and bill payments”.
In October last year, mobile payments companies Singapore- and US-based Bango and Nigeria-based MMIT introduced M-Iflo, a mobile merchant solution focusing on online transactions for digital content to several African countries.
Beginning in key Sub-Saharan markets, M-Iflo will initially be available in Kenya and Nigeria, quickly followed by Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. M-Iflo is already integrated with some of the major mobile wallet providers in Africa, including Mobipay in Kenya and Stanbic IBTC Mobile Money in Nigeria.
The enterprise seeks to exploit a gap in the market as many merchants are reluctant to move into mobile commerce because of the perceived risks of doing business in Africa.
Merchants in the Western market are yearning for a suitable payment process platform that minimises their risk in the African market.
“Mobile billing has been held back across much of Africa, limited by a range of technological and political risk factors,” according to Bango. “Political instability in a number of sub-Saharan countries has resulted in unclear regulatory environments and a lack of proper infrastructure to support stable carrier-grade billing systems. Settlement and collection of funds is complex, with rapidly fluctuating exchange rates, varying taxes, and transfer fees,” the company notes.
Jide Akindele, CEO of MMIT, says: “Unfortunately corruption remains a substantial risk within the mobile money industry in sub-Saharan Africa. This has resulted in a reluctance from the world’s app stores and mobile brands to engage the African market.”
Through M-Iflo, consumers that have mobile wallet accounts in Africa will be able to select their mobile wallet provider as a way to pay during checkout when paying for things online. To verify their account, the consumer just needs to put in their wallet number. In essence, M-Iflo functions as an intermediary between mobile wallet providers and mobile merchants – with the tool verifying that the consumer has the funds to make the purchase.
Through M-Iflo, consumers with mobile wallets can also make purchases on leading app stores with top-up cards available at retail outlets – they type in a code when at the checkout of an app store. M-Iflo was made available in Kenya and Nigeria first, with Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania to follow.
Bango’s CEO Ray Anderson said: “There’s a smartphone boom in Africa and a frustrated demand for digital content. App stores and other merchants have been waiting for the reassurance of M-IflO, which limits the risk of doing business in Africa, and has been designed to suit the ‘cash up front’ instincts of the African market.”
Jide Akindele, CEO of MMIT, adds: “Merchants in the Western market are yearning for a suitable payment process platform that minimises their risk in the African market. We believe that our M-Iflo platform gives our clients that capability to do so. We look forward to opening up access to content store owners that are looking at the African market via Bango and MMIT’s Mobile money payment processing platform.”