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Absa to Try Out NFC in South Africa


Editors’ Note: Near-field communication or NFC is a new technology that is getting pushed by the worlds largest companies such as Google, Samsung, Visa and MasterCard as a new wireless payment system.  NFC works very much like QR codes and may be used in a similar manner, prompting a lot of people to pit one against the other.  However, it seems like the best way to go about it is to use both to make sure that you round out all the bases.  BeQRious will soon add more NFC-related stories to its roster. If you are interested in NFC, you can also check out our sister site: NFCMe.com.

South Africa’s Absa Bank will be doing the live user trial of near-field communication technology in South Africa starting mid-December. This NFC live user trial is the first ever in the country.

The trial involves 500 Absa employees who will be given NFC-enabled smartphones to be able to load prepaid funds into a Mastercard Paypass mobile app and then make payments at a point-of-sale terminal via Absa ATMs or Absa Online.

The mobile payment system will also support South Africa’s transportation ticketing technology as it contains the National Department of Transport’s data structure. This, according to Absa will facilitate a more advanced payment in transit. The mobile app will store certain details pertaining to the commuter – including the day, time, and the area where one entered then exited the transit system. This information will be used to calculate the total fare.

Absa is the first South Africa-based financial institution to bring NFC mobile capabilities with an EMV card payment application.

According Arrie Rautenbach, Absa’s head of retail markets, this trial will pave the way to consumers learning how to fully utilize their mobile devices as a payment tool though NFC technology.

Furthermore, this trial will give Absa the key insights it needs to refine customer experience as it brings NFC mobile technology to the market.

Absa and mobile network company Vodacom had early this year formed an alliance with the signing of a multi-million cooperation deal. The deal was designed to accelerate the pace of innovation in mobile financial solutions and to bring in developments in NFC as well as a new era of consumer convenience.

The benefits or advantages NFC technology include faster-paced payments or transactions, an increased the level of security, an increase in a user’s ability to electronically track his or her spending habits, and avoiding short queues at the cashier.

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