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Experts tip mCash, Masterpass, mVisa, others to dominate mobile payments industry

By The Citizen
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mCash, the mobile payment system for making low-value retail payments recently unveiled by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), has been tipped as one of the payment solutions that would dominate the industry in 2017.

A report by financialtechnologyafrica. com stated that: 'With good incentives for activations and usage, mCash may be the game changer for mobile money business in Nigeria.'

According to the report, other payment solutions that will make a significant impact on the industry include mVisa and Masterpass.

Launched last month by NIBSS in collaboration with banks and the four major telecom networks in the country (MTN, Glo, Airtel, and Etisalat), mCash, which stands for microCash, is designed to make e-payment options available to low-income buyers and sellers who usually deal in cash.

The partnership with banks and telcos makes it possible for every single user, regardless of their bank or network provider to use mCash with a single 402 shortcode.

The system will also utilise the NIBSS' Instant Payments Infrastructure (NIP) for immediate delivery of funds to merchants' accounts based on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) technology.

In addition, the mcash system will use the Bank Verification Number (BVN), to ensure ease of use and payment, even as the NIBSS will also be insuring all transactions that are less than N50, 000.

The system also promises sub 6-hour refunds in the event of fraud or errors. According to the promoters of the system, integration with the banks' platforms is currently ongoing and merchant deployment will kick-off in 2017.

They further explained that a merchant can walk into any financial institution and get his/her seller code, a unique 8-digit number, for free which can then be displayed at the point of sale to enable customers to make payments.

It will be recalled that at the launch of the payment solution, the MD/CEO of NIBSS, Mr. Ade Shonubi, said: 'The whole intention of mCash is to broaden the opportunity for people who rely mostly on usage of cash to find convenient means of making payments electronically.

The CBN has been pushing the cashless initiative for a long time and we have seen significant gains but a lot of people who have benefited so far have been the banking customers.

And we need to deepen and reach out to a lot more people, as we begin to make real the dream for financial inclusion and as we begin to realise that a lot of government's social programme will touch a different set of people.'

Regarding mVisa, the report noted that the mobile payment solution which is powered by VISA, allows consumers to pay for goods by scanning a QR code on a smart phone or entering a merchant number into their feature phones.

'Payment goes straight from the consumer's Visa account into the merchant's account and provides real-time notification to both parties,' the report stated.

Interestingly, mVisa will allow informal traders accept electronic payments in a cost-effective way, without the need for Point of Sale (PoS) terminals.