Firm partners Mastercard on phone payments for SMEs in Africa

Prophius has announced the rollout of its PayContactless solution, enabling small businesses to accept contactless payments through their NFC-enabled Android phones.

The move is expected to boost digital payments acceptance for small and micro enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and other key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, while supporting consumers’ preference for safe and seamless digital payments.

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 PoS 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.

This milestone makes Prophius the first Financial Technology (Fintech) firm in West Africa to be certified by Mastercard for Tap on Phone and further its mission to boost commerce and create seamless payment experiences at the storefront.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer 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, adding: “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.”

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 to deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using smart phones”

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