UK-based mPowa, a mobile payment service enabling users to charge to a credit card using their smartphone, will soon be available in South Africa courtesy of the First National Bank (FNB).
The bank said it will be acquiring the services of mPowa to help mobile merchants in the country become more mobile in charging their clients.
The mobile payment service works by using a phone app and a physical reader which the merchant plugs into a phone using a headphone socket or connects via Bluetooth. The device then reads and charges the card.
FNB and mPowa have agreed on a white label solution that will allow the bank to brand the service as their own, but still maintain the support from mPowa.
The mobile app is free to download on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices and functions as the control centre that accepts the payment. The service was the first of its kind to be launched in the UK
Jacques Celliers, CEO of FNB Business Banking, said: “We have recognised the need to support our merchants’ desire for mobility and convenience. We will be looking to mPowa to provide us with a robust and secure mobile environment that will appeal to our demanding and techno savvy customers.”
Dan Wagner, Chairman and CEO of mPowa, said that the service would help thousands of merchants become more flexible in how they do business. “In today’s marketplace, nobody wants to be tied down to a fixed location,” he said.
“This new technology promises to allow our customers to accept card payments anywhere, anytime. It could mean the difference between success and failure to many of them,” Celliers said.
Other services that use this kind of technology include Square Up and PayAnywhere, both popular in the United States.