Wednesday, 13 May 2020: As businesses reopen during level 4 lockdown in South Africa, there’s increased demand for contactless (no-touch or remote) payment options. Many businesses are being forced to transform the ways they operate to online; therefore, new payment methods are needed for the non face-to-face environment. For instance, restaurants and fast food outlets may now only sell takeaways, which means they need to offer customers new ways of paying remotely or once delivery arrives at the customer’s door.
Customer demand is also driving these new payment methods. Business owners need to be able to offer safe, reliable and secure payment methods without being physically present or with no touching of potentially infected cash, credit cards or credit card machines.
“We are seeing a spike in demand for our remote, card-based payment solutions. Old-school EFT is still possible of course, but there are much quicker and more efficient payment mechanisms that you can track in real time,” says Leonard Shenker, joint CEO of walletdoc, a successful South African fintech startup, which offers a number of payment solutions for merchants.
“In the current Covid-19 climate, businesses are increasingly implementing digital payment solutions to cater for a changed consumer engagement. Both Pick n Pay and Checkers have recently announced new contactless payment for customers but all businesses can have access to these without having to incur the cost to develop them.”
walletdoc reviews some of the increasingly popular payment channels available in South Africa. These payment options reflect in real-time for the merchant, no need to hassle or wait for proof of payment to be sent by the customer.
A payment link is a way to request payment from customers who are paying for goods or services outside of a traditional store. It’s a ‘pay now’ button which is easily sent to customers via SMS, WhatsApp, or email enabling customers to settle via card immediately. The payment link can even be placed onto invoices, statements, or quotes. This is an exceptionally effective payment channel because payments can be collected and verified prior to dispatching delivery drivers for instance. There is no contact between customer and driver required for payment.
Mobile credit card machines
Because of the increased demand for delivery services, drivers can be equipped with mobile credit card machines so they can take card payments at the time of delivery to customers. With tap-to-pay enabled cards, customers can minimize contact with the point of sale (POS) machine; protecting their health and safety.
Drivers and websites can be equipped with QR codes. The merchant would get a QR code which can appear on his website or could hang around a driver’s neck on a lanyard. This would enable a driver to take card payments at the time of delivery to customers. Customers can make payment by simply scanning the QR code with their phone. With no physical contact between the driver and the customer and no POS machine required, this is another safe payment channel.