Net1 partners Zapper to launch QR payment solution in Nigeria, Ghana
The QR payment platform will address the issues of limited infrastructure and interoperability across various mobile money and other payment methods.
Net 1 UEPS Technologies, a payment solutions provider, has partnered with Zapper, the leading South African QR payments technology company, to launch ZappGroup Africa, a company focused on deploying white-label QR payment solution across Africa. The payment solution will be initially rolled out in Nigeria and Ghana, and subsequently launched in Kenya and Tanzania.
According to a statement released on Thursday by Net1, ZappGroup has signed letters of intent and expressions of interest with some of the largest operators and key players across the region. The group will make its first country launch in the second quarter of 2019.
QR code payment is a contactless payment method. The mobile solution allows customers pay for goods and services by scanning a QR code. The QR payment platform will address the issues of limited infrastructure and interoperability across various mobile money and other payment methods, per the group.
QR payments do not require expensive point of sale equipment for merchants as the key infrastructure for transaction is mobile phones which are already pervasive in the region. According to the GSM Association, mobile penetration in Africa would increase from 33 percent to 54 percent by 2020.
“By leveraging Net1’s existing technologies together with Zapper’s mobile solutions, we can address the needs of 70 percent of Africa’s population currently underserved by financial institutions,” said Herman Kotze, CEO of Net1. He added that QR payments have transformed China’s payments landscape over the past five years, and this joint effort will have a similar effect across Africa.
“Zapper’s solution is open, universal and is also one of the platforms to be cross-compatible with Alipay, a payment solution in China,” Kotze said.
According to Net1, Nigeria’s growth is a broad representation of the trends in Africa. It has both the largest population in Africa and the greatest number of mobile subscribers, at 193 million and 161 million, respectively. But, only 30 percent of the population have access to financial services. The Central Bank of Nigeria, under its Payments Vision for 2020, intends to include 40 million previously excluded people in the next two years.
Last year, Ghana recorded mobile money transactions worth of $35 billion, nearly rivalling Kenya which had about $45 billion mobile money transactions. The vast majority of the 1.3 billion people in Africa are unbanked, making the market one of the largest untapped opportunities for fintech companies.
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