Mastercard partners with Hellopay to bring contactless payments to South Africa’s informal economy

March 4, 2021 | Johannesburg, South Africa

Hellopay to roll out Mastercard Tap on Phone technology, enabling small businesses to accept contactless payments using their NFC-enabled Android phone

Hellopay, South African payments facilitator and the financial services arm of the Hello Group, and Mastercard today announced a partnership to roll out SoftPOS – a contactless acceptance solution that turns any NFC-enabled Android device into a physical point of sale. This move is expected to boost digital payment acceptance at small informal enterprises in South Africa, while supporting consumers’ preference for touch-free payments amidst social distancing.

SoftPOS leverages Mastercard Tap on Phone, a simple and cost-effective digital payment technology developed for micro and small businesses  like spaza shops, independent retailers, market stall traders, mobile servicemen and tradesmen who tend to operate in a cash economy due to the costs and complexity of obtaining traditional point of sale devices. Hellopay, has large merchant network comprising of Spaza Shops and other informal traders in South Africa and servicing millions of customers in rural areas and under-served settlements. The solution turns Android smartphones into secure payment acceptance devices for contactless cards, mobile wallets and even smartwatches — with no additional equipment or set-up costs.

Businesses can download the free mobile app and offer it to their customers immediately, providing consumers with a checkout experience that is flexible, seamless, intuitive and secure. The solution is ideal for low-value transactions and enables merchants to provide a faster checkout in store, as well as accept payment on delivery - options that are increasingly important as consumers look to touch-free cash alternatives.

The demand for faster, more convenient, safe, and now cleaner ways to pay has driven the transition to contactless, and it’s a one-way street with touch-free experiences expected to be permanent for consumers and businesses even after the pandemic ends. In fact, a Mastercard study found that 75% of South African consumers are now using contactless payments, and 78% say they will continue to use contactless post-pandemic.

“The SMME market represents 98% of businesses in South Africa and has been deeply impacted by the pandemic. We recognise the overwhelming pressure that small business owners are currently facing and are committed to supporting them through COVID-19 and beyond by bringing our tools at a low cost and rapid time to market. Through our partnership with Hellopay, we can further support financial inclusion – especially among informal merchants –and help these businesses deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using a device they already own: a smartphone,’ says Amnah Ajmal Sharma, Executive Vice President, Market Development for Middle East and Africa

Zunaid Miya, Managing Director, Financial Services Business at Hello Group, said: “Eliminating the need for a dedicated terminal and enabling the merchant to use their cellphone to accept card payments is revolutionary and a significant game changer within the SMME sector. Lowering the barrier to entry for merchants to accept card payments is sure to result in a significant increase in the number of transactions settled via card. We are pleased to join forces with Mastercard to enable businesses like spaza shops, independent retailers, market stall traders, mobile servicemen and tradesmen to accept safe, and secure contactless payments.”

Hellopay’s Tap on Phone solution is the result of a collaborative partnership between Nedbank, Mastercard and SmartPesa. The tap-on-phone functionality aligns with Mastercard’s commitment to delivering quicker and more accessible payments, without ever sacrificing security for convenience.

Hellopay will pilot the solution with 1,000 merchants over the next six months. Mastercard, which continues to be at the forefront in the design of security requirements for Tap on Phone, will manage the payments infrastructure to ensure the solution remains safe, secure, and seamless.

Businesses can sign up here:

Media Contacts

Birgit Deibele, Mastercard:
Elizma Debeer, Hellopay

About Hellopay

Hellopay is a Hello Group company that includes the Hello Mobile and Hello Paisa brands. Since 2005 the Hello Group has been creating game changing solutions for marginalized and migrant communities. This is achieved by co-creating services that are low cost, easily accessible and amazingly simple to use, with technology at the core. The Hello Group solves basic problems by carefully crafting solutions and providing access to customers that very few companies care about.

As part of our suite of financial services the Group offers international remittances, transactional banking, goods-based remittances and Mobile Point of Sale based card payment services. We are excited to add the Soft PoS solution to our range of products. This is yet another product that will add tremendous value to our target market.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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