Nedbank has announced a new payment solution aimed at assisting small and micro businesses called Money Message. Our problems with the name aside, Money Message will facilitate payments via WhatsApp and leverages a partnership between the financial institution, Mastercard and Ukheshe.
A first in South Africa, according to Nedbank, this new solution will enable merchants to send an invoice requesting payment from any customer through WhatsApp. Their customers in turn can settle a payment directly from the platform.
“The need for a diverse range of contactless payment methods is more important today than we could have possibly imagined, as we seek to rebuild the economy by giving businesses the ability to transact in a safe and secure way,” notes Chipo Mushwana, executive: Emerging Payments at Nedbank regarding the new platform.
“In order to support entrepreneurship and sustainable business growth across all markets, we need to deliver low-cost, accessible and flexible solutions that leverage widely accessible technologies. Money Message looks to overcome a variety of cost, security and technical barriers by enabling micro merchants and their customers to transact with each other easily on an existing platform, which is WhatsApp,” adds the executive.
Nedbank adds that anyone with a valid South African identity document and South African bank account can access Money Message. Merchants will need to first register for the service, which it says is completed within a matter of minutes, and afterwards, they can immediately initiate a payment request.
Unpacking the payment process, the financial institution explains that business owners send a request-to-pay message to the customer and for first-time users, a notification is sent via SMS, prompting them to register for the service. The customer puts in their name, surname and registers their card details to make the payment securely. Customers will then be able to make secure, card-less payments via their phone numbers or QR codes.
“We are excited to partner with Nedbank and take the lead in South Africa with its new Money Message product, and look forward to helping our customers remain innovative through the use of market-leading transactional platforms,” says Mike Smits, co-founder of Ukheshe, about the solution.
“Every business owner is looking for ways to increase sales and reach new customers using different channels. By enabling smaller businesses to request digital payment through WhatsApp, smaller businesses can achieve these goals and create greater customer loyalty with little to no investment beyond the phone they already have,” adds Suzanne Morel, country manager at Mastercard South Africa.
To register as a merchant, save Money Message’s number, +27 087 240 6272, as a contact on your phone and start a chat in WhatsApp by sending the word ‘Hi’.