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South African financial service provider Nedbank has partnered with Mastercard and local fintech Ukheshe to launch Money Message. Money Message is a new payment platform that enables consumers to pay small and micro businesses via a secure in-chat payment using the instant messaging platform WhatsApp.
Money Message platform enables convenient payments to SA SMMEs
Chipo Mushwana, Executive of Emerging Payments at Nedbank explains that the new payment platform is aimed at supporting entrepreneurship.
‘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,’ says Chipo Mushwana, Executive: Emerging Payments at Nedbank. ‘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.”
As a first for South Africa, the new payment platform will enable merchants to send an invoice requesting payment from a customer via WhatsApp.
The platform is accessible to anyone with a valid South African ID and a South African bank account.
Payments can easily be settled using the instant messaging platform.
Compared to traditional WhatsApp payments features, Money Message has been specifically developed to process payments from merchants and small businesses and is not a plug-in.
Mike Smits, Co-Founder of Ukheshe explains that chat commerce is seeing exponential growth across the globe.
“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.”
How does it work?
Small and micro-business owners must register for the service before being able to use the platform.
To register, simply save Money Message’s number, +27 (0)87 240 6272, as a contact on your phone and start a chat in WhatsApp by sending the word ‘Hi’.
Once registered, business owners can 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.
Customers will be prompted to enter their name and surname along with their card details to securely make the payment for the products or services from the small business owner. Payments are made securely via a consumer’s cellphone number or QR code.
Suzanne Morel, Country Manager at Mastercard, South Africa explains that the new feature will enable SMMEs to improve their sales and access new customers.
“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.”
According to reports, a beta version of Money Message has been provided to a small number of micro-merchants for a period of over one month and will be released gradually over the year to other SMMEs.
Featured image: Nedbank, (Supplied)