GABORONE – Stanbic Bank Botswana has launched contactless debit and credit cards, which allow customers to tap their cards to complete a payment transaction, instead of inserting a card into a point-of-sale machine and entering a PIN.
“The new ‘tap and go’ cards, allow for funds to be deducted directly from a linked bank account, and within the specified credit limit. Unlike many systems currently available, customers do not have to pre-load cards with money to use this method of payment,” says Chiko Manokore, Head of Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic Bank Botswana.
The contactless debit and credit cards are embedded with specialised chip and wireless antenna utilising Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that allow for a seamless payment process with increased security: customers do not need to give the card to the cashier, enter a PIN or sign a slip for payments under P350.00.
Stanbic Bank cards will carry the Visa contactless logo to indicate their contactless capability.
“The introduction of this payment method is intended to make it easier, safer, and faster for our customers to transact,” explains Manokore. “The cards improve customer convenience, with shorter transaction times and remove the need to withdraw or handle cash. Security is also improved as a customer keeps their card with them rather than handing it to someone else.”
Purchase transactions with a PIN usually take around 30 seconds, while a contactless payment takes about 10 to 15 seconds from start to end. Every purchase is secure, protecting both the data and the account of the customer. The merchant terminal will not accept two payments in quick concession of each other for the same purchase amount.
“The ability to transact in a contactless manner has now become critical in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Manokore. “It allows for commerce to continue while reducing the risk of physical interaction and infection. We know that we will be living with the virus for a long time to come, and need to find ways to continue with life despite it.”
Standard Bank of which Stanbic Bank is a member of, is enabling this payment capability for customers across 15 markets on the continent including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, eSwatini, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
“Customers in these markets have embraced the contactless payment method,” notes Manokore. “This is in line with our customers’ increasing preference for solutions that add ease and convenience to their lives. The shift away from cash and towards contactless payment methods has only been accelerated by the pandemic and will continue to grow under the new normal.”
Customers will receive a contactless Visa Card on first application for a new card, or when they renew or replace their existing card/s. The ‘tap-to-pay’ Visa cards are accepted locally and globally at merchants including retail stores, fast food restaurants, pharmacies, grocery, and convenience stores and at transit locations. The types of merchants accepting contactless transactions is growing every day.
“We strive to be at the forefront of new technology that will make the customer’s life safer and easier. We are armed with the type of payment methods that customers require in the current environment; they have been in place before the pandemic hit and will continue to be built upon as we head further into the new normal,” concludes Manokore.
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