In today’s fast-paced, ever changing payment environment, consumer purchases are motivated and driven by much easier, accessible, convenient and secure ways of paying.
“In line with our ongoing pursuit of providing innovative solutions and services that enhance customer experience, we have a portfolio of innovations with significant benefits to our customers,” says Arrie Rautenbach, Head of Retail Markets at Absa.
“Our customer base has become increasingly diversified and more sophisticated. We have consistently endeavoured to innovate with our payment options in line with the evolving customer needs and trends,” said Rautenbach.
“By pioneering these initiatives in the South African banking industry to ensure convenience, accessibility, safety and efficiencies for customers and consumers, Absa has positioned itself as a leader in banking and financial services,” states Rautenbach.
“Our innovative and customised solutions have turned us into a bank of choice in South Africa for many.”
“In line with customer expectations, we are committed to innovating on an on-going basis. This is significant as the ways of payments have evolved and continue to evolve,” said Rautenbach.
Looking at possible future trends in payments, Rautenbach projects that, unsurprisingly, the mobile phones will become the key device for making payments.
According to the 2011 World Wide Worx’s Mobility report, 44% of urban mobile-phone users now access banking services via phones. Customers aged between 26 and 34 years are the highest users at 41%, while 11% of people older than 45 utilise it.
“What makes Absa’s contactless or ‘tap and go’ developments so significant is that these solutions provide the key gateway to mobile transactions. To provide a consistent and seamless service to retail merchants with regard to card payments, our cards are becoming virtual, they are moving to mobile, and – going forward – consumers will simply need to tap their mobile phones against the same readers to pay with their mobile phones in future,” says Rautenbach.
“With the above in mind, we expect that over the next five years, the mobile-phone will become a commonly used device for effecting payments. Absa is already playing in that space. Keep an eye out for impending innovative firsts from Absa in this domain,” said Rautenbach.
He emphasises that Absa continues to invest substantial human capital and finances into retail banking technology and innovation.
“While consumers clearly have a strong appetite for new ways to pay for their purchases, we continue to educate them about the safe usage of these platforms. There is still work to be done in this regard and banks, acquirers and merchants also need to promote the benefits of contactless and mobile payments.
“Breeding familiarity will lead to a growth in usage, and ultimately, allow both consumers and merchants to benefit from faster check out and convenience,” concludes Rautenbach.