Work smart with Absa SmartPay
23 January 2019
Meet SmartPay, our latest endeavour which aims to put small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) first and bring a greater level of ease to accepting card payments. In the words of Antoinette Barnard, the Head of Business Merchants and Merchant Events Absa, “SmartPay is not a device, it is an offering.” - an offering that has been developed with SMEs in mind, creating a way of working that exists to save business owners time and money. “SmartPay has the potential to grow according to what the SME market requires,” continues Barnard, “we will bundle products under SmartPay that are SME-specific, with the first being a new mobile point-of-sale device.”
Introducing the Link 2500 device
The first product Absa has launched under the SmartPay umbrella is a new mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) device: the Link 2500. “We have progressed from being the industry-first when Payment Pebble™ was introduced in 2013, to evolving and keeping up with - and ahead of - industry standards,” explains Barnard. In 2013, Absa introduced the Payment Pebble™, an on-the-go device which revolutionised mobile payment. However, it was not without its issues: reliant on application updates and the likes of functioning tablets or mobile phones, users were limited to making use of an additional device at their own cost, and not all phones or tablets proved to be compatible. SmartPay removes all the dependencies of a traditional mPOS system, and in doing so puts its users first through addressing the issues that exist with current mPOS devices, such as:
- Lack of coverage
- Dependency on personal devices
- Device incompatibility
SmartPay ensures users will always be able to move forward with their business goals and transactions, limiting the hurdles to success.
How does the Link 2500 differ from usual mPOS devices?
By striving to put SMEs first, the Link 2500 stands out thanks to several useful features that not only benefit the merchant but the consumer too. Made for businesses on the move and accepting payment on the go, the Link 2500 brings these exciting offerings to the table:
- Tap ’n Go card acceptance on MasterCard®, UnionPay and Visa credit and debit enabled cards
- Cash-back, which allows merchants to exchange cash with consumers for an electronic transaction of the same value
- Works with Samsung Pay
- Pay in your own currency for PIN-enabled international cardholders
- Provides a free digital receipt to cardholders via email and/or SMS
- Resends receipts via the SmartPay Merchant Portal
- Shows transaction history via the SmartPay Merchant Portal
- Uses dual sim cards to ensure coverage across all the major networks in South Africa
- Doesn’t require a compatible smartphone, Bluetooth pairing or additional applications
- Amex and Diner's card acceptance coming soon
The dual SIM compatibility sees SmartPay represented by South Africa’s two biggest network providers, and the device arrives with both SIM cards pre-installed. In instances where one network provider is down, or coverage for that network provider is limited, the device can switch to the alternate provider, ensuring you always have access to coverage and are able to accept payments. SmartPay also removes issues that come with other mPOS devices, such as a dependency on a Bluetooth connection or the user’s dependency on their own network provider.
Another useful feature? SmartPay is not reliant on a paper roll to produce receipts. The device makes use of e-receipts, providing an environmentally friendly option where consumers can receive their receipt via either SMS or email - at no extra cost to the merchant or the consumer.
SmartPay also takes the responsibility away from the consumer: where mobile phone payment applications such as SnapScan, MasterPass and Zapper are dependent on many factors - such as the consumer having the app installed and having mobile data to complete the transaction, or the need for a dual-messaging card such as a cheque or credit card, the Link 2500 can make use of any card on the spot. As Barnard puts it, “With applications, there is a high dependency on the consumer for the merchant to receive payment. With SmartPay we’re leaning into the fact that most people have their cards with them, and cards can be swiped, tapped or inserted. Apps also experience network connectivity issues - something merchants won’t experience with the Link 2500.”
Managing transactions and cash flow with ease
SmartPay also offers a web-based Merchant Portal where merchants can view their transaction history, re-send receipts and see whenever the device processed funds. Adding to this, the features of cash-back and Pay In Your Currency options benefit both the merchant and consumer. Cash-back allows merchants to not only pay out cash - limiting security risks - but also results in a rebate whenever a cash-back exchange has been made. “Absa rewards merchants for getting rid of their cash”, Barnard explains, “This also removes the cash-handling fee and need to visit the bank when you could be doing business instead”. The Pay In Your Currency feature provides direct, real-time currency conversion, allowing vendors to get the most out of transactions with foreign consumers. This feature supports all major currencies.
As far as managing cash flow goes, you are guaranteed to have your accounts settled within two business days. “If you’re an Absa account holder you’ll be settled by 6 AM the following business day for all transactions processed the previous day before 8 PM,” explains Antoinette Barnard, “and if you don’t bank with Absa, you will get settled a day later. Either way, if you traded up until 8 PM the night before you don’t have to make unnecessary trips to the bank.”. While SmartPay can still make the lives of non-Absa customers easier, it is beneficial to consider the benefits of a full basket - such as your funds reflecting sooner - and consider pairing your SmartPay with an Absa Business Bank Transactional Account.
SmartPay is available at an all-inclusive price, removing the merchant’s need to purchase an additional device and data of their own. You can have it all for a single monthly fee of R199 excluding VAT and transaction fees.
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Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.