Get paid on your (compatible) smartphone

Every business owner knows the first rule of business is ‘get paid’. But for small or occasional traders that is easier said than done, especially if you want to accept card payments.

Not anymore!  You can now use your smartphone as a payment device. All you need is a compatible Android smartphone, and all your customers have to do is tap or scan a QR code to pay.

Yes, you read that right – your customers can now just tap their card on your smartphone to pay. Your phone will obviously need to have certain minimum specifications and functionality for this to work, but the convenience of quite literally carrying your till around with you is beyond awesome.

How it works

Small-business owners have long enjoyed the convenience of Nedbank’s PocketPOS system, combining the features of a mobile app with a card-payment device. Once you’ve signed up, downloaded the app and bought your device, you can accept chip-and-PIN card payments as easily as any of the main retailers.

The app generates the invoice and then relays it to the PocketPOS device using Bluetooth. Customers can then tap or insert their card and PIN to pay. The device accepts all credit and debit cards, including Mastercard, Visa and American Express.

All of that functionality has now been digitised and is available in-app if you have a compatible Android phone with near-field communication (NFC) functionality, which is the technology behind contactless payments on debit and credit cards, as well as services like Samsung Pay, Huawei Pay and Apple Pay.

Instead of customers tapping on the PocketPOS device, they can now simply tap your phone for transactions of any value. Your customer may be asked to enter their card PIN on the PocketPOS app if they have exceeded their verification limit. This is safe for the cardholder, as the PIN is encrypted and is not accessible by anyone.

You can also generate a QR code with the PocketPOS app that can be read and paid using Masterpass. If you’re not familiar with Masterpass, then it’s well worth exploring, because a growing number of customers are using digital payments like this linked to their bank cards.

Technical requirements

For the time being, only certain smartphones are compatible with the tap-on-phone features, although many more can use Masterpass.

So, if you want to accept tap-on-phone payments you’ll need to get a phone that has NFC capability. Also, this phone has to run Android version 8.0 or later and must be compatible with Google. Being ‘Google compatible’ means the phone came preloaded from the factory with Google Play and Google Services. This ensures that the device has been validated by Google and meets certain security standards needed for secure payments.

While Apple devices are not compatible with the tap-on-phone functionality at this stage, Masterpass payments can be processed if the device meets certain requirements, for example the latest version of the operating system and Masterpass app.

What it costs

The tap-on-phone service or Masterpass app can be used without a monthly subscription or service fee, although you do pay commission on the value of every transaction – 2.5% (excluding VAT) for a Nedbank account, and 2.75% (excluding VAT) for accounts at other banks.

Apart from this, you only need to cover the cost of your phone and the data you use for your transactions. Unlike the stand-alone PocketPOS device, your phone also doubles up as an essential business tool for calls and online services to run your day-to-day operations.

And because you’re a merchant using the PocketPOS app, you have access to the Nedbank Merchant Helpdesk that’s available from 07:00 to 21:00 every day of the year on 0860 114 966.

Apply today to sign up as a merchant using the PocketPOS tap-on-phone features.