Halo Set to Boost Financial Inclusion

Synthesis, an innovative software and consulting company, has announced the launch of Halo, the tap-on-phone contactless payment solution. Halo is the first of its kind in Africa and allows any merchant to instantly receive payments.

Customers need to simply tap their cards on the merchant’s phone to make payment. This opens the door to informal retailers, spaza stores, and street vendors to accept a safer alternative to cash and give them the opportunity to accept card transactions. They will no longer be blocked by the cost of Point of Sale (POS) devices and the maintenance that can come with it.

“With Halo, informal traders can simply use their current phones to transact. The high adoption of mobile across Africa means the technology will be accessible to everyone that owns an Android device. The ease of use and accessibility of the app will appeal to all vendors, from informal traders to small and medium enterprises. Fundamentally, this will reinvent payments across the continent,” says Pierre Aurel, product manager at Synthesis.

“There is no need for fixed telephony lines as it relies on mobile connectivity from the phone or Wi-Fi. From a security perspective, it is as safe as traditional POS terminals with none of the cost or infrastructure limitations. And the contactless method is far safer and hygienic than using cash.”

In collaboration with Nedbank, the solution was launched with approval from Visa and MasterCard.

Contactless “tap” transactions are limited to R500 making it ideal for micro-transactions. For larger amounts, customers will need to enter a PIN. This functionality will be released in a later phase.

“Halo will reinvent POS in the same way speed points did when they first came out. It only requires the merchant to have a bank account. Simply enter the Rand value and have the customer tap on the phone. This is the convenience and inclusion we have been waiting for and, with Halo, the time has arrived,” concludes Aurel.