Visa Mobile POS Boosts Travel and Tourism Businesses in South Africa

Visa’s new mobile point-of-sales (mPOS) device that makes it much easier and cheaper for smaller and medium enterprises (SMEs) to accept card payments, was showcased at the Visa stand at this year’s Tourism Indaba in Durban.

Taking on a ‘plug-and-play’ approach, the mPOS device can simply be connected on to a mobile phone enabling business owners to accept debit and credit card payments immediately.

Once the mPOS (mobile POS) application is downloaded and the device is registered with a local bank, it is ready for use, transforming a mobile phone into a payment device.

Previn Pillay, Head of Acceptance for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa said: “By leveraging mobile phones which are at almost everyone’s disposal, the mPOS device makes it possible for small businesses to reap the benefits of electronic payments such as increased sales, convenience and avoid all the risks associated with managing cash.

“It also allows them the option of offering their clients another payment method and an assurance that all transactions will go through securely and instantly.”

Tourists to South Africa will find the new mPOS devices particularly convenient allowing them to use their cards to make payments. Many will also be familiar with mPOS payments as the device is used in a growing number of countries around the world.

The device will benefit South Africa’s thriving travel and tourism sector which generated a total contribution of R315.4bn, or 9.8 percent of the GDP in 2012. The travel and tourism industry also created 1.3 million jobs in 2012.

“The travel and tourism industry’s sizable contribution to the South African economy makes it only logical that we should provide the support and infrastructure to continue to harness this industry’s potential and to facilitate the growth of businesses of all sizes – from the bed and breakfast establishments to tour guides on the road or up-and-coming travel booking agents,” added Pillay.

With the acceptance footprint in Africa being 25 percent more than any other payment provider, payments with a Visa card via the mPOS can take place virtually anywhere, including rural communities.

To demonstrate the ease of using mPOS and how it can be used even for the smallest of transactions, Visa hosted a coffee station at the Tourism Indaba. Those interested could see the mPOS solution in action by simply swiping their card and receiving a cup of their favourite beverage in return.

Most of South Africa’s major banks, namely Absa and Nedbank, offer the mPOS device, along with independent payments provider Paycorp Holdings. Business owners can access more information on this at www.zipzap.co.za or www.simplybiz.co.za.