Some very innovative people have sat down on this one. See, the relevancy of an app to the populace is not necessarily in the cutting edge technology (that’s for tech people), it’s also in the usability, the ability to accomplish the task in as simple a way as possible, as economic and just as secure. Pay4App have tried to do just that, accomplishing the difficult task of trying to integrate to EcoCash albeit indirectly. (Why has EcoCash made it so difficult to integrate with them when ultimately the business goes to them?)
Pay4App is a web based application that allows merchant websites to conduct online sales just as your Google checkout and PayPal would, the critical difference being that the transactions are funded via an EcoCash account as opposed to bank account (ZimSwitch), Mastercard, VISA etc. Though this may be an ingenious attempt at solving the EcoCash integration conundrum, it does not conform to normal eCommerce rules of seamless straight through processing. Ultimately two systems (EcoCash and Pay4App) exist where the user needs to PUSH value from their EcoCash account to the biller account then Pay4App pushes the value to the merchant (not sure how this settlement process takes place). All this involves a process of registering with the store, registering with the merchant and registering on Pay4App, a strenuous deterrent to first time users. This is in contrast to cloud profiles such as “Login with Google” or “Login with Facebook”.
Pay4App will send a “once off” confirmation code via SMS to the user’s mobile phone before continuing with a checkout for authentication. If Econet is “experiencing technical challenges” or unavailable, the transaction will not proceed. The user must separately conduct a normal EcoCash bill payment to Pay4App biller code before proceeding with the transaction. I appreciate the internet for marketing purposes but that’s about the only advantage for me for having Pay4App on web. My suggestion, let it come with a Mobile App and possibly a desktop catalogue. A catalogue is a very powerful tool, ask Game.
Pay4App also offers a standalone cart where you pay upon delivery. A lot of trust here? Imagine returning to shop with a soggy pizza which the customer forgot to budget for. This service I am supposing would appeal to retail goods in which case delivery costs are a serious inhibitor.
It’s not all gloomy though. We really have to appreciate the conditions that Bydrofoil are working under. The idea of a workaround to integrating with EcoCash is in itself very innovative but my initial comments still stand. Simple, economic and secure. The cost of using the App is a “flat 3.5% + 55c” which amounts to $18.05 for a maximum purchase of $500. Again the same complaint we have always had against most electronic payments systems, other than ZimSwitch and Paynet is their steep pricing.
Well coded and good luck. I sincerely hope the improvements you talked about come through.
My Rating: 3/5
- The whole idea of online payments is commendable
- The application does have some appreciable security protocols.
- Only web app is available. A mobile app is imminent.
- The app depends on a user dependent integration technique almost defeating the entire purpose altogether. (not their fault really but still their peril)
- No password reset on Pay4App redirect from store. Once you forget your password you have to cancel the transaction.