Ecobank recently announced that they’re launching a new service called Scan+Pay which will be available in 33 countries across Africa. Scan+Pay is a service that will allow you to scan a barcode image (QR code) using your smartphone so that you can pay for goods or send money to someone else. The service is the result of a partnership between Ecobank and Visa.
Visa has a mobile payment system called mVisa which uses this system of scanning QR codes to process transactions. So the two have worked to together to offer mVisa to you as an Ecobank the service. Scan+Pay will be accessible from the Ecobank mobile app and will work on both feature phones and smartphones. If you happen to have a phone that doesn’t have a camera to scan the QR code, you will be able to enter a unique merchant identifying code as an alternative.
Once you have entered the unique merchant identifying code or scanned the QR code, Scan+Pay will process the payment instantly and it will go straight from your Ecobank account to the merchant’s account. Both of you will be able to get real-time notifications for the transaction. According to Ecobank, Scan+Pay serves to accelerate digital commerce and combat some of the challenges merchants faced with the traditional point of sale systems.
Some of the challenges include the cost of installation, electricity and internet connectivity. With Scan+Pay, no additional equipment would be needed so it’d be easier for new merchants to get digital payments. As we mentioned earlier, using Scan+Pay from the Ecobank app, you’ll be able to send money directly to another person.
So if you’re in the diaspora, you can link your Visa card to the Ecobank app and then send money to another Visa cardholder who is in Africa. It’s almost like EcoCash in that the payments are fast and they don’t require any additional hardware. However, you will still need to have a bank account and it’s not as easy to get one as it is to get EcoCash.
Scan+Pay is a good service that Ecobank is bringing and maybe EcoCash might want to look at bringing such a service. So instead of entering the merchant code, you can just scan a QR code using the EcoCash app and make the payment in fewer steps but then again, it’s not a really necessary feature as EcoCash is already solving mobile payments and is accessible to anyone. Let us know what you think about such services, do you think they are solving a problem?
What other things do you wish existed in some of the mobile payment solutions that you use? Speaking of mobile payment solutions, you might want to read how mobile payments are the way forward or how in China, you can now smile to pay for your KFC instead of swiping.
Ecobank launched a new service similar to this earlier this year called Masterpass. Masterpass also brought payments using QR codes. However, it has since disappeared so it seems like this is a relaunch of the same offering only this time, they have partnered with Visa instead of Mastercard.