Following the launch of the Absa brand in Uganda in November 2019, the bank introduced its Absa Vertical Cards with new and enhanced features. Now among the new key features added on the vertical card is the contactless tap functionality which gives customers the ability to pay by simply ‘tapping’ the card on a contactless enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminal once the card has been enabled.
The new feature comes at the time the world is battling with the Covid-19 pandemic, where there’s need for increased adoption of cashless payment options in the face of growing safety concerns.
Ms. Annette Kiconco, Absa Bank Uganda’s Ag. Retail Banking Director, said: “With convenience and safety being one of the key trends in modern consumer culture and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Absa’s contactless feature has responded to both these consumer needs with a single functionality.”
The new feature on the cards uses a Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow payments from a contactless enabled card on a contactless supported payment terminal. The technology encrypts each transaction and ensures that account and payment information remain secure.
This is the first of its kind in Uganda and follows a growing trend that has seen an increase in the use of going cashless on the African continent. A recent Mastercard survey in the Middle East and Africa shows that more than 70% of respondents were by March 2020 using some form of contactless payment.
“Being the first bank in Uganda to roll out this function, we are steadily building a reputation for innovation in the digital financial services sector, making Absa the banking partner of choice in the industry,” Kiconco notes during the unveiling of the feature.
This is in line with a simultaneous surge in the use of internet and mobile payment options on the continent with banks and various merchants preferring the use of cashless alternatives as the world steadily but surely adapts to the disruption.
Absa Bank Uganda has recorded a 40% increase in digital transactions between the start of the year to June 2020. Its contactless feature marks a further fundamental shift in the cashless ecosystem of Uganda with the added advantage of much quicker transaction times.
“Our customers can now transact with ease and spend less time at payment tills. Additionally, the cards have also been rendered more secure by reducing the opportunities for fraud from point of sale entities. This enhanced security feature gives our customers peace of mind as they go about their daily transactions,” says Kiconco.
The feature can be used by Absa Bank Uganda customers with contactless-enabled Vertical Debit Cards at supermarkets, salons, beauty shops, fuel stations, boutiques, restaurants, pharmacies or any other merchant with an Absa POS.
Absa is a digitally-led bank adapting to an evolving digital economy.