Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Julius Businge | Following the launch of the Absa brand in Uganda in November 2019, the bank introduced the new Absa Vertical Cards with new and enhanced features.
One of the key features on the vertical card is the contactless 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.
Speaking during the launch of the functionality, Annette Kiconco, Absa Bank Uganda’s acting retail banking director, said that the contactless function uses a Near Field Communication technology to allow payments from a contactless enabled card on a contactless supported payment terminal.
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 contactless “Tap” solution comes at a time when there is an increased need for the adoption of cashless payment options in the face of growing safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be spread through touching infected objects and surfaces.
The innovation follows a growing trend that has seen an increase in the use of cashless options 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.
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.
Since the beginning of the year, Absa Bank Uganda has recorded a 40% increase in digital transactions, since the start of the year to June 2020.
“Our customers can now transact with ease and spend less time at payment tills,” Kiconco said.