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Namibia: mobility fuels new payment solution partnership

Namibia: mobility fuels new payment solution partnership

Bank Windhoek and mobile banking solution provider Wizzit have launched the first mobile fuel payment system in Namibia called GoPay.

The Bank says the introduction of the new payment solution is as a result of pressure on African banks to offer mobile payments as a way to increase market share and penetration on the continent.

Abri Nel, Bank Windhoek's Executive Officer for Digital says Namibia's sprawling distances between towns/fuel merchants is one of the factors that make GoPay a useful solution.

"The payment industry in Namibia phased out so-called petrol/gas cards a few years ago, forcing the fuel industry to only accept cash, credit and debit cards. Cash is cumbersome to handle whilst cards attract high merchant commissions which eroded the already thin fuel industry margins in Namibia. The GoPay commercial model is based on a free service to the fuel merchants, while the customer pays a flat transaction fee. Merchants win with no cost and less risk. Customers win with a less friction, lower cost, safety and simplicity."

GoPay allows customers to match their geographic location with a fuel merchant by entering a unique USSD fuel merchant code, according to Bank Windhoek. The code is then printed on lanyards and worn by fuel attendants, so regular customers have the option to save their local GoPay merchant code on their phones for repeat use.

The customer will enter the payment platform by dialing the USSD code which will request that they enter the amount they'd like to pay. The designated fuel merchant will receive the payment confirmation on a dedicated mobile device in his or her possession for processing, after which the fuel attendant can then service the customer and fill up their vehicle.

GoPay also allows users to pay remotely for fuel on another person's behalf, as well as the option for taxi owners or shuttle operators to pay from a centralised account that they choose for authorisation of payments.

"Bank Windhoek currently has signed up almost 100 out of a possible 220 fuel merchants across Namibia. With the existing support of the four major oil companies in Namibia - Engen, Puma, Total and Shell - our intention is to sign up the majority, if not all merchants in Namibia."

Mobile fuel options

Bank Windhoek's introduction of payments for fuel through mobile devices comes nearly three months after Shell's Africa licensee, Vivo Energy adopted Orange Money for fuel payments in Mali, Cote d'Ivoire and Madagascar with plans to broaden its availability to Botswana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mauritius, Senegal and Tunisia by the end of June 2017.

Wizzit international has partnered with ten African banks for the rollout and management of mobile payment infrastructure including SureBank in South Africa, Zanaco in Zambia, StanbicIBTC in Nigeria and BPR in Rwanda.

Brian Richardson, CEO of WIZZIT International says the company sees abundant opportunity in Africa.

"In the last year, we saw the need for banking systems to consistently refine to suit emerging markets – it's clear the lack of mobile banking infrastructure in Africa opens doors for FinTech businesses to flourish."

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