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Wallet-agnostic Swish Pay commercially available in Zambia

Swish Pay, touted as the first wallet-agnostic payment platform in Zambia, has been launched commercially by the NetOne Group after a successful pilot in January this year.

NetOne Group CEO Bejoy Nettikadan says the intention is for the solution to work with existing wallet providers to ensure enhanced financial inclusion and the solution is aimed at any merchant, irrespective of size of operation.

Developers say the platform is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant and allows a consumer to safely pay for goods and services from their VISA/MasterCard/ wallet of their choice by simply linking the mode of payment to the Swish Pay App.

Swish Pay, designed by NetOne and a designated payment system by Bank of Zambia, was piloted on 11 January 2021, after three years of development.

The pilot included closed user group testing from January to mid-April.

In April the solution was released commercially, however because the concept of no wallet is new in Zambia, the focus is now on provincial roll out and adoption.

Swish Pay is an inclusive financial application that enables and includes everyone from organised larger retailers to informal market / street vendors. Street/market vendors who are enrolled can for the first time in the history of Zambia, can accept a VISA/MasterCard Payment that has helped them with more access to business opportunity.

The solution enables merchants to push promotions on the platform which allows them to better target their consumers as well as increase daily business traffic.

This coupled with the ‘contactless’ nature of payment, supports in adhering/supporting the rules & restrictions during the virus outbreak. This active and conscious continued drive will enable a larger part of the society to transact through technology thus making it easier and safer as opposed to traditional methods, developers say.

The company expounds on its value proposition and told ITWeb Africa: “Swish Pay is the only platform that is wallet agnostic in Zambia. Meaning we don’t operate a wallet. We are more of an aggregator. Currently we are fully integrated to MTN money and Zamtel Money and Cybersource. Our aspiration is to remain wallet neutral. We are more of a merchant enablement platform than a P2P platform. Currently wallet providers are limited by the fact that money can only be transferred among their customers - for instance from an MTN wallet to another MTN wallet and not to another provider. Swish Pay focuses on the merchant. Our platform enables a merchant to receive any source of fund whether it’s from MTN/Zamtel, Visa or MasterCard directly to his/her mobile wallet of choice/bank account.”

Swish Pay has integrated a loyalty programme into the offering. Each transaction that is routed through the Swish Pay platform rewards the consumer with loyalty points. The loyalty program allows the consumer to redeem points against various goods and services.

Swish consumers also enjoy access to active promotions happening across Zambia.

“These benefits (and) a secure and hassle-free transactional process resulted in a strong and continued increase in consumer traffic through the platform,” Swish Pay developers add.

Swish Pay is available on both Android & iOS for download. Currently some of the payment options available on the Swish Pay App include Visa / Master Card and MTN Money, while negotiations are in advanced stages with the remainder of the payment enablers in Zambia.

The company and service will focus on more extensive roll out in Zambia over the next 12 months, but there are plans to expand further.

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