Mastercard announced the use of Facebook Messenger as its QR bot platform for encouraging digitalization of payments in the Asian and African markets. Mastercard has collaborated with Zenith Bank and Ecobank to launch the QR bot that has been piloted in Nigeria, where 98% of the business transactions are still cash-based. Simplifying the process of creating a digital money account through a widely popular social media platform such as Facebook messenger, will promote payment digitalization and help the businesses in Nigeria to foster sales and expand to new markets.
The QR bot will make it easier for the Nigerian businesses to set up a QR payment account. To set up the account, the businesses need to simply send a request to the QR bot for enabling QR-based payment, get the bank approval and set up the account. Once the account is established the business owners will get their QR code, which they can save on their mobile phones or print and display in their shops, to start accepting digital payments. For making payments, the customers either enter QR code related to the merchant ID on their feature phone or just scan the QR code displayed in the shop from their smartphones.
The launch of the QR-based payment system with easy account set-ups will be a major leap towards digitalization of payments in a cash-based economy like Nigeria. The new payment system will significantly help the small businesses to increase sales with little or no investment of merely having a phone. The retailers, through the digital transformation, can attract new customers, create more sales and better customer attachment. The digitalized commerce channel will also enable the retailers to have auditable transaction records which will give them better credibility for access to loans for business expansions.
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