Interswitch showcases e-payment solutions
By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria
An indigenous pioneer in the electronic payment platform, Interswitch, has showcased its range of products designed to support the Cashless Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with cooperation with the twenty-four money deposit banks (MDBs) in the country.
As a pilot project of the policy, the apex bank introduced what it described as Cashless Lagos project, designed to enthrone the use of other forms of payment for goods and services.
Showcased were Interswitch's e-payment solutions such as Paydirect, Autopay, Direct Debit, Verve Card, Quickteller, Webpay and Smartgov.
Explaining each of the electronic payment solutions on the Interswitch platform, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mitchell Elegbe, said in Lagos that the solutions are in tune with the policy and direction of the CBN, and would assist individual, corporate organizations, government agencies, merchants, manufacturers and suppliers meet their electronic payment needs under the Cashless Scheme.
With Verve payment cards, and others like MasterCard, Visa, Genesis and Freedom Card, issued by the banks, individuals can perform electronic payment transactions such as cash withdrawal from the ATMs, fund transfer via ATM, web and point of sales (PoS), top up their mobile phones virtually via ATMs, web and PoS, make payments for pay TV such as DSTV, Startimes, HiTV and others via ATMs, web and PoS; and make payments for purchase of goods and services at stores, supermarkets and several merchant locations across the country.
“Autopay, the country’s Funds Disbursement solution, is a secure web-based online real-time payment solution, which enables corporate organizations as well as government ministries, agencies and departments (MDAs) make payments from their corporate accounts to staff, vendors and supplier accounts domiciled in any of the 24 banks in Nigeria,” Elegbe explained, adding that that there are close to a 100 businesses, government ministries, departments and agencies, religious bodies on the Autopay platform.
In the same vein, Interswitch has a Funds Collection solution called Paydirect, also a web-based, multi-channel solution that enables organizations receive immediate value for payments made into their accounts from any bank branch across the country. He also explained that; Paydirect is not restricted to bank branches alone; payments can be made to an account through a Website, ATM, Mobile phone, Point-of-Sales (PoS) terminals. The solution automates the entire collection process as it solves the problem of cash movement, tracking and monitoring of payments made to the company by distributors or customers.
Corporate organizations and billers also have the opportunity to leverage the Direct Debit solution, a web-based application that connects to all the banks on the Interswitch network. The solution automates recurring payments directly from the bank account of the customers for services rendered.
On the benefits of using Quickteller for cashless transactions, he said Quickteller service platform provides airtime recharge and utility bills payment on ATMs, Web, Mobile and PoS. according to him, leading cable TV operators in Nigeria such as DSTV, HiTV, Startimes and MyTV are leveraging the convenience advantage offered by Quickteller to service their customers. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like IPNX and Swift Network subscriptions are also available on the platform. Quickteller also offers a range of services which include airline ticket purchase, embassy payments, insurance premium payments, state government tax payments, toll payments, and more.
“We have also recently achieved interoperability with other switches and payment card schemes so other cards are now accepted on our network,” he added.
Commenting on the bank charges on cash limits which would be effective from April this year and the impact on individuals and corporate; Elegbe said Interswitch was thinking about the customers during the e-payment solutions. “The solutions would make electronic payment easy for government, corporate organizations and individuals,” he said.