Smart agency banking machines unveiled

Friday December 14 2018

Payments. Fintech’s infrastructure and services

Payments. Fintech’s infrastructure and services manager George Ondego demonstrates to an agent how the Point of Sale terminals work. COURTESY PHOTO 


Kampala. As merchants increasingly seek for new offerings, which afford them the connectivity and mobility to run their entire business, Fintech has rolled out a new generation of smart point of sale (POS) terminals.
These smart POS terminals will increase efficiency in payments for retail customers while allowing real time cash and cashless transactions across multiple platforms in agency banking.
Fintech – the sole distributors of the new POS devices locally, are optimistic that the new technology will improve transaction turnaround for retail businesses.

Smart terminals
The terminals are aimed at delivering a more reliable, sustainable, flexible and secure experience to different users.
They are more like a modern phone which operates on different customised versions of android, integrated with card payment systems, camera, a high speed printer and scanner.
They are also integrated with different communication modules such as 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS among others.
“After an extensive research, we discovered a very specific need to produce a device that is reliable and flexible for the agency banking system,” said Mr Barry Ryan, the CEO of Fintech International in an interview.
He added that the devices are affordable, easy to use, highly secure and allow for mass customisation.
According to Mr George Ondego, Fintech’s infrastructure and services manager, the introduction of the devices was inspired by the need to counter challenges service providers faced when using traditional POS.
“We are very keen to address the area of financial inclusion with the products and services we offer. We want to make sure that people who are deep in rural areas can access financial services,” said Mr Vincent Ondiff, Fintech’s regional manager.
Addressing stakeholders during the launch, Mr Wilbrod Owor, the executive director of Uganda Bankers Association, said: “I have been close with Fintech team in my banking life but closer when they were delivering the agent banking devices. The sector is being driven by technology and digital infrastructure is going to be the agenda for a very long time.”

Trends in payments
According to a report titled ‘Top 10 trends in Payments 2018,’ heightened customer expectation for value-added services, increased competition due to the emergence of FinTechs, new payments-enabling technologies, and an ever-changing regulatory landscape have led to the development of an open and collaborative payments ecosystem.

This new ecosystem is expected to spur collaboration among stakeholders, which may force all players to reassess their roles.
Within this new ecosystem, the traditional payments-processing intermediary function is anticipated to fade, as intermediaries consolidate or collaborate to stay relevant by opening up their systems. But an open and collaborative environment also introduces weaknesses related to cybersecurity and data privacy.