Innovation That Matters

Paymob provides point of sale systems to micro-businesses in Africa and the Middle East | Photo source Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

An app lets micro-merchants turn their phones into point of sale systems

Financial Services

A startup is offering a range of payment systems tailored to SMEs, including an app for tap-on-phone contactless payments

Spotted: In many regions of the world, it can be very difficult for SMEs to access finance and payment systems. Egyptian fintech Paymob is working to change this with a platform that enables merchants to accept digital payments online and in-store. The platform is omnichannel, allowing businesses of virtually any size to accept payments using bank cards, mobile wallets, QR payments, installments, buy-now-pay-later, and more.

In addition to mobile payment options, Paymob also offers a point of sale (POS) solution that allows offline merchants to receive in-store card payments.

The company has also recently partnered with Mastercard to offer tap-on-phone (TOP) contactless payments for micro and small merchants. The TOP app allows individuals to turn their smartphones into a POS device. As many of Egypt’s estimated 4 million micro-businesses operate without business premises, and cannot afford traditional POS systems, this could significantly open up payment access for the estimated 4 million SMEs in the country.

CEO Islam Shawky describes the impact the company expects to see from the TOP app, saying, “For us, this is a game-changer for face-to-face transactions because this opens the market up for us and helps us grow tremendously.” He added that the product will also help PayMob stay ahead of the competition, which is heating up. Similar companies in Africa include CinetPay, Ozow, and Flutterwave.

Over the last few years, Egypt and the Middle East have been moving from cash to largely digital transactions, joining a push that has seen many countries skip straight to digital. Innovations include an Indian startup that lets shops accept payment via QR code, and a fintech solution for Nigeria’s unbanked.

Written By: Katrina Lane



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