Payment System in Africa Uses NearBytes to Pay Directly on POS Devices

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The NearBytes technology which already communicates smartphones with other smartphones or computer web pages, just got available on new POS devices currently used for credit/debit card payments.

I found NearBytes to be one of the most impressive and innovative products I have ever worked with. Sound can do so much more in the hands of forward thinking people

Edgetech Solutions, a banking solutions company based in Zimbabwe-Harare, will soon launch a mobile payment application that uses NearBytes technology to transmit payments through sound. The solution named Edgepay integrates Edgetech systems, NearBytes and POS APIs to build a solid Mobile Payment application.

With this app, which will be released for iOS and Android platforms in the coming weeks, users will be able to make financial transactions directly into physical stores. Consumers will be able to make payments directly from their smartphone without the need of being connected to the internet. The new POS model has all the current capabilities for card payments (EMV/NFC/magnetic tape reader) and also features a microphone and speaker allowing NearBytes communication.

Edgetech just released a video with a demonstration of the Edgepay solution:

Wilson Tawodzera, Edgetech Consultancy Managing Director, recently gave an interview about his new product, also describing his experience integrating the Edgepay Solution with NearBytes Technology.

How do you describe your company?
WT - Our company is a consultancy firm dealing with the implementation of banking systems. We support banking systems like Temenos T24 core banking system, and we also have our own mobile banking products which we sell and support. We have worked with various banks in different countries across Africa including Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Angola, Swaziland, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Sudan, Tanzania, Botswana etc

How long has your company been in the market?
WT - Our company has been in the market since 2008. So its now 6 years

Could you talk about your company most impressive projects?
WT - I would say this Edgepay solution is our most impressive work, because it brings out the best in technology and a new perspective to mobile payments

How did you find NearBytes? Was it easy to use?
WT - I found NearBytes to be one of the most impressive and innovative products I have ever worked with. Sound can do so much more in the hands of forward thinking people; talk about thinking outside the box or parallel thinking (as some would want to put it). The integration APIs for NearBytes are quite straightforward and easy to use, and the NearBytes team offer great support. I was impressed by the commitment the NearBytes team showed whenever we required support during the integration with NearBytes

Please describe this experience and your choice:
WT - At first we were not sure if we could achieve the envisioned design for our mobile payments. However we were quite determined and put in a lot of effort, long working hours to achieve this in the shortest possible time. It was an exciting project, we learnt so many new things and gained valuable experience. This project taught us that if you can put your mind on something, it can be achieved. If you can dream it, you can achieve it

Could you describe how this new project (EDGETECH + NEARBYTES + POS) works?
WT - This solution is called Edgepay and is a mobile payments solution. A native application integrated to NearBytes is installed on a mobile device (we used the NearBytes api for phonegap); On the POS terminal we also have an application integrated to NearBytes (using the linux API for NearBytes). When a customer wants to pay for goods and services at a POS terminal, the POS attendant inputs the transaction details on the POS terminal. Then using NearBytes, the transaction details are transferred to the customer's mobile device (using the native application). The customer can view the transaction details and then inputs his mobile banking PIN to authenticate the transaction. The details are transferred back to the POS terminal from the mobile device (including the authentication details which are encrypted); The POS terminal sends the request to bank for processing and prints receipt on successful response

Has it been already deployed? When do you expect to deploy/launch it?
WT - We just completed the development a few weeks ago, but we have some banks really interested; and quite soon we should have multiple implementations. I would say within the next 1 month or so we should be starting on some implementation

What were the main challenges in developing your new product?
WT - The main challenge was that at first the POS terminal was missing some linux packages required for NearBytes to work, but this was resolved quickly with help from the POS vendor and NearBytes team

What are your company expectations regarding this product/service?
WT - We expect this product to be quite popular, because the use of sound to transfer data does not require special hardware apart from a speaker and microphone. Banks have been eagerly waiting for a way to utilise the mobile phones to make payments across different platforms. It means devices using various platforms like android, windows phone, apple IOS, linux etc can easily transfer data between themselves.Other technologies out there like NFC are not available on all platforms and devices.

Which clients/market do you intend to reach?
WT - Mainly banks and financial institutions

Please feel free to add any other information you would like to provide.
WT - The POS integration for mobile payments is just the beginning, we see edgepay growing to en-campus things like ATMs, e-commerce payments. We believe in adding value to our customers, and our prices are the most affordable around. Any banks or financial institutions interested in our product are welcome to contact us and we guarantee you a professional implementation, and your customers will love you even more when they use our product

Wilson Tawodzera - EDGETECH SOLUTIONS is an IT consultancy company specializing in the implementation and development of banking solutions.

NearBytes Technology

Video with the Edgepay solution using NearBytes technology:

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Carlos Estigarribia
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