Absa Pebble in next pilot phase

Banking group Absa says it is in the process of moving its mobile point-of-sale (POS) device, the Payment Pebble, into the next pilot phase, namely the open market with pre-selected merchants.

In November 2012,  the bank announced that it has entered into an agreement with Thumbzup for its plug-in pebble device.

The bank was due to launch the product as a value-added service to all small business owners and merchants on-the-go from early 2013; however, because the product has been built in South Africa, for South African use, it has needed to jump through hoops in order to meet international  standards.

“We are very comfortable with the results achieved in our staff pilot phase and are in the process of moving into the next pilot phase where the Payment Pebble will enter into the open market with pre-selected merchants,” said Willie van Zyl, Head of Card Acquiring and Commercial Cards at Absa.

“It is an exciting development as we are now gearing up to allow merchants to apply for a Payment Pebble and are confident that the Payment Pebble will be the leading mobile point of sale device in South Africa in the months to come.”

Van Zyl said in September that he expected the pebble to be out in the market before the end of the year.

Nedbank has already launched a mobile point-of-sale solution in February, called PocketPOS, claiming a first for South Africa.

The mobile POS solution enables businesses to process debit and credit card transactions by using a smartphone connected to a secure card reader.

FNB, meanwhile remains coy over its launch into the mobile POS market. In October 2012, UK company Powa Technologies Group signed a deal with FNB to offer its mobile payment device in the country.

The device, mPowa, works by using a free mobile phone app and a reader, which connects to a smartphone or mobile device by plugging into its headphone socket or connecting via Bluetooth.

“We are in the final stages of certification and design and will soon be active with the product in the coming months,” the bank said in September, adding to that statement with the following: “The project is still in progress and there is no further update available.”

More on Absa

Absa explains mobile payment device delay

Absa intros mobile card payments for small business

FNB mobile payment device a step closer

Nedbank launches mobile POS service

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Absa Pebble in next pilot phase