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Ezetap Expands To Kenya In Partnership With Equity Bank & MasterCard

AngelPrime incubated mobile point of sale (PoS) payments startup Ezetap has expanded its operations in Kenya, by launching its mobile POS solution in that country. The company has partnered with one of Kenya’s largest bank Equity Bank and MasterCard for this initiative.

Speaking to Medianama, Ezetap CEO Abhijit Bose told that this partnership will allow them gain significant number of customers in that region. However, he didn’t disclose the deal period or the financial details of this partnership.

How Does It Work?

Bose told that this mobile POS solution will operate in a similar fashion to its solution in India. Ezetap currently provides a POS solution in the country, which allows feature phones, smartphones and tablets to be converted into Point of Sale terminals, by plugging in a dongle-like accessory called Ezetap Card Reader. It also provides applications to go with the hardware.

Currently, Ezetap offers its POS solution in two variants – a free variant where merchants need to pay Rs 1,500 to purchase the dongle and pay the regular credit card transaction cost and a premium variant where Ezetap will provide customized solution to the merchant. Bose also declined to disclose the pricing of these devices in Kenya.

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Why A Credit Card Based mPOS solution in Kenya?

We are not quite sure as to why Ezetap would launch an mPOS solution that’s dependent on credit card in Kenya where mobile-phone based money transfer services like M-Pesa is more dominant than credit card or debit card based transfers.

M-Pesa allows users to deposit money into an account stored on their cell phones, to send balances using SMS technology to other users (including sellers of goods and services), and to redeem deposits for regular money. Users are charged a small fee for sending and withdrawing money using the service. M-Pesa works with limited bank involvements. Last November, Vodafone had launched its mobile money transfer and payment service ‘M-Pesa’ in India, in partnership with ICICI Bank.

Other developments

In January 2013, Ezetap had partnered with Citibank to launch a mobile payment solution merchants targeting credit and debit card holders in India. The partnership will offering merchants real time information during the payment and collection process, when customers transact using Ezetap. Citibank claims to have partnered with several companies including Shoppers Stop, Bajaj Allianz, Flipkart, BookMyShow and Vodafone to deploy this solution for payment and collection.

In December 2012, Yes Bank had launched a mobile point of sale (mPOS) which allowed GPRS enabled mobile phones to be converted into Point of Sale terminals. In September 2012, Payments solutions provider Oxigen had launched a Mini ATM device called OxiShaan which also acts as a mobile point of sale (PoS) terminal and can be used for utility services like Mobile recharges, DTH Recharges, and Merchant Payments among others.

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In July 2012, Axis Bank had partnered with Prizm Payments and Mswipe Technologies to launch an mPOS solution called Swipeon while the CDMA based mobile operator, MTS India, had also launched its own mobile point of sale device called MTS mPOS which can be attached to MTS mobiles for mobile transactions.

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