Digital payments surge as consumers, retailers accelerate adoption

FNB digital payments
FNB says Scan-to-Pay and Tap-to-Pay functionality on its app recorded the highest month-on-month usage growth in August 2020. Image supplied

The accelerating rate at which retail merchants are enabling consumers to pay digitally at point of sale is fueling the growth of digital payments in South Africa.

This is according to FNB, which revealed that its Scan-to-Pay and Tap-to-Pay functionality on the FNB App recorded the highest month-on-month usage growth in August 2020 since launch. 

The bank said that month-on-month transaction volumes on Scan-to-Pay grew by 36% in August while values increased by 39%. Similarly, month-on-month usage of Tap-to-Pay functionality increased by 48% with values growing by 54%. Scan-to-Pay enables users to scan a QR Code to make secure payments at a physical point of sale or on an online merchant website using the FNB App.

Tap-to-Pay allows users to pay for goods by simply tapping their smart phone to pay at a point of sale while relying on the security of the FNB App.

Raj Makanjee, Chief Executive of FNB Retail and Private Banking, said the insights were consistent with the 28% increase in FNB App usage volumes that was reported for the previous financial year. This was also in line with customer behaviour shifting towards contactless in general, as customers realise the convenience and security benefits with contactless card transactions at Point of Sale (POS) growing month-on-month at 16.4%.

“Digital payments have received a significant boost over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as more consumers and retailers are embracing the need for safety and efficiency. Digital payment methods are equally important for consumers because people can be less reliant on cash and cards by choosing to pay using their cellphone. In our case, this affords our customers the added safety of using a trusted and secure platform of our FNB App,” Makanjee said.

Jason Viljoen, Head of FNB Digital Payments said while there were efficiencies in paying digitally and a number of options to choose from, consumers needed to be very cautious of using third-party online payment platforms which requires them to provide their online banking username and password login credentials to pay via instant EFT. 

“These highly sensitive and confidential credentials should only be used on the bank’s app or online banking webpage, as any compromise could result in a life changing fraud event. We always recommend that our customers use secure online payment methods, such as Scan-to-Pay via the FNB App or by paying with their bank card, to ensure their financial security.”

Viljoen said one of the core security and convenience benefits of using Scan-to-Pay for online shopping is that one doesn’t need to capture any details to make payments. Customers simply select the relevant QR code payment option on the website and scan the presented QR code. Scan-to-Pay via the FNB App works seamlessly with most payment QR code options, including Masterpass and Payfast. –