At Mobile World Congress today, MasterCard announced a collaboration with Equity Bank to introduce mobile point-of-sale technology to Kenya. The service will be implemented in partnership with mPOS provider Ezetap.

"Our collaboration with Equity Bank and Ezetap to introduce this innovative technology to Kenya will help businesses and retailers boost sales through broadened acceptance," said Daniel Monehin, division president of MasterCard Sub-Saharan Africa. "The MasterCard mPOS solution will allow Kenyan retailers who previously operated on a cash-only-basis to use mobile phones as point-of-sale terminals and accept electronic payments."

The Ezetap solution includes three components: a mobile phone, an mPOS card reader payment application and an Ezetap mPOS card reader that plugs into a merchant's mobile handset. The card reader allows the retailer to swipe debit, credit or prepaid cards.

An mPOS pilot project (initially announced in January as a strategic alliance between Equity Bank and MasterCard to issue 5 million cards) will target selected merchant retail outlets. Data collected during the pilot will allow Equity to implement a more in-depth countrywide rollout of the Ezetap MPOS solution, which will be available to merchants with transaction volumes of less than $100,000.

"MPOS has the potential to transform payments in emerging markets," said Abhijit Bose, CEO of Ezetap. "However, our experience in other markets has shown that technology is only half the battle. To be fully successful, you need a strong set of partners, like MasterCard and Equity Bank, who truly understand the needs and concerns of the local merchants and consumers."

The Ezetap solution has been operational in India for several months. It is compliant with global Payment Card Industry and Payment Application Data Security Standards.

Read more about POS.

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