If you’re one of those who think about whether or not Apple Pay or Android Pay would ever become available in Nigeria and how they could make your shopping experiences painless, you’re not alone.
So when I learned of Access Bank’s PayWithCapture, a mobile payment app that enables individuals to make payments for products and services using a QR Code scanner from their mobile phones, it got me excited and enthusiastic about trying out the app.
The app, similar to Apple Pay, is available for Android, Blackberry 10, iOS and Windows Phone devices (coming soon), and lets you link several payment instruments such as MasterCard or VISA card, bank accounts and mobile money accounts, but only debits money for purchases you make from a funded account, even though the default account is not funded.
Upon downloading the app from the Google Play Store, the sign-up process would require a few details including your mobile number, name, a secret word, a 5-digit PIN (make sure to remember this PIN because you will need it to sign-in always), and a referral code (if any). You will also be required to select your bank — which could be any bank — as well as your account number.
Once you register, you’ll receive an SMS containing a 6-digit token which you’ll use to verify your account registration. You will also get 500 loyalty points which you can redeem for payments at all merchants locations and if you recommend someone to use the app using your referral code, you also get 250 loyalty points. Plus, if you make a payment using the app, you also get more loyalty points to redeem.
I found the sign-up process to be quick and easy, but upon signing into the app, it kept requesting for the 5-digit PIN used in the sign-up process after about 20 seconds of app inactivity, which I found irritating, although understandable due to security reasons.
With a marketplace where you can find various merchants such as airlines, restaurants and supermarkets, the app lets you pay for their services directly from your mobile phone, as well as buy mobile phone airtime (MTN, Airtel, Glo, Etisalat and Visafone subscribers only), event tickets such as the Access Bank-sponsored #MavinConcert, pay DStv bills and renew ISP services such as Smile 4G and Swift 4G LTE.
But perhaps one of the unique features of PayWithCapture is the ability to pay for goods and services by scanning a generated QR-Code either on a merchant’s website or at the checkout counter in a supermarket using the camera of your mobile device or using the NFC-Beacon Pay which automatically senses in-store Beacons.
While I haven’t attempted to pay for goods using this feature of the app, especially since the merchants listed aren’t stores I shop from on a regular basis, I’m excitedly looking forward to experience shopping with PayWithCapture as soon as I can. So far, I’ve been able to recharge my phone airtime several times using the app — after linking up my Access Bank account to the app — which has had a 100% success rate.
Meanwhile, setting up your payment method on the app isn’t that difficult. If you’re linking up your MasterCard or VISA card, simply input your card number, expiry month/year and the CVV, then proceed, although I opted for the bank account method which set up within seconds.
If you have a hardware token from your bank, this could come in handy for the linkup, although there’s the option to use an SMS token (6-digits), which you’ll receive fromPayWithCapture via SMS. For now, you won’t be able to add your mobile money wallets yet, so you’ll have to wait for this feature.
Once you’ve set up all your payment methods with as many cards and bank accounts you wish, you should be able to start making payments using the app either at the point of sale or from anywhere, even when you’re offline.
If you’re offline, the app will automatically detect that you don’t have a data connection and will request that you tap ‘Pay Offline’, and automatically send a pre-generated secure SMS on your behalf to pay for your product or service in real-time. But, you will need to have entered your 5-digit PIN in order to be able to do so. The app will then send an authorization and you will be notified by SMS once the transaction is successful.
I must say, all of these could sound like Sci-Fi until you actually try using the app to pay for stuff. And here comes the best part: you don’t need to own an iPhone 6 or any NFC-enabled device or stick an NFC tag to your device in order to use this app to make payments.
And you don’t have to wait for Apple Pay or Android Pay, because you canPayWithCapture now.
So say hello to the future of payments!