Absa's new vertical card. The new service enables customers to enjoy a fast, easy and secure way to pay for goods and services by tapping their Absa Cards on a point of sale (POS) machine, after which the transaction is completed.

Absa Bank Kenya has rolled out contactless payment solution with the launch of a new vertical card. The move is aligned to the bank’s growth and transformation strategy with the aim to enhance customer experience.

The new service enables customers to enjoy a fast, easy and secure way to pay for goods and services by tapping their Absa Cards on a point of sale (POS) machine, after which the transaction is completed. This solution allows for quick check out at retail outlets such as fuel stations, supermarkets and restaurants among others.

Speaking about this new payment solution, Absa Managing Director Jeremy Awori said, “delivering a differentiated customer experience and innovative solutions that bring possibilities to life for the customers community remains at the core of our growth, transformation and business strategy. We are excited to roll out the Absa contactless -tap & pay service in Kenya, which is an easier and safer way for our customers to do their transactions.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of digital money systems thus making digital payments critical. With the worldwide outbreak of the virus and the necessary mitigation measures set by the government, use of digital payments has accelerated and the bank continues to encourage customers to use contactless payment channels.

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“In many ways, this move is expected to boost digital payment acceptance at small informal enterprises and merchant outlets across the country, while supporting consumers’ preference for contactless payments amidst social distancing and upholding set COVID-19 guidelines.” said Mr. Awori.

Despite these challenges, the bank continues to pioneer financial innovations, constantly pushing the boundaries of technology in a bid to offer differentiated customer experience.

Other than speed and convenience, the Absa contactless cards use the same secure technology as traditional Chip and PIN. A customer can perform a maximum of 4 contactless transactions without keying in their PIN per day after which they will be automatically asked for a PIN for any other contactless transactions. However, a PIN is required for any transactions above KES 2,000. In addition, the contactless technology requires a cashier to initiate the payment on their system before a transaction on a customer card can take place.

The increase in digitization and consumer preference for innovative payment systems like mobile payments, are one of the most significant factors boosting the contactless payment market. Additionally, with cash no longer being king, there is a niche to be filled with the growing appetite for contactless payment solutions that prevent cash handling.

The introduction of the contactless cards is the latest in a series of highly innovative technology advanced products that Absa plans to spearhead this year as it aligns to the new normal.

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