In Kenya there are players in the payments, and then there is the rest. At the top, we have the banks themselves with their PDQ machines, where individual banks process payments via debit and credit cards at supermarkets, and Mpesa battling for top spot. Of course cash is still king and queen of payments in Kenya. And everyone wants to take on cash.
Naivas on Tuesday 3rd October launched their payment system to be used by all their retail stores called Naivas Pay. The product which includes a PDQ point of sale machine and Naivas internal retail software will accept cash, debit and credit cards, and mobile money (Mpesa, Telkom Kenya’s mobile money and Eazzypay).
The integrator is Interswitch who have enabled Naivas accept most payment methods available to Kenyans, including the old fashioned and new payment options. How customers interface with payments include chip and pin for debit and credit payments, SIM toolkit push for Mpesa payments via API that only requires a shopper to input their phone number on the PDQ machine prompting Mpesa PIN, and QR codes for several other payment methods, all live at the moment.
This will mean that with Naivas Pay, the retail chain could easily do away with traditional point of sales devices, Lipa na Mpesa and even Mpesa 1Tap that just hit the market and effectively serve all customers with their preferred payment mode. This payments processing style has only been implemented by MobiTill previously, but Naivas and Interswitch say they are the first to do things this way in Kenya and East Africa.
Naivas also gets to reduce the cost of payments processing by using Interswitch as their payments integrator as the switching is local.
This means that there won’t be forex charges as has been the case because the point of sale solutions existing switch internationally. Naivas will thus reduce the costs from 2 percent transaction cost to below 1 percent, a plus for them.
Another plus for Naivas is that since all data flows through one system, reconciliation is easier than several payments processors. Naivas also gets to collect customer data and understand them as they shop. The kind of data they will collect include frequency of shopping, shopping locations, type of products and payment methods. In Kenya, we barely collect customer data to understand behaviours and use the same to innovate and serve them better. This is a good direction for Naivas.
This customer data will be used by Naivas when they hit the road with ecommerce which they intend to do on November 26th with the full product catalogue in the supermarkets. 11000 different products that will also be available for home delivery. Naivas is in talks with a delivery partner that they wont mention at the moment to do customer deliveries.