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Smartel pushes for cashless transactions


Bereng Mpaki

SMARTEL Money, a local mobile money service provider says the market must embrace cashless transactions to limit the spread of Covid-19 through handling cash.

The company’s My Wallet mobile money platform was introduced to the market in May 2019 following the licensing of the company as mobile money issuer by the Central Bank of Lesotho.

Managing director of the company, Nchai Nchai, said the platform offers users a wide range of financial services that include sending and withdrawing money; paying bills; buying electricity and airtime among others.

He said the platform is suitable for the public to use since handling physical cash has been identified as one of the ways in which Covid-19 can be transmitted from one person to another.

“The government has set forth a direction to use digital payment services as a means of reducing the risk of spreading the virus,” Mr Nchai said.

“We are therefore, heeding the call by advising the general public to use our platform to fight the virus.”

He said the platform is intended to deepen financial inclusion by catering for all social classes. The system is user friendly with just a few steps needed to complete a transaction.

He said the system is also able to generate a QR code which can be scanned to process a payment for goods bought at a merchant.

“Customers can access the service by downloading the application software from the internet then registering using either of the two local mobile network providers and uploading money to start transacting.

Once registered, Mr Chai said, users can also transact without being in possession of their cellphone.

“A registered user can transact at an agent or merchant without being in possession of their cellphone. All they will do is to punch in their log in details to access their account.”

He said since they started operating in 2019, the company has over 100 agents in seven of the country’s 10 districts and is now in a quest for more agents.

He said their agents also benefit by generating income from their intermediary role.

“As an agent, you can make money by helping people send and receive money, selling airtime and electricity.”

Mr Nchai said the company also offers a wide range of business management systems that cater for their needs from the smallest of businesses such as street vendors to the corporates.

Their target market includes individuals, institutions, organisations, multi-industry sectors and the government whom they hope to provide with cutting edge, fresh and innovative financial management systems.

“We also aim to improve the quality of cloud computing and interaction between computers and people to achieve their specific task.”

The Smartel Money customers and services include retail banking, individuals, insurance agents, retail grocery, retail clothing, retail cell phone services and utility services among others.

These include checkout services such as the Smartel Money Point of sales system (sPOS); the Smartel Money Mobile point of sales systems (smPOS). These systems have access to the Smartel Money central engine for processing payments.

“Businesses owners can finally give true convenience to customers by using My Wallet as a contactless payment option. They can also take advantage of our free business tools which include, point of sale, human resource management, and customer relationship management,” Mr Nchai said.

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