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Soon any kedai tepi jalan can accept NFC card payments

Business owners will be able to accept card payment via NFC using only their mobile phones with a new application called Fasstap. The application is aimed at small and cottage businesses that do not want to bear the additional cost of maintaining a normal credit card payment terminal. The application is developed by Soft Space — a Malaysian FinTech company providing online payment solutions in collaboration with MyDebit, Malaysia’s national debit scheme operated by Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Essentially, with Fasstap, your favourite goreng pisang seller will be able to accept NFC payments using only their mobile phone.

Fasstap works with NFC-enabled Android devices to accept and process card payments. At this moment, the system accepts MyDebit cards — which is to say almost all debit cards issued by local banks. The transactions will be done directly from your saving or current account. Besides that, the app eliminates the need for standard card point-of-sale (POS) terminals which is often too costly for small businesses to maintain in addition to having a number of requirements that are considered restrictive for low-volume or small-scale merchants. The initiative is targeted towards a large user base of debit cards holders who are already comfortable with using their debit cards to make payments.

“While NFC-based mobile payment application isn’t new, utilising the hardware-embedded security technology within the smartphone to enable secure PIN-entry and authorisation is a world’s first,” said Soft Space CEO, Joel Tay.

Powered by Soft Space’s very own “Made in Malaysia” technology, cashiers or storekeepers can just launch the Fasstap application on their smartphone, and within a few clicks, securely accept a MyDebit card payment. Fasstap can also process payments exceeding the RM250 threshold for contactless or wave payments because Fasstap facilitates secure PIN-entry and authorisation. At the moment, Fasstap is in pilot testing phase but Soft Space has not indicated when the app will be available to the public.

Currently, MyDebit’s transaction fees for businesses, or more commonly known as merchant discount rates (MDR), averages at 0.56% compared to an average of 1.33% for credit cards (according to the Bank Negara Malaysia Financial Stability and Payment System Report 2017). The lower transaction fee makes it more appealing for small businesses. Since it only requires an NFC enabled smartphone, there’s no need to invest in a POS terminal which can cost up to RM1,000.

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If the pilot phase is successful Fasstap has the potential to change the game for small and cottage business owners. Enabling secure NFC payments using off the shelf technology like from a mobile phone will make business transactions extremely convenient for both owners and consumers. This is something I’m really looking forward to try out for myself.

Do you find yourself using NFC to make payments more and more nowadays? Let us know in the comments below.