Nedbank has developed a customisable “order ahead” solution that will enable merchants to provide fully integrated digital payment solutions to their customers.
Working with development partner Ovations, Nedbank Emerging Payments has created the order ahead solution to allow customers to order items from an application hosted on their smart device or from a browser, and then collect the item later. The application is directly linked to the bank’s secure digital wallet payment solution, so as soon as an order is collected, the linked account is debited – much in the same way the consumer would engage with a digital service like Uber.
“Mobility is shaping personal experiences. This is why we at Nedbank have opted to develop an innovative mobile payment solution, and can today offer existing clients looking to embrace mobile, or those who want to deploy a mobile-first business model, a working, fully integrated payment and ordering solution to service the digital savvy customer,” says Chris Wood, head of Nedbank Emerging Payments.
“The development of this application echoes what we are seeing amongst the new-generation consumer, where digital innovations are driving the customer away from cash based transactions. Consumers today are looking for smart solutions that offer them an improved customer experience coupled with simplicity, all of which can be done from the device of their choosing. It is a trend that merchants need to start preparing themselves for and we (Nedbank) want to be sure we can help our customers make that transition when they are ready,” Wood adds.
The order ahead application has been piloted with Nedbank merchant Europa for more several months. The system is being run daily from one of its Sandton stores and is able to take in application orders, process in-application payments and push specials and new menu items to customers making use of the service. Furthermore it is linked to beacon technology that alerts the in-store staff of the customer’s movements, forewarning them when the client is nearby or when they have entered the store to collect their order.
The system is fully integrated into the secure Nedbank payment gateway and can be tailored to the exact needs of each retailer, merchant or customer who has a business model that call for mobile digital payments.
“Nedbank has not only recognised that the consumer landscape is changing, but have opted to be in a position where they can offer their customers a working digital payment solution when they are ready to make the transition,” says Craig Leppan, director of business development at Ovations. “The application of the technology is vast. A merchant can drive specials through their application, tailor it for seasonal and promotional changes, as well as create a loyalty system for customers using it.
“It is the type of application that will enable merchants and retailers to start changing the behaviour of their customers by giving them the value they crave.”
In addition to the pure development of the application, Nedbank and Ovations have also created a module that enables the application to link into traditional point of sale (POS) systems. Wood acknowledges that integration into POS solutions often requires some heavy lifting, but there are ways in which to ensure that a digital payment solution can run alongside these traditional applications, should there be a requirement on the customer’s behalf.
“Going mobile, whether it be the consumer making use of an application or a retailer adopting it as an acceptance payment mechanism, is not a quick change to make,” Wood says. “Mobile applications and solutions don’t just take off overnight, but they are the future. As more consumers get used to, and comfortable with the notion of leaving their wallets at home, so mobile payment applications will become more pervasive.
“At Nedbank we want to be sure that we have a working solution in place so that a customer who wants to embrace this type of technology, can do so with us as partners in their growth,” he adds.