Nedbank & Synthesis to enable contactless payments on Smartphones with AWS
By Delisha Fernandes
Nedbank, a South African bank, has integrated with Synthesis, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, to develop a software-based point-of-sale (POS) system.
The solution, built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), can be installed on smartphones without additional hardware. This allows single operators or small businesses to accept contactless payments easily.
“When we considered developing a SoftPOS payment solution, there were very few companies globally offering the capability,” said Roelien van Rooyen, functional lead for Emerging Innovation team at Nedbank. “We wanted to create a solution that was quick and easy to use, inexpensive, and met the needs of our clients.”
Using containers on AWS, the backend services can scale automatically without worrying about server infrastructure and maintenance. This improves app performance and means retailers can reliably and quickly accept buyer payments.
The two companies faced challenges in developing the technology to support a new way of accepting payments. “When we started this project, it was brand-new technology,” said Pierre Aurel, head of payments and cryptography at Synthesis. “At that time, very few companies globally had implemented this capability of tapping a card to pay on a mobile phone. And the major challenges were about how to securely make use of the NFC (near-field communication) component on the phone to communicate with a payment card, or another payment device, making use of a digital wallet.”
The entire backend of the SoftPOS system runs on AWS, with all transactions passing through AWS to Nedbank. The system uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which provides secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload, and Amazon Electric Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to start, run, and scale Kubernetes.
The project has helped Nedbank fulfil its commitment to helping small business clients. Making it easy and inexpensive for small and microbusinesses to accept debit and credit card payments lowers the barrier to entry for aspiring retailers in South Africa.
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