South African mobile-centric company Oltio, a joint venture company between Standard Bank Group and MTN, has been nominated for the Best Mobile Money Innovation for its switch platform payD in the annual GMSA Global Mobile awards.
payD, which was launched in 2011 removes a significant obstacle to the mainstream adoption of e-commerce in South Africa by transforming a user's mobile phone into a remote point of sale (POS) device. The technology is also used by Oltio parent company MTN for its Eazi Recharge pre-paid airtime top-up service that already has over 110,000 users.
The GSMA Global Mobile Awards are the most sought after in the global communications industry and more than 170 independent analysts, journalists, academics and subject matter experts throughout the world participated in the judging of the 2012 awards.
Says Oltio's head of new business development, Dave Parratt: "Just being nominated is an honour for us. It is recognition that our commitment to innovation and in particular, making e-commerce accessible to more South Africans, is paying off.
We believe that payD has the ability to fundamentally change how consumers conduct online transactions and the more than 170 merchants who are already working with us using this platform, agree.
Sugendhree Reddy, Director of Banking Products, Standard Bank South Africa, says: "As a result of the innovative technology offered by payD, more Standard Bank customers across the country are now able to transact online. Credit cards have become ubiquitous with online purchases.
"The problem with this is that the convenience and safety that online purchases offer have been confined to higher income customers who have access to online payment facilities. This has left many consumers out of the online transacting and purchasing loop. Students, vendors and casual workers, for instance, have the financial means and tools to make online purchases but have been excluded from this fast growing technology as they do not have access to a credit card.
"Those with debit cards are now included by making use of payD. They are able to transact by simply entering their PIN securely on their handset," says Mr Reddy.
Michael O'Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA, says: "Reflecting the intensity of competition and innovation across the mobile ecosystem, we saw a record 600 entries and an exceptionally high quality field of contenders vying for this year's Global Mobile Awards.
"It is a significant achievement to have made the shortlist, and our warmest congratulations go to all the nominees announced today. We look forward to the unveiling of the winners at the Mobile World Congress next month."
Judges for the Best Mobile Money Innovation category looked at the following elements in judging the nominations:
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