E-commerce is a digital marketplace with its own rules for procuring goods and services. Craig Duggan, Head of Commercial at Transaction Junction says the need to ensure confidence in the security and privacy of these transactions has resulted in legislation that tightly regulates and often restricts e-commerce and innovation. The convergence between the online and in-store world requires that the payment experience be seamless and consumer friendly.

He says regulation is the biggest hurdle in an agile innovation environment. “The intention of e-commerce regulatory policies is to create a structure for transaction processing so that there is no chaos or confusion, while the protection of the consumer remains sacrosanct.” However, while the intention cannot be faulted, the theoretical application does not always support the practical application of e-commerce or consider the customer experience, making it difficult for the payments industry to innovate.

As a result, businesses are confined to operating within a box of limitations where banks are empowered to be the sole gatekeepers of the payment process. Duggan says the regulatory framework in this country creates a system of control for the banks, whereby digital payment systems are narrowed to enable them to squeeze through the gateway. This often negates the advantages they are seeking to provide. Measures are slowly being introduced to help speed up innovation in this space in South Africa, but the fact remains that a payments system – that was the envy of many all over the world – has stagnated and not been adequately positioned to adapt to the rapid changes taking place around us today.

“The way in which the local financial system is designed, enables banks to leverage regulations and technology, placing them in a position to determine under what circumstances new solutions or market entrants can participate in the National Payment System,” says Duggan. As a participant in the National Payment System, the regulatory framework insists that one needs a banking license or sponsor bank to operate, which often limits the ability to leverage more efficient processes. 

The current regulations are ineffectual for business models that must cater for the ever-changing needs of today’s demanding consumers, merchants, and tech-savvy market participants. Duggan considers PayPal, for example, was sublicensed by a major bank in South Africa – which then made it complicated and, in many ways, impractical when it was launched in South Africa. PayPal is designed exactly to what the customer needs: quick, seamless, and convenient. The reason for PayPal being unsuccessfully applied in South Africa to date is due to the inflexible stance of ‘what’s in it for me?’. Other examples are SnapScan and Zapper that find themselves constrained as market innovators and their only path to continued success is further bank involvement or even ownership. “Given so much control, you simply cannot operate without banks, and unless banks are open to exploring new, refreshing ways of doing business, the industry will continue to suffer,’’ says Duggan.

Primarily recognising financial or commercial regulation prohibitors will positively mobilise change. The question “how do we drive transparency?” comes into play. “Collaboration is key, it’s time to draw a line in the sand; stakeholders need to urgently identify what is relevant and required to collectively lower the barriers of entry into the e-commerce marketplace, he says. The integrity and stability of the payments system requires stakeholders to recognise the fine balance between regulation, control and innovation.”


Transaction Junction (TJ) focuses on the digital payments journey, using technology and innovation to enhance the overall customer experience.

TJ is a business-enablement transaction platform that delivers digital payment solutions to suit the needs of businesses across diverse markets, while ensuring that the regulatory requirements are taken care of.

TJ provides services that encompass every level of touchpoint in the payment chain, ensuring that payments are delivered at the point of sale (POS) securely and timeously. TJ solutions provide retailers with the flexibility they need when it comes to choosing the financial services provider, digital product ranges and end-user devices they require.

TJ consistently delivers innovations via the introduction of new technologies, payment types and economies of scale, all positively influencing the integrity of the overall transaction flow.


Craig Duggan

(+27) 076 547 4937


Transaction Junction in partnership with Efficacy Payments, a local fintech founded to displace cash in formal and informal retail environments, has developed a new service that enables customers to make cash deposits directly into their bank accounts at any store till point.

The solution is called Deposit @ Till and after a successful rollout to Pick n Pay stores, is now being deployed in a further rollout to include all Pick n Pay’s Boxer outlets.

Currently, customers from ten banks can make use of Deposit @ Till with the remaining banks being brought on board in due course.

Customers only need to bring their Visa or MasterCard bank card and the cash they wish to deposit to any Pick n Pay or Boxer till point.

Says Craig Duggan, head of Commercial at Transaction Junction, “We are proud to be the technology and innovation lead, and to have worked with the Pick n Pay team, including key role players such as Visa, MasterCard and Bankserv on this project.”

“Customers benefit by effecting real-time deposits directly into their bank accounts when authenticated by their bank card at the point of service. The exponential increase in deposit taking capabilities for banks comes without the need to invest in expensive infrastructure, benefiting from innovations in authentication and transaction processing led by the Transaction Junction design team.”

According to Richard van Rensburg, chief information officer at Pick n Pay, this is another step towards making banking services more accessible and convenient for customers, anywhere in South Africa.

Says Duggan, “Transaction Junction is working hard to create more efficient ways of transacting. This is the first step in lowering the costs of doing business, while making the national payments system more accessible and increasingly relevant to the general public. Working with Efficacy Payments enabled us to put these building blocks in place to steadily make available a dynamic range of products and services, changing the way we think about payments.”

With several exciting initiatives on the cards, the partnership between Transaction Junction and Efficacy Payments is perfectly poised to alter the transaction processing landscape in a significant way.

Reference: https://lnkd.in/dBm7ZEw

About: Transaction Junction is a business-enablement transaction platform that delivers digital payment solutions to suit the needs of businesses across diverse markets.
Visit: https://transactionjunction.co.za

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In the restaurant industry, the importance of good customer service is balanced by the need to ensure the customer can easily pay for their meal at the end of their experience – and these two areas inevitably converge at the point-of-sale (PoS).

When the South African Nando’s business embarked on a journey to implement new PoS devices, there were specific requirements from the financial sector that had to be met regarding the implementation of integrated cards, as well as critical issues around security. For the former, the key requirement was that whoever supplied the new PoS devices needed to be an Oracle partner, while with the latter, the demands were focused around the protection of customer data.

Nando’s is a South African restaurant chain co-founded in 1987 in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenville by Fernando Duarte and Robert Brozin. The business specialises in Afro-Portuguese food and is particularly renowned for its flame grilled PERi-PERi chicken. Today, the company operates well over 1,200 outlets across 23 countries.

Change is good

According to Daniel Harmse, Casa Technology Manager, responsible for IT in the Nando’s SA restaurants, when a company like Nando’s works with a payment partner – whose role is to ensure that payments are delivered at the PoS securely and timeously – tight integration is required. After all, he explains, this third party provides middleware connecting the restaurant’s PoS platform to the relevant financial services provider. This, in turn, enables end-customers to undertake quick and easy transactions while ensuring a simple financial reconciliation between the bank and the store.

“We chose Transaction Junction, which is a business-enablement platform that delivers innovative solutions that provide the link between the end-customer, the restaurant and the bank facilitating the transaction. What sets them apart is the fact that they are both bank-and device-agnostic. This meant we had flexibility both in terms of the financial services provider utilised and the end-user devices we chose for our stores.”

The service offering as well as the ease of access reporting system was some of the factors for Nando’s to move to Transaction Junction. In addition, he continues, the single biggest deciding factor was the need for the payment processor to be an Oracle partner – This was required for the new Point of Sale which was to be installed in the near future.

“Once we had studied the Transaction Junction offering, which encompasses not only the technology and bank agnosticism already mentioned, as well as good software and a strong reporting functionality, we quickly began trialing the system in a few selected stores for a period of about nine months. This test provided us with a lot of clarity around the system’s benefits, and so we began rolling it out to the majority of stores at the beginning of 2019.”

New features

Harmse points out that Transaction Junction also added new features to the solution, including a reporting functionality that provides real-time reporting on transactions, which neither stores nor the company’s finance department had access to before.

“In the past, a store that received a query on a transaction had to take this to the service provider and then wait for a response. With the new solution, individual stores now have direct access to the system, using secure log-ins to ensure that the customer data remains secure.”

“Transaction Junction also offers mobile integrated cards, a facility that ensures that when payment is made by card, it can only register as such. In the past, non-integrated card payments required the cashier to choose between a cash and a card payment, and if they accidentally pressed cash, it could cause difficulties during cash up. However, with the integrated set-up, the card is only activated after the ‘card’ button on the PoS device is pressed, eliminating errors and at the same time acting as a barrier against fraud.”

“Integrated cards also talk directly to the bank in real-time, which means that if the customer has no funds in the account, or the card is stolen, it immediately informs the device, which will then refuse to allow the transaction to go through. This is a huge step forward from the non-integrated cards, where any issue would only be discovered at the end of the day, when the transactions were processed after closing time.”

He adds that Transaction Junction also offers two types of PoS device – one that uses a store’s WiFi to connect, and another that uses 3G connectivity, and is thus ideal for deliveries. With deliveries being a large market, both in SA and across the globe, this is functionality that is increasingly sought after by restaurants.

Tackling the challenges

There were inevitably a few snags during the implementation phase, he continues. This caused several teething problems and meant that Transaction Junction had to jump in and assist in those situations.

“The challenge for us as Nando’s was that some snags were only discovered during the roll out to the corporate estate of stores and were going to be both complex and time-consuming to solve. This had the potential to create havoc with our systems, so we were especially pleased that Transaction Junction chose to tweak its own software for us, to solve these difficulties as quickly as possible. This, I believe demonstrates that what we have is a genuine partnership. As Nando’s our partners all go to great lengths to work with us, here Transaction Junction also showed they were prepared to go to the lengths they did, to ensure that the system works optimally for us.”

One of the other challenges was that of employee resistance, but he adds that this was to be expected, since it is human nature to not want to switch to something new when you are comfortable with what you know.

“It goes without saying that once the system was in place and the reporting functionality came to the fore with its ability to provide immediate access to transactions, employees quickly grew to appreciate it.”

The future is bright

“There have been numerous benefits for Nando’s. Not only do we receive an excellent level of service from Transaction Junction, but the regular security updates they provide are crucial, particularly with news about hacking and cybercrime prevalent in today’s headlines. Transaction Junction also has made inroads into security certifications, which gives us greater peace of mind.”

Harmse also points to the mobile integrated cards as offering a massive benefit, as it makes cash ups quicker and simpler and decreases the potential for fraud and theft. Productivity is increased due to having to balance fewer errors and the reporting functionality means that it is a simple matter to check past or current transactions, so in the case of, for example a refund query, this can be undertaken quickly and easily.

He adds that although it is difficult to gauge whether it has improved customer satisfaction, the fact is customers in any industry are always quick to point out if they are unhappy, and there seems to be very little noise from a customer perspective. This is important, he says, as customer satisfaction is Nando’s’ number one priority.

“I am especially excited about the potential that the integrated mobile cards offer, as reducing the amount of time a manager or cashier takes to close things off, means they instead have more time to focus on looking after our customers.”

Craig Duggan, Head of Commercial at Transaction Junction, says. “We are proud to be associated with the Nando’s brand and pleased that our technology proved itself successfully in a large food and beverage deployment. Working with Oracle to provide a fully certified OPI Solution into Micros and now Simphony, means that we are able to work according to our customers’ requirements, providing them with both a technological as well as commercial edge.”

“Nando’s knows what they need, are able to express their requirements, and the flexibility in our technology stack enables us to exceed expectations. We are continuously working on new and innovative ways of being able to ensure digital payment acceptance in all areas of their business.”

“Our investment in the areas of P2PE, as well as technology, means that Transaction Junction brings quality solutions to merchants without adding additional and unnecessary hardware and communications overheads to their environments,” Duggan concludes.

The desire for cashless transactions – driven by the ongoing fear of COVID-19 infection – is as prevalent in the informal sector as anywhere else. What is needed is a way to make these a reality.

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the world we live in. Moreover, with the most optimistic estimations suggesting a vaccine is only likely in 18-24 months, we are all going to have to learn to live with it. This means new, safer ways of doing things, including transacting. Since one of the keys to living in an infected world is to avoid touching surfaces that may be contaminated – the way we pay – using either physical money or punching keypads for card payments – will have to change.

“We have already seen a huge demand for new ways of doing things,” says Craig Duggan, Commercial Head at Transaction Junction. “For example, there is an increasing clamour for the customer to be able to choose their payment option, with many seeking ways to make contactless payments without having to manually enter a PIN. The consumer will be at the forefront of driving innovation as their requirements and needs change and are influenced by the current pandemic.”

“The real challenge this global crisis brings to the fore is not so much how to enable such payments for the large and sophisticated retailers, but rather how to achieve the same for the informal sector.”

Duggan believes this is a market space that desperately needs innovation, to enable informal traders to also operate as cashless businesses. In South Africa especially, the informal sector is huge, and a lot of key transactions occur in this space. The current crisis, of course, is such that these people are just as hesitant as anyone else to touch money that has been handled by other people.

“If we are to improve cashless transacting in the informal sector, there are certain challenges that need to be overcome. For one, the complexity of electronic payments compared to those of cash will inevitably make a certain percentage of this market nervous.”

“Secondly, electronic payments lack the speed of cash payments, while many are also worried about the perceived insecurity of electronic payments when compared to the reliability of cash. Perhaps most critical of all, the perceived cost of electronic payments, and their attendant devices, is a huge concern for informal traders.”

Duggan indicates that educating this market around the realities of electronic payments, as opposed to the many inaccurate perceptions many have of it, is the first step. Making devices affordable and easy to use – something that is already happening – is also vital.

“While the current pandemic is causing untold chaos on a global scale, it has also focused our attention on how we can effectively introduce electronic payments into this arena. It has certainly made it clear that between the obvious health benefits of avoiding cash that has passed through a multitude of hands, and the economic benefits of bringing informal businesses into the formal economy, the sooner the payments industry and its partners are able to enable cashless transacting for these players, the better,” he concludes.


Transaction Junction focuses on the digital payments journey, using technology and innovation to enhance the overall customer experience.

TJ is a business-enablement transaction platform that delivers digital payment solutions to suit the needs of businesses across diverse markets, while ensuring that the regulatory requirements are taken care of.

TJ provides services that encompass every level of touchpoint in the payment chain, ensuring that payments are delivered at the point of sale (PoS) securely and timeously. TJ solutions provide retailers with the flexibility they need when it comes to choosing the financial services provider, digital product ranges and end-user devices they require.

TJ consistently delivers innovations via the introduction of new technologies, payment types and economies of scale, all positively influencing the integrity of the overall transaction flow.



Craig Duggan: +27 0 76 547 4937


The world is currently facing a global crisis – but the good news is that the one thing people are exceptional at is turning adversity into innovation.

There is no doubt that the world is currently dealing with an extreme situation that is both unique and terrifying. However, in this time of adversity, it should be remembered that the more extreme the situation, the more likely it is to fast track new developments.

A good example here, says Craig Duggan, Commercial Head at Transaction Junction, is how the Second World War saw the aircraft industry evolve from biplanes to jet planes in the course of seven years. “Bearing in mind how adversity usually brings out the best in humanity, I believe the current global crisis will ultimately drive innovation and development,” he says.

Duggan suggests that the rise of Zoom and other online platforms as a facilitator of remote meetings shows how, when there is a high demand for something – in this case remote meetings, to enable work to still take place -beneficial tools are developed and advanced to meet this demand.

“The same holds true for the payments industry. The fear of infection and the concerns over touching surfaces is quickly driving demand for payment choices to shift from being owned by the store, to instead being driven by the customer. This is because it is the customer running the biggest risk in touching unknown surfaces, which is why we have seen a huge uptick in demand for new options like contactless payments with no PIN.”

“Obviously fraud is always something we have to consider, which is why we need to find other ways of linking the customer’s identity to their card, beyond the standard PIN. This is where the innovation comes in, and there are new technologies being rapidly developed to achieve this. For one, there is the concept of paying via QR code, while another is to use facial recognition technology to allow customers to pay for their purchases.”

Of course, he continues, many retailers currently do not enable QR code-based payments, simply because they are charged more by the bank for such purchases. So the answer here is for the industry to work with the financial services sector to bring the cost of mobile-based payments in line with those of card-based ones, in order to see such payments take off.

“As for the introduction of something like facial recognition technology, all that is required here is a payments platform that is robust and agile enough to cope with new circumstances and the rapid introduction of additional payment methods. The real litmus test of a platform, ultimately, is the capability it delivers for innovation in the face of adversity,” concludes Duggan.

New trends in the payment space, coupled with a growing realisation that the retail experience today is driven by the consumer, will be among the drivers for significant change in this market space.

By Craig Duggan, Commercial Manager at Transaction Junction

As we move into 2020, a date which replaced the year 2000 in many science-fiction writers’ quivers, it is worth looking at what kind of change we can expect as their ‘future’ becomes our ‘present’. While it is difficult trying to predict the future, it is also worth remembering that new things are seldom dreamed up and invented on the fly – there is usually a long development road first. Therefore, while this road is certainly becoming shorter, if we consider where we have come from and where we are now, we can begin to infer certain key trends for the near future.

In the e-commerce sector, from both a shopping and a payment point of view, the use of mobile phones for these purposes is only going to go from strength to strength. After all, mobile shopping is already being widely embraced, as it essentially means users have a virtual shopping mall in their pocket.

Mobile devices are unique in that they operate well within the e-commerce model yet work equally well in a brick and mortar retail environment. The use of a phone as a means of making a payment at the till is mostly fuelled by the convenience factor it offers. After all, people often lose wallets, but they take much greater care of their mobiles, as their lives revolve around these devices.

Naturally, as we head further outside the metros, we see less use of this technology, but thanks to the use of QR codes and Near Field Communications (NFC) – what is called ‘tap and go’ technology – consumers in these areas are now becoming more comfortable with this technology. This is partly influenced by the fact that holiday makers have headed into these areas, the demand for it has grown, along with its acceptance.

In fact, the financial services sector and the payments industry need to continue working together to drive this forward. Remember that the retail experience today is driven by the consumer, and these organisations must be prepared to accept whatever payment method the customer wants to use, while at the same time assuring the retailer that they will be paid.

Another trend that will become more visible this year is what we refer to as hyper-personalisation. This is when fintechs are able to leverage the huge amounts of available data related to a consumer, in order to drive insights to help businesses to gain a better understanding of their customers. As more and more data becomes available – from areas like social media, financial transactions and even browser history – this will be coupled to artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to enable a personalised customer engagement that delivers them real time information.

A classic example is a consumer who fills up at a petrol station. The AI can determine from previous purchases that the consumer loves coffee and can inform them of the specials available at the garage’s own coffee shop. Previously associated mostly with online shopping, 2020 should see this trend entering the omni-channel space.

The Internet of Things (IoT), of course, goes together with the collaboration between fintechs, the banks and the payment facilitators. Together this creates a more powerful entity, as it significantly increases the amount of data that can be leveraged to improve the consumer experience.

Of course, no insight into future trends would be complete without mentioning Blockchain which, although it’s been around for some time, should grow significantly in 2020. We will witness an increasing number of organisations playing around with the technology and learning about it, as from a regulatory viewpoint, there is much interest in what it can offer.

Blockchain is ideal for the delivery of smart contracts, digital payments and even identity management, making it immensely powerful in combating fraud and the efficient use of Blockchain will be at the forefront of creating a far more secure transaction process. Thus, we will see increasing implementations, of this and as it gains momentum, it will move away from being something spoken of in hushed tones – as if it is something only a Bond villain would use – and into the mainstream.

In 2020 retailers will continue to expand the convenient payment services in-store, as an increasing number of common layers are forged between retailers and the financial sector in respect of consumers. Something like airtime, after all, can today be purchased at a retailer, but also via a banking application. This is a service common to both, that is simply offered through different channels.

It is this commonality that is driving the growing collaboration between these entities; a way to ensure the rich layer of experience continues to exist for customers, wherever they are. We are now at the point where there is a focus on making it easier for the consumer to transact, combined with an understanding that the customer is common to both sides. Of course, the leaders here will then be the businesses that are able to distinguish themselves via the richness of their approach and the delivery of an exceptional customer experience.

As an organisation that focuses on the digital payments journey, using technology and innovation to enhance the overall customer experience, Transaction Junction relishes the huge retail trading period that starts with Black Friday and ends with Christmas.

A maturing sector and consumer base, coupled with advances in technology and better collaboration from industry players, saw this year’s massive sales go off virtually without a hitch. That’s according to Craig Duggan, Commercial Head at Transaction Junction, a fintech company that specialises in digital payment solutions for the future.

The original reference to ‘Black Friday’, coined around 70 years ago, referred to the practice of US workers calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving, in order to have a four-day weekend. Although the focus has since shifted onto retail sales and bargains, the thought of any electronic failures on this day – in terms of devices, tills or the software enabling transactions – can still leave many feeling sick to their stomachs.

What is interesting about Black Friday, says Duggan, is that even in today’s era of instant gratification, many people are prepared to wait several months to buy, for example, a new TV, in order to take advantage of the specials on offer. Add to this the fact that an increasing number of retailers ran their specials over the entire week, he continues, and it is no surprise to learn that this November was the record transaction processing month – in terms of both value and volume – in Transaction Junction’s history.

“As a business-enablement platform that provides services that encompass every level of touchpoint in the digital payments chain, Transaction Junction’s focus is to ensure that payments are delivered at the point-of-sale securely and timeously. We believe that we achieved this significant goal this year,” he says.

“We processed close to 40 million additional transactions in 2019, when compared to 2018. Last year, we processed approximately 136 million transactions in November, while this year the total was some 174 million. Despite the growth in volume, the question ‘can our systems cope?’ was never raised, because as the electronic payment enabler, our systems are designed with massive events like these in mind. As such, even during peak Black Friday traffic, we only reached around 30% of our capacity.”

Thanks to this, Duggan says that Black Friday could be described as a red-letter day for Transaction Junction. He adds that this could not be a more perfect start to the festive shopping season.

“Of course, to put our capabilities into perspective, it is worth considering exactly how busy the 2019 Black Friday actually was. Although our systems were geared for the massive influx of transactions and thus experienced no problems, the fact remains that Transaction Junction recorded a 400% increase in transactions on the day. At its peak, it was recording between 440 and 450 transactions per second (TPS), while the average for the day came in at over 100 TPS.”

Transaction Junction, while not a customer-facing company, is aware that any issue with its systems will have a significantly negative impact on partners, retailers and banks. The company has a responsibility to ensure it implements the right strategy and technologies to protect its customers’ brands and reputations.

Duggan believes that there were several keys to this year’s successful Black Friday trading. Firstly, he points out that the key players, both in retail and financial services, developed a pre-emptive ‘war-room’ to determine exactly what systems and technologies were in place, to share information around potential pitfalls that were noticed, to identify where weaknesses still exist and to clearly understand what to do in a situation where something does fail.

“More than this, I believe that consumers themselves are generally more digitally mature than they were just a few years ago. Thanks to the increased maturity from both sides, and the realisation that you can always be more effective in stressful situations when you are all collaborating and sharing information, Black Friday was anything but black,” says Duggan.

He says the industry can look back on this one and congratulate itself on how well it worked together and collaborated, as well as how it learned from earlier mistakes and challenges. The key was the significant planning beforehand and the effort from all industry players who worked together to ensure that no customer was inconvenienced.

“We are pleased with the part we played in the overall transaction chain during this period. We look forward to fulfilling the same, unrecognised role in facilitating electronic payment transactions throughout the rest of the Festive Season. You could say our goal for the remainder of 2019 is to assist our customers in successfully transitioning out of the black and into the red,” he concludes.

Since the concept of electronic payments was first formulated, the idea behind it was to improve service and increase convenience for the customer. The advent of digital transformation has opened an era where convenience and innovation have reached extreme levels, with new fintech companies launching, various disruptors arising, and new payment methods being created all the time.

The trouble is, while several financial entities are investing the time and resources needed to create and launch new methods to facilitate ease of payment for customers, retailers themselves are sometimes slower to adapt. This creates a challenge, in that if the customer wants to use a new method of payment, but the retailers’ electronic environments have not been adapted to enable this, it leads to customer dissatisfaction.

Trickier still is that new methods of payment are constantly being developed, such as how customers expect to be able to use mobile devices to make such payments. The near future will also likely see wearable solutions becoming even more prominent, for example as smart watches are increasingly added to the payment environment.

Retailers need to be able to offer payment solutions that cater for both the older generations of customers – those that still prefer to insert a card into a machine – as well as the new generation of customer that is quite comfortable making a payment via a QR code, for example.

Of course, it must be remembered that retailers aren’t banks or technologists, so as far as they are concerned, all they want is for the customer to make payments with whatever card or device they choose; that these transactions are concluded timeously; and no matter the cost of the purchase, the store will receive payment from the relevant bank afterwards. This means that it is up to the technology players to provide a cost-effective means for retail stores to stay ahead of new technology, without introducing new risks into the environment.

The right software, implemented on an existing PoS device, should enable customers to use a multitude of methods – from phones to wearables to tap-and-go cards – to make a payment. This software creates the link between the disparate till environments, the various payment terminals and the banks facilitating the transactions. This allows multiple payment methods to be used while also speeding up the processing of the digital payment.

The pace of digital evolution is such that we need a new method of securely facilitating payments. The last major development in this arena was the chips which were placed in bank cards, well over a decade ago. Despite how long it’s been since its introduction, this technology is still not ubiquitous, because obtaining global alignment on the implementation and use of such chips remains elusive.

The take away from this is that with new ideas around transactions are coming thick and fast, and with disruptors creating new ways of transacting all the time, it is imperative that the payment industry extricates itself from this traditional mindset of taking one’s time and ensuring global agreement before implementing anything new.

Software applications must meet customer demands and track trends and enable technologists to plan into the future. This is vital, as in today’s fast-paced world, if you are not at the forefront of transaction developments, you will quickly be left behind.

Benefits to both parties need to be factored in: for example, enhancing the customer experience via new technologies or software, while at the same time offering the customer new payment options and providing the retailer with peace-of-mind that they are at no risk of security compromise.

Moreover, the customers get increased value through access to a product set that evolves with the technology. After all, the focus should be on more than just facilitating new forms of payment – the goal is also to place new digital products at the fingertips of the retailer, by enabling new functionality on the device. This in turn affords them the opportunity to use their PoS devices to provide additional revenue-generating services to consumers, such as airtime, electricity and TV license payments, lottery tickets and even the ability to draw cash at the till.

This is where the software comes to the fore, as it allows consumers to perform a single transaction at the till, despite purchasing or paying for a wide range of products. Retailers can even link the PoS to their own store’s loyalty programme. This means that, for instance, if a customer spends a certain amount at the till, they can be rewarded with a coupon that offers them a discount or a free item on their next visit.

It is ironic that these PoS transactions only make up a small part of the overall user experience journey, yet because they are the final segment of the customer journey, they are probably the most crucial. Any failure on the part of the software here will mean that the larger customer service picture will be negatively impacted upon, likely leaving the consumer feeling their experience has been a bad one. Therefore, it is up to the suppliers of this technology to ensure the circle is completed efficiently and effectively.

What is ultimately required is a solution that evolves as the technology and transaction methods evolve, which is secured according to Payment Card Industry (PCI) prescribed standards, and which offers retailers new revenue streams and customers increased convenience.

In today’s commoditised world, the customer experience is considered the most important of differentiators. Thus, by enabling the PoS to not only process transactions, but open new revenue streams, even as it makes life simpler at the till for the customer, it becomes possible for the retailer to stand out from the crowd. More than simply standing out, however, it enables them to provide their end-customers with a solution that delivers a faster, more effective and thoroughly comprehensive customer service.

By Craig Duggan, Commercial Manager at Transaction Junction

Craig Duggan

Transaction Junction (TJ) focuses on the digital payments journey, using technology and innovation to enhance the overall customer experience.

TJ is a business-enablement transaction platform that delivers digital payment solutions to suit the needs of businesses across diverse markets, while ensuring that the regulatory requirements are taken care of. 

TJ provides services that encompass every level of touchpoint in the payment chain, ensuring that payments are delivered at the point of sale (PoS) securely and timeously. TJ solutions provide retailers with the flexibility they need when it comes to choosing the financial services provider, digital product ranges and end-user devices they require.

TJ consistently delivers innovations via the introduction of new technologies, payment types and economies of scale, all positively influencing the integrity of the overall transaction flow.

Transaction Junction (Pty) Ltd, a leading provider of payment solutions to the retail industry can now offer customers a PCI validated point-to-point encryption solution, thereby ensuring the protection of consumer cardholder data at point-of-sale. Read more