The Bank of Namibia late last month authorized Mobicash Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd. to offer a new mobile-payment service in the country, according to a Mobicash spokesperson. The service, which is scheduled to launch in October, will enable the institution’s customers to use their mobile phones to pay for goods and person-to-person funds transfers.

“To use the service, a customer must first register with Mobicash at registered agents and deposit their money in cash,” he says. “Much like with a bank account, the money will be virtually deposited on the customer’s mobile phone.”

Once registered, customers may use their phones to pay for goods, transfer funds, buy mobile airtime and pay their electricity bills, the spokesperson adds.

To make a payment, both the consumer and the merchant must dial their country-specific access numbers to Mobicash’s system. After dialing, the merchant enters the amount to be paid and plugs his mobile phone onto a MobiPad provided by Mobicash. The consumer then plugs his mobile phone as well onto the MobiPad, after which he instantly gets a text message to verify the transaction using his passcode.

“Our patented technology uses the mobile phone’s audio channel to transmit secure information used to electronically sign transactions,” the spokesperson explains.

The technology does not need any modification or addition to the mobile phones. “It works across carries and handset models,” he adds

To transfer funds, both the sender and the recipient call their access numbers, and the sender enters the amount to be paid followed by the # key and pass code.

“The MobiCash server instantly transmits a sound to the sender’s phone, which makes the requested transfer when it is heard by the recipient’s phone,” the spokesperson says. “The sender and recipient of a proximate P2P payment do not have to exchange phone numbers; they just need to hold their phones close to each other.”

The service already available in South Africa, according to the spokesperson.

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