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Virus 'Spikes' Demand For Payment Provider's App

A Bahamian payments solutions provider says it has seen "a spike" in persons downloading its app to conduct financial transactions with more than 60 local businesses.

MobileAssist, a financial technology (FinTech) provider, says it has given companies a range of options to enable consumers to continue doing business with them via electronic/digital means.

It said its Bill Pay product allows customers to pre-pay for products/services via the app, while its Scan & Pay option provides businesses with a unique QR code/Point of Sales (POS) solution that allows customers to use the embedded QR code reader to literally scan and pay.

MobileAssist added that both services can be set up within 48 hours at minimal cost. Its MobileAssist Mobile Shop also displays products for sale, allowing business owners to generate revenue without the restriction of a physical store front. Customers, using the app, can purchase products for pick-up or delivery.

"Our research shows that businesses globally are organically migrating toward applications like MobileAssist. Typically, the acceptance and implementation of m-commerce has been based on creating additional sales channels," said Selina Archer, marketing consultant for MobileAssist.

"We saw an uptake locally as businesses saw the impact of Dorian on Grand Bahamian and Abaconian operators. Business owners saw the benefit of not being tied to a physical store front. COVID-19 has completely changed the game. There is no environmental disaster that has compromised a building, but a bio-hazard that has changed buying behaviours by restricting the way we shop."

Adria McCardy, MobileAssist's marketing manager, added: "We have over 60 businesses using our app as a payment solution. We have seen a spike in downloads as people are forced to shop and pay at places other than a cash register.

"Using a debit or credit card to make purchases is far from the norm, and now we have the opportunity to stay safe while we support local businesses through the app and get the products and services we need."

One business to adopt MobileAssist's solutions was Southside Neighborhood Pharmacy. "As a Bahamian, I applaud the government for the measurements taken to secure life and health. As a small business owner, though, it was devastating news," revealed owner and operator Denero McIntosh. "I needed to find a way for my customers to re-order their prescriptions and pre-pay for delivery."

"Accepting debit and credit card payments to avoid the risks associated with cash payments, both in handling money and from a security standpoint, allowed us to serve our customers within the law and with less danger to our employees."

Peter Maury, Green Parrot's proprietor, opted to use the MobileAssist Mobile Shop as the restaurant chain sought to offer food delivery and pick-up services. "We have a responsibility to our employees to reduce the loss of business due to dine-in restrictions, which are very much necessary with the appearance of Coronavirus on our shores," he added.

"However, we must adapt to a more progressive way of thinking. Our work family also have families to feed, and we have to look at how we maintain the best-case scenario in keeping Bahamians employed."

MobileAssist is licensed and regulated by The Central Bank of The Bahamas, and is wholly Bahamian-owned. It also provides marketing tools, directory services and local information through the application.

MobileAssist is available as a free download on GooglePlay and The App Store. To date, it says its app has more than 60,000 downloads and almost 7,000 registered users. Integration of the Sand Dollar, the Central Bank's digital currency, is expected in time for summer.

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