Late last year, that’s in the months of November and December, there were many advertisements attempting to alert us of the services offered by Interswitch East Africa on our TVs, and I believe many, like me, wondered what exactly does Interswitch offer. The ads, like many others, weren’t clear. Thanks to the world wide web, nowadays when things aren’t clear all one needs to do is Google. And that’s what I did, and with the little knowledge I gathered back then, I shared with you this article, and this other one. But even though I did those, there is one important information I left out and I feel obligated to wrap it all in this last Interswitch article on “the services offered by Interswitch East Africa at a glance”.
Top of Interswitch East Africa services are the “cards” services that are mainly two front – the Inter-bank card switching services that allow bank customers to use their ordinary ATM cards to withdraw cash from ATM points we have come to identify with as PesaPoint. In Nigeria and Uganda, these services have expanded to include the possibility of using an ordinary ATM card from bank A to withdraw money from an ATM machine of Bank B – and this offers more flexibility both for Interswitch (reducing the cost of erecting new ATM points), and the customer who gains access to numerous ATM machines in the neighborhood, no matter the bank that owns the machine.
The second card services front is where Interswitch East Africa provides a Pan African oriented chip+pin payment card that offers issuers, cardholders and organisations comprehensive payment card products and solutions. According to Interswitch, “Verve is the first chip card accepted across all payment channels in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and can also be used in over 185 countries across the the globe”.
- Over 15 million cards in circulation (more than any other payment card brand)
- Access to over 100 600 Point of Sale terminals, 11 000 ATMs and over 1000 online merchants
- Unique value-added services, including loyalty and rewards at specific merchants
- Issued as a debit, prepaid and payment card
- Advanced biometric features including fingerprint, face and voice recognition for added security
Those two card services are the main business to consumer services offered by Interswitch East Africa among several others that are still tied to the ATMs, POS, and card systems. In the B2B front, Interswitch offers services such as revenue collection, funds disbursement, retail payments, and fraud management.
If there is something that has been of a challenge to governments and especially the Kenyan government is revenue collection. This challenge is not just limited to the national government but according to revenue collection report released earlier this month, county governments have a long way to go before they can totally seal the revenue leaks that eat up their income sources. This is where they need to pick their phones and call Interswitch to help them seal off all revenue leaks.
Revenue collection solutions offered by Interswitch East Africa will enable the government and other organizations whose clients are spread across a wide geographical region to work with banks and other POS centers for revenue collection. These solutions will also let the government and corporate business fast track payments – having knowledge of who has paid what amount, and who hasn’t remitted the payment on schedule.
For instance, with the help from Interswitch, national and county governments can identify all businesses, both formal and informal, link them with Interswitch revenue collection infrastructures, and start monitoring their tax returns in real time whenever the returns are due. The expertise by Interswitch will enable the governments not only to know tax defaulters but also close channels tax evaders use to evade paying taxes.
Alongside sealing leaks in the revenue generation streams, governments and other businesses can also use Interswitch’s retail payment solutions to allow clients make payments using various modes of payment, reduce cash and product pilferage and reduce operational cost across outlets.
Lastly, part of important services offered by Interswitch East Africa is the fraud management solutions. These are services meant to protect those providing services such as card services, ATMs, POSes and other payment solutions to detect and prevent frauds such as attempted hacks well in advance. The two solutions to manage fraud are the Card EFT Fraud Management that provides a fraud, risk and compliance monitoring system that targets card-based Electronic Financial Transactions (EFT). It provides a real-time rules engine and an innovative approach to Artificial Intelligence that offers a level of control and visibility you won’t find in any other system in the market; and the eBanking Fraud Management that protects against internet and mobile banking fraud exposure, where vulnerabilities in the use of tokens to authenticate users is exploited using social engineering, man-in-the-middle and man-in-the-browser attacks.
With Interswitch East Africa, businesses, corporations and governments can operate in peace, transferring the worry of revenue collection, monitoring payment and fraud management to the Interswitch team.