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How CoralPay’s C’Gate USSD solution on POS is helping to curb the spread of Covid-19 Virus in Nigeria

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C’Gate on POS solution.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses adversely. Based on data from United Nations Development Program and National Bureau of Statistics, it is estimated that sales decreased by 79% between the 2nd quarter and 4th quarter of 2020 because of the pandemic. Some of the reasons for the drop in sales were the lockdown imposed by the Nigerian government to control the spread of the Virus, and consumers’ reluctance to visit physical stores to make purchases for fear of exposure to the novel Corona Virus. Retail stores and other commercial businesses have been faced with the dilemma of running their businesses at the risk of exposure to the Virus. Covid-19 can be contracted through inhalation of aerosols or droplets from an infected person, direct contact, or contact with a contaminated surface. Point of Interactions like Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and Point of Sale (POS) devices that are used in merchant locations can be mediums through which Covid-19 and other contagious diseases can be transmitted.

CoralPay Technology (Nigeria) Limited has developed an innovative solution called C’Gate on POS terminals, which drastically reduces the chances of transmission of Covid-19 at the point of payment. C’Gate achieves this through contactless payment interaction between the merchant and the customer. C’Gate USSD is a ‘Card not present’ payment solution that relies on the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) technology.

How C’Gate USSD works.

C’Gate USSD works by creating a string of numbers and characters which the customer can dial with his/her mobile number registered on USSD. The dialed string contains adequate information required for authorization to occur.

At a merchant POS terminal, the Cashier selects C’Gate USSD on the POS and inputs the transaction amount. A reference code is displayed on the POS, which the Cashier makes known to the customer.

  1. The Customer dials *Bank USSD code*000*Refcode#.
  2. Details of the merchant and transaction amount is displayed on the customer’s phone for confirmation.
  3. The customer inputs his/her Bank’s USSD Pin.
  4. The transaction is authorized, customer is debited, and the POS prints 2 copies of the transaction receipt.

How C’Gate on POS helps curb the spread of Covid-19.

  1. The payment on the POS terminal does not require a card.  This prevents the cashier from being exposed to hundreds of potentially contaminated customer cards.
  2. Customers do not have to input their Pin on the POS device, thereby contaminating the POS keypad or contracting the Virus from the keypad.
  3.  The POS in this case cannot serve as a medium for the Virus transmission.

Other Benefits of C’Gate USSD.

  1. Because payment with C’Gate USSD is a ‘card not present’ transaction, payment to merchant can be made remotely. All the merchant has to do is to communicate the Reference code generated by the POS terminal to the customer via phone or mail, the customer dials the necessary strings in addition to the reference code and authorizes the transaction.
  2. The process is fast and user friendly.
  3. In situations where the customer is worried about the security of his/her card on a terminal, C’Gate USSD can be used.
  4. C’Gate USSD on POS only requires Internet to generate the USSD reference code. Where the internet signal is weak, customers can always pay with USSD option.
  5. In situations where the Central switch for card payment is unavailable, C’Gate USSD can be an option for customers to make payments.

Epidemiologists have raised concerns over the viability of the Corona Virus in surfaces, especially mediums generally utilized by the public, for instance the ATM and POS. Merchants who want to carry out their businesses while observing the Covid-19 safety protocols should ensure that their POS terminals have C’Gate deployed on them and encourage their customers to use them. With C’Gate USSD on POS, both merchants and customers should be confident, and rest assured that their transactions can be consummated through a secure, convenient and Covid free channel.

Chike Nwaozuzu.