Innervation Alternative Payments to enhance customer engagement in SA’s under pressure retail sector

We are proud to announce the recent launch of Innervation’s Alternative Payments offering, developed to give our retail customers greater choice in how they engage with their customers and provide increased convenience and choice in payments.

We launched this new offering at a time of great uncertainty in the retail sector. Following a months-long lockdown, many retailers are now working tirelessly to make up for lost time and revenue and bring their businesses back to sustainability.

While there will be many factors that determine how well our retail sector recovers, we still believe that the most successful retailers are the ones that build deep, personal connections with customers at an individual level.

The importance of customer engagement

These connections are a result of consistently positive customer experiences at every point of interaction with the customer. How the retailer manages customer accounts, the payment process, checkout and subsequent customer communication all add up to a great experience that ensures repeat business, or a poor experience that alienates customers and leads to attrition and lower revenue.

As a leading payments provider to the African retail sector, we believe the payments experience is a high-value area for retail innovation that can fairly quickly deliver an enhanced customer experience.

Lately, we’ve been fortunate to see great innovation in the payments sector, here in South Africa as well as the rest of Africa and in other parts of the world. New open banking regulations, such as PSD2 in Europe, are ushering in a new wave of payments innovation just as customers increasingly demand more convenience and choice in their payment options.

In response, there has been a concerted effort to expand payment options for customers in various retail environments. This is also true in South Africa, with a number of alternative payment providers and new payment mechanisms coming to market.

Offering greater payment choice

Many of these are contactless payment technologies such as QR code-based mobile payments and NFC-enabled payments. These new options are especially welcome to wary consumers worried about the pandemic.

Retailers have also had to respond to demands from customers for greater choice. For merchants, the challenge is to ensure new payment technologies can be introduced into their environments as seamlessly as possible.

The near-future benefits of mobile payments are particularly compelling to merchants:

  • A reduction in acquiring fees

  • Reduced risk, as push payments (such as QR code-based mobile payments) can’t be charged back

  • Slight interest gains thanks to the near real-time settlement of QR code-based payments.

So how does Innervation’s Alternative Payments offering work?

Innervation has engaged various payment providers to make them available to merchants. Through a single integration to any channel, the Innervation Mobile Payment solution enables merchants to securely accept multiple QR payments from the likes of Masterpass (which is supported by 175 000 merchants countrywide), retail loyalty, gift card and virtual vouchers, Innervation Rewards, and new credit providers such as SwitchPay and Ozow (supporting payment via Internet banking). The account holder will typically open a mobile application such as FlickPay, Bank Apps, Zapper or SnapScan and scan the QR code provided by the retailer.

The solution also supports Apple Pay and Garmin Pay through the existing contactless card processing, as well as Samsung Pay. In Kenya, our merchants can also accept mPesa payments, and the integration of additional standards is in the works.

Want to know more about how to enable QR-code based mobile payments and NFC-enabled contactless payments at your till points? Get in touch with us on or see more on