Namibian technology company Virtual Technology Services (VTS) was awarded full authorization from the Bank of Namibia on April 27 to issue payment tokens under the Determination on Issuing E-Money in Namibia (PSD-3), Act 18 of 2003. This licence allows VTS to issue payment tokens on behalf of banking and financial institutions, and any other organizations which may have the need for such tokens.
According to the Bank of Namibia (BoN) the authorisation allows VTS to issue to the Namibian public a payment instrument which can be used domestically to make purchases at participating outlets, bill payments and money transfers.
These payment tokens can take on many different forms. The most common is a transactional card and the most popular instrument right now is mobile money.
VTS says it can issue mag-stripe, chip and pin and Mi-fare cards on demand, designed and branded according to customer requirements.
The company also offers mobility through its mobile payment functionality.
“These offerings allow member account holders to spend at selected outlets, buy airtime and electricity at merchants or through mobile, send and receive money from friends and family, put cash into their account or withdraw cash at agents and while transacting they can get loyalty in the form of cash back or loyalty points on their accounts,” explained Dr Hylton Villet, Executive Director of VTS.
Upon enquiry if the licence is just another electronic transaction on mobile platform licence such as with MobiPay, BoN’s Director for Strategic Communications and Financial Sector Development, Ndangi Katoma, said: “No it is not another electronic transaction on mobile platform. It is in actual fact a designated payment instrument which has monetary value as represented by a claim on its issuer, that is stored electronically, is issued on receipt of funds, is accepted as a means of payment by persons other than the issuer; and is redeemable upon demand for cash denominated in Namibia dollars.” This, he said, can be offered through various means such as cards or mobile devices.
To date, three similar licences have been awarded by the Bank of Namibia. These licences were given to MobiCash Payment Solutions (Pty) Ltd t/a “MobiPay” (2010); Nammic Payment Solutions (Pty) Ltd (2012); and Virtual Technology Services (Pty) Ltd (2015).