Home   >   Technology   >   201307   >   MPower provides comprehensive & highly secured online payment platform

MPower provides comprehensive & highly secured online payment platform
Posted on: 02-Jul-2013         Source: myjoyonline.com
MPower Payments, Ghana’s only online payment service that integrates all electronic payment systems and links them to both online and offline merchants in a secure environment has in months recorded over 4,000 active users, and is currently processing thousands of transactions to the tune of about GHc120,000 every month.

The platform, touted as Ghana’s PayPal, also boasts of more than 400 corporate customers and merchants who meet the over 4,000 active users for brisk online business in the most secured environment under MPower’s green bar SSL certificate verified by DigiCert Inc. on the advice of Dun and Bradstreet, both US-based.

MPower was established by one of Ghana’s leading Wireless Application Service Providers, SMSGH to aggregate all cedi-based electronic payment systems in a way that enables users to make payments for goods and services online without exposing their details to cyber criminals.

George F. Mensah is Senior Product Manager for MPower at SMSGH, and he told ADOMBUSINESS “MPower is not a new payment system but a better payment experience that unifies all the payment platforms in the country and provides the highest level of security.”

“MPower is a payment service that allows you to change the form in which your money is into what you want it to be so you can use it conveniently,” Mensah said.

He explained that the MPower payment service allows the user to electronically deposit money via a Speed Banking voucher, Visa card, Mastercard, Mobile Money (MTN, Tigo, Airtel) or direct bank deposit into their MPower account and use this balance to transact business online anytime, anywhere.

“Currently you can purchase airtime on MTN, Airtel, Vodafone and Expresso, pay your DSTV and ECG bills and pay for goods and service from a number of merchants such as yougora.com, ahonya.com, tisu.com.gh, dtechghana.com and many others who are currently registered on MPower. ” he said. “We are working hard looking for new merchants to integrate MPower. Very soon you can order food from your favourite restaurants or buy your event tickets and pay online anytime, anywhere”

George Mensah noted that MPower also enables direct transfer of moneys into the user’s bank account from the MPower service, adding that the user can also receive payment on MPower and then transfer the money into his or her bank account.

The MPower Product Manager said on MPower, moneys can also be moved from any of the three registered mobile money platforms (MTN, Tigo, Airtel) unto the MPower service then into the users’ bank account and vice-a-versa.

He also explained that users can make payments for goods and services by moving money from their bank accounts into their MPower account then forwarding it directly into the bank account of the one they need to pay.

“This cuts out all the travel time & costs, and the discomfort of traffic jams that people face in going to the bank to cash money to make payments for goods and services,” he said.

George Mensah said some of the transactions on the MPower service such as buying mobile phone airtime, MYtxtBOX bulk SMS credits or transferring money into other MPower accounts do not attract any fees, but there are a few, which constitute a ‘cash out’ or a service involving other parties that attract ‘very negligible service fees’.

He said the service fee depends on whether the merchant on the other side of the transaction charges a service fee for a particular transaction or not, adding that for payments to DSTV and ECG for instance, there is a GHC2.50 service charge per transaction.

“But the convenience and comfort of for instance being able to purchase airtime and paying your bills from the comfort of your home or office 24/7 is priceless as many of our customers testify in their reviews,” he said.

George Mensah said added to the convenience and comfort MPower provides is the fact that it is very high on security, which enables it to detect fraud easily and block all fraudulent transactions.

“When we first launched this service we immediately detected that 12 out of every 13 card transactions were fraudulent and we blocked all of these– now the fraudsters have realized that our service is not one for such activities, so these fraudulent attempts have reduced drastically to only about four from January to date, and none of these get through on our platform,” he said.

He explained that for starters, MPower runs on a ‘green bar’ SSL certificate, which it obtained after verification and certification by US-based web security firm DigiCert

“This web security ensures that there is no man-in-the-middle between you and your MPower account and the details of your transactions are not available to any third party,” he explained. “But in the highly unlikely event the security of your transaction is compromised on MPower, DigiCert will bear the liability.”

George Mensah said another level of security is that by the time a user finishes filling in the details of any card for payment into an MPower account, the system would know which bank issued that card, plus when and where it was issued.

“MPower then sends this information to the bank that issued the card to do several checks and verify if indeed the owner of the card/account is the one using it on MPower. Where marked as fraud, further checks are run and this could take two to three days before it can be passed for transactions or blocked entirely when found to be fraudulent,” he said.

The other level of security, according to George Mensah is that MPower does not store any part of the user’s transaction information so for every transaction the user would be required to fill in his/her card details.

This, he said, is to prevent persons who get access to a user’s laptop from accessing their MPower account just by the click of the mouse, adding that even if someone hacks into the user’s MPower account they will see nothing because nothing is stored.

He said there is another level of security reserved for merchants where MPower creates an escrow account for payments to be held until goods are delivered then the user would reveal a PIN number to the service provider to access the money from the MPower escrow Account.

George Mensah believes users now trust MPower because of the convenience, comfort and security but “what we need now are more merchants from whom the users can buy goods and services.”

“The platform is ready to help people pay for airline tickets, insurance services, make hotel reservations, order food, buys tickets for shows and do several other transactions with convenience,” he said.

George Mensah said there are plans to hook MPower onto the Ghana Inter-Bank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) through a partner bank so that every ATM card, including e-zwich could be used on MPower.

MPower is currently a Ghana only service for now, but for the purposes of ensuring high levels of security for customers, it is also registered in the USA as Urbanhive Group, Incorporated.