Pay for your potatoes with a few clicks
Welcome the QR payment system that allows paying with your mobile phone even at your neighborhood’s local market.
When one hears the word “innovation”, some first associations would be some advanced technologies, robots, and spaceships to Mars and all these are, of course, very valid and actual associations. While they keep us dreaming about what the future brings and how Sci-Fi slowly becomes reality, it is the daily, small, and incremental changes and upgrades that improve our lives.
Paynet was the first Moldovan company to launch the Electronic Wallet service in 2017. It offered the option to pay bills online, benefiting at the same time from bonuses and discounts offered by local businesses. More recently, due to the increasing global use of electronic payments and concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemics, electronic payment services have been adopted by even more persons, at a faster rate than usual. The utility of such services is even higher for categories of the population that are usually not familiar or involved with the traditional financial sector, mainly dominated by banks.
In Moldova, one of the categories most affected by poor financial inclusion are farmers from rural areas. Imagine a farmer that sells vegetables at a local market in a village. In order to process non-cash payments, he would have to buy a POS terminal and go through a lengthy and difficult process with state authorities, reporting and probably end up with a negative return of investment. Moreover, the adoption of digital financial services and products by rural entrepreneurs is compromised by overall mistrust in electronic payments and very limited digital financial literacy.
OPTIM Project acknowledges that due to poor financial inclusion, Moldovan farmers and smallholders are one of the most vulnerable groups in the agricultural value chain, which is limiting exponentially their capacities to access finance (credits, loans), access new market (e-commerce), capitalize their savings, and eventually generate meaningful economic output.
Therefore, the project aims to facilitate access to new markets through innovative technologies and to facilitate the introduction of user-friendly and affordable digital financial technologies. In this regard, it has supported Paynet to extend the development of their E-Wallet, through the introduction of QR (Quick Response) technology, which has the potential to bridge analogic processes to the digital environment. The instrument is simple to understand and use and reduces a lot of hustle related to payments, for customers and merchants from both urban and rural areas.
“The process of handling and delivering cash in rural areas in Moldova is both slow and expensive. The service that Paynet launched with our support comes to connect isolated smallholders to markets through new technologies that help them to aggregate their production and to develop commercial relationships with distant buyers. We believe that this is the start of meeting the needs of the unbanked population in Moldova and reducing the dependence on the cash-based economy.” — Artak Harutyunyan, Team Leader Optim Project.
The QR payment tool was launched in 2020. A QR Code is placed next to the merchandise and an interested client can simply scan the code with his digital wallet. The transaction will be further processed with a simple PIN confirmation and the seller can see instantly the transaction and release the merchandise.
In the case of online sales, if one does not enjoy spending all day at the market, the QR code can be generated and sent via instant messengers like Viber or Facebook to the client that placed an order on the digital platforms (website/ Instagram, etc.) The delivery is taken care of after the payment is visible in the system. This option allows for the transition from selling physically to selling online to be smoother and with lower costs than before. It also allows small farmers to save time and focus on upscaling or improving production.
Paynet’s QR payment solution allows customers to choose the payment method — through the Paynet application or with the bank card. If choosing the card, one must fill in data in the window that appears and offers the option to pay via Visa, Mastercard, Paynet, Webmoney, Bitcoin, or Yandex Money. If the customer chooses to pay with the Paynet application, he does not need to enter additional information, just has the downloaded application and confirms the payment.
The new system has been already implemented in Chisinau, by the Association of Ecological and Artisanal Consumers and Producers of Moldova at the EcoLocal Farmers Market Moldova, an event that occurs every weekend and hosts around 1000 customers.
“While selling at the market, it is not at all convenient to have a card processing machine, we have to move around a lot and pay attention to clients, also worry about the equipment. The QR code is much more convenient from this point of view. People need however time to get used to it and we understand that. This is the future and I believe that more sales will happen as a result of easy and fast cashless payment systems such as the QR code one.” said Dorina Baciu, Sălașul Baciului CEO.