Amber Group connects

Amber Group connects

Amber Connect revolutionising payment and rewards systems in Jamaica

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer Business Writer

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

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Kingston-based technology and software company, Amber Connect Group is revolutionising the payment and rewards system in Jamaica.

The group of companies is rolling out a suite of products, which will provide customers with cashless, cordless and touchless payment systems and services through its seven lines of businesses that utilise the development of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Through its Amber Fuels subsidiary, the group is rolling out a cashless, cordless and touchless payment system for fuel purchase.

This is being done in collaboration with Texaco service stations, where the pilot programme is being rolled out.

Amber Group founder and CEO, Dushyant Savadia, who made the disclosure, told the Business Observer that this payment system for fuel is limited to Texaco service stations given the contract signed by Amber Fuels with GB Energy, which operates the Texaco brand in Jamaica.

REVOLUTIONISED PAYMENT SYSTEM

Speaking at a recent Jamaica O bserver Business Forum, Savadia indicated that the development of this revolutionary payment system in Jamaica was born out of his desire to provide a digitised and innovative solution to the fuel payment system, which is archaic in Jamaica and therest of the Caribbean. Explaining how the system works, Savadia said the vehicle of a subscriber would be fitted with radio-frequency identification (RFID) sticker on the screen.

He said the sticker would have been loaded with the subscriber's credit card information, “so the next time a client goes to the gas station the attendant scans your RFID, they immediately know which card, which person and so on, and your card is pre-registered.” Thereafter, the purchase of petrol would be cashless, touchless and cordless.

Savadia explained that the system is similar to that used on Jamaica's toll roads.

For his part, Group Managing Director Michael McNaughton announced that the roll-out should be on the way by year's end, having completed the development of the technology which they are currently testing at the pilot phase.

The Indian born Savadia, who has now made Jamaica his home, also spoke about the innovative roll-out at another subsidiary, Amber Pay, which like Amber Fuels, started operations last year. The payment systems by both entities are backed by National Commercial Bank (NCB), which is the group's primary local banking partner.

AMBER PAY NEW PAYMENT FRONTIER IN JAMAICA

With regards to Amber Pay, the Amber Connect Group CEO pointed to its exclusive partnership with NCB, which he declared, “opens up never seen before solutions for consumers and for merchants both”.

This new system eliminates the use of a card machine and replaces a QR code on a mobile app to carry out a transaction.

This system provides many benefits to merchants. According to Savadia, “Merchants do not have to pay rental [ for card machines]; they can transact just using the mobile app with their consumers. So Jamaica has become the Caribbean's first QR code payment system between a consumer and a merchant; you don't need any more instrument.”

In operationalising the payment system, each merchant is given a QR code. When a consumer is making a purchase, the consumer opens their Amber Pay app scans, which would scan the QR code of the merchant. The consumer would indicate how much money to pay and submit using a security PIN to complete the transaction.

“Instantly the money is transferred from the customer to the merchant's account without the use of any payment machine. The merchant would get a notification that payment has been credited to their account,” Savadia explained.

AMBER REWARDS NEWEST KID ON THE BLOCK

Amber Fuels and Amber Pay brought forth many opportunities in the rewards market, which resulted in the birth of Amber Rewards, which also started operations in 2019. At that time many companies were approaching the Amber Connect Group expressing an interest in having their own rewards system.

As such Amber Rewards has built a platform for the rewards market, thus giving more value to merchants and consumers. The platform allows merchants to upload their own deals, own discounts, build their own marketing campaigns and send those marketing campaigns to the thousands of customers that are on Amber Pay.

The five-year-old Amber Group is a Jamaica-based international group of companies that have subsidiaries in 23 countries including, the United Kingdom, India, Canada, South Africa and Trinidad.


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