Absa has launched the AgriGrow Card, aimed at farmers to use when buying their supplies, thus providing merchants and input suppliers with a convenient way to accept payment. The AgriGrow card is the farmers’ electronic wallet with unique payment functionalities.
The card, which was piloted last year with the agriculture Co-op Boeremakelaars Kooperatief Beperk (BKB) as a strategic partner, and was presented to farmers at this year’s Nampo Harvest Day last week, is a payment solution that will simplify the clients farming operations and assist the farmer in financial management and spend control to optimise their cashflow to avoid overspending.
Explaining how this will work, Absa Agribusiness Head Ernst Janovsky says, the producer/ farmer will approach selected and accredited Co-operative stores and Agribusiness’s to purchase input production means like seed, fertiliser, fuel, chemicals etc.
The producer/ farmer account will be debited and the merchant account will be credited. A merchant and producer receipt will be printed showing the amount debited, and the producer/ farmer receives an SMS confirming the transaction.
“This is a closed-loop solution that ensures wherever money flows in a value chain, it stays within the payment ecosystem. This means that, throughout the value chain, from production to delivery and payment for agricultural goods delivered, to the funding and controlled spending, the money never leaves Absa. All transactions can therefore be delivered at a more competitive rate because Absa processes them internally,” says Mr Janovsky.
He adds that it is without a doubt that farmers require cost effective methods and means to make their financial transactions simpler.
“They do not want additional plastic in their wallets, but would like to have secure payment platforms. They also need a cashless environment and assistance in managing the farm finances and being able to manage and control their cashflow. With this card the AgriGrow card farmers would also have guaranteed payments and bargaining power with Suppliers.
On the other hand, this helps the merchant to reduce the amount of cash and cheques that gets handled, and receives immediate or future dated guaranteed payment. The POS device is a mobile 3G device which can be used via agribusiness representatives at the producer’s farm and live stock auctions.
The AgriGrow card is not only a more cost-effective payment solution that enables automated payment efficiency, but also helps the farmer secure discounts with the supplier and increases his chance for favourable credit terms.