Absa Payment Pebble Launches


Absa has officially launched its long-awaited Payment Pebble, bringing its mobile payments offering to merchant-held smartphones and tablets. First announced in November 2012, Absa’s Payment Pebble is a result of an agreement between the bank and payments company, Thumbzup.

The Pebble is a compact, mobile device that plugs into the audio jack of compatible smartphones or tablets and, once set up, allows users to immediately start transacting, accepting both MasterCard and Visa chip-and-PIN and magstripe-and-PIN credit and debit cards.


The bank was due to launch the product as a value-added service to all small business owners and merchants on-the-go from early 2013.

However, because the product has been built in South Africa, for South African use, it needed to jump through several regulatory hoops in order to meet international standards, according to the bank.

Absa’s Pebble works on a month-to-month basis with registered merchants, and multiple Pebbles can be used in a business, and one Pebble can be used across multiple devices.

“When a merchant cancels, they are responsible for returning the Payment Pebble to their nearest Absa representative,” Absa said.

Costs and conditions

Merchants will need an Absa Business Current Account, which will be charged:

The Payment Pebble monthly rental fee – R50.00;

Payment Pebble once-off Initiation fee – R160.00;

Merchant transactions fees of 3.20% for Absa Banking customers; 3.75% for non-Absa Banking customers.

According to Absa, the Absa Business Current Account must be active, with regular transactions running through the account.

Additionally, for customers who opt for the Pebble Bundle – with a Telkom Mobile device – Telkom Business will debit the Current Account for the 24 month contract deal.