04 JUN 2023

Cashless payment: Behind the scenes


Everything you need to know about what happens in the back office once a digital payment has been made.

We’ve gotten so used to our bank cards and mobile banking apps that we barely think about what happens behind the scenes once we’ve entered our PIN code and pressed enter. We asked the question to Jerome Planel of MCB’s Banking Operations department. He explains that every process is now automated, each aligned to specific parameters.

There are many ways to effect a digital payment to a merchant, and the three most popular ones are by MCB Juice, by debit card and by credit card.

MCB Juice
Payers can scan a QR code or enter the merchant's mobile number. With the introduction of the interoperable MauCAS QR, payments can be effected even if the payer and beneficiary are not from the same bank. If this is the case, the transactions will be switched via the Instant Payment System (IPS), and the funds will be transferred within 30 seconds.

Debit Card
The customer’s account is debited instantly, while the merchant’s account is credited when the settlement file is sent for processing. This generally happens once a day.

Credit Card
As soon as the payment is approved, the authorised amount is temporarily retained from the available balance for ten days until the settlement is received and the transaction processed for final billing.

For the settlement to happen, the transactions need to be uploaded from the Point of Sale (POS) machine to the MCB cards management system. This daily process occurs automatically, provided the POS is not switched off.

For credit card transactions, customers have up to 45 days of interest-free credit and are required to settle their credit card account at the end of the month. They have the flexibility to repay their expenses in full or in part.

The repayment process is automated, and once repayment happens, the credit limit is restated and becomes available for spending. This entire process is generally automated, and no manual intervention is required unless there is a technical issue.

When an MCB credit card holder pays a merchant who banks with another bank, the process of merchant settlement is more complex and involves clearing and settlement through networks (Amex, Mastercard, Visa etc.) and issuing banks. The merchants are paid within a few days.


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