Contactless payment for mobile money in Ghana

Clement-Owusu, Isaac Benjamin
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The use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) applications in conducting monetary transactions is an unsafe and slow means of payment. Research has shown that USSD applications utilize outdated encryption techniques, which make it susceptible to hackers during data transmission; they are unreliable and have long processes before payment is conducted. This study aims to explore how Near Field Communication (NFC) technology can be used to conduct payments. Comparing the two payment techniques, it asks: How does NFC payment compare USSD payment and what advantages does one present over the other. In this context, these payment methods are tested with Mobile Money, a mobile banking platform. Based on a review of literature on NFC and USSD as technologies and payment techniques, a system was built to allow payments to be made via NFC technology. A survey was then conducted to collect the duration of the already existing USSD payment and the NFC payment. Analysis of the data collected showed that payment using NFC technology was substantially faster than that of the USSD. The results indicate the efficiency of NFC over USSD. On that basis, it is recommended that mobile money providers implement this form of payment. Further improvements must be made to the system to improve it in terms of security and user experience.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering, May 2020
Near Field Communication (NFC), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), mobile money, MTN