Barter virtual Mastercards product review


The continuous drought of Forex to pay for goods and services has led some smart thinkers to developer Barter.

This is yet another player introduced into the Nigerian fintech space. Barter is simply a dollar-denominated virtual Mastercard that allows anyone to pay for any goods and or services anywhere online where the MasterCard logo is shown.

Barter is already in its Beta stage and it is free to use for anyone. The product was developed by the same team behind Flutterwave, an online payment processing platform for merchants.

The team perhaps have their eyes on the African market as Barter allows users to fund the cards with USD, Naira, Kenyan Shillings and Ghanaian Cedis.

The platform supports “All banks and financial institutions in the US, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria”.

Folks behing the product must have done their homework on transaction security. The platform is PCIDSS level 1 complaint (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). This is a bank level security on all transactions to ensure your information is always secure.

On aesthetics level, the site is one of the most simple and yet professionally done. The choice of logo is also adding to the premium image of the product.

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On its FAQ page, Barter claims it can refund unauthorised spending “If your card is used without your permission and you place a complaint with us, provided that you can prove it wasn’t with your permission (don’t worry, it’s pretty easy to do that) we’ll refund the money to you”.

This will require further explanation as to how it will get such funds back especially if the culprit cannot be identified.

Barter has not also stated how much it will be charging as transaction fees. A prohibitive transaction fee might scare many people away. The exchange rate to be used in the system has not also been given much clarity.

There are several rates in the market with various factors determining who quotes what. More clarity on this will go a long way to make this product a big deal in the Nigerian fintech space.

The product will also be competing with various virtual wallets such as Nairabox and Nairabox has already entered payment and money transfer niche. The arrival of Barter will signal more entrants and the competition will get tougher.