THE DEVASTATING effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for credible, scalable pan-African fintech solutions, according to Ukheshe Technologies chief executive Clayton Hayward.
He said this as Ukheshe Technologies announced it had partnered with three-year old tech unicorn, Chipper, one of Africa’s most valuable start-ups.
Chipper is the biggest and fastest growing payment app in Africa offering instant no-fee local and cross-border money transfers, discounted airtime purchase and zero charges on bill payments.
Chipper boasts more than 4 million users serving eight countries in Africa and the UK and is on a mission to unlock global opportunities and bring Africa together, one transaction at a time.
Hayward said according to the International Monetary Fund, 57 percent of Africans did not have access to basic banking, while in sub-Saharan Africa only 37 percent of women and 48 percent of men had a bank account.
“The relationship between Ukheshe and Chipper aims to spearhead digital-first fintech solutions made in Africa to broaden access and financial inclusion for those who need it most. Our digital payment solution supports wallet functionality and will offer much-needed simplified payment solutions that allow users to send and receive cross-border payments safely, quickly, and efficiently,” said Hayward.
The new partnership with Chipper intends to enhance and accelerate the roll-out of Chipper’s digital payment offerings. These include free and unlimited P2P payments across South Africa, value-added services such as airtime and data and the ability to legally buy, sell or transfer cryptocurrency. The partnership would also allow for more efficient transactions across Africa, while fulfilling the lives of its customers on the back of the Ukheshe Eclipse API framework.
Hayward said collaborating with Chipper was an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of new solutions that were driving growth in the payments industry in Africa. “Ukheshe’s Eclipse API provides access to payment technology, products and services – all from one convenient platform. The rapid shift towards innovative digital-first solutions is undeniable and we are thrilled to partner with Chipper, a company that shares our vision and enthusiasm for credible, seamless payment solutions that drive the payments revolution in Africa.”
He said when solutions were created to connect organisations to customers, it was vital that those customers felt in complete control of their money. To achieve this, a reliable and trustworthy enablement partner was an important foundation.
Futures Studies graduate Diana Bresendale, in her recent research at University of Stellenbosch Business School, said the current number of South Africans who were unbanked (those without bank accounts) or underbanked (those with bank accounts but who rely on cash or non-formal financial institutions) was reportedly 11 million – which constituted 18 percent of the population.
“Banking services are competitive and their profitability is highly dependent on high transaction volumes. The high costs involved in servicing the low-income earners, small entrepreneurs and the poor made it an unappealing segment of the market for the established banks.”