Small businesses are contributing a growing slice of South Africa’s economic pie, increasing their contribution to the formal business sector’s total turnover by over 12% year-on-year.
Yet few solutions are geared at these merchants. Physical point of sale systems are often unaffordable to them, transactions carry high charges, and the red tape to formalise their business dealings all hamper their economic progress.
A new mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution from Telkom, created by leading fintech enablement partner Ukheshe Technologies, aims to change that.
Mobile money solution
Telkom Pay mPOS is a new app that is set to be rolled out in Q1 2022. The Telkom Pay mPOS allows small merchants to quickly and easily register for financial services. The app allows merchants to accept payments on their smart phone or tablet without the need for a fixed POS terminal, explains Paul Selibas, President: Channel Solutions at Ukheshe. “The merchant will only need to complete a simple KYC identity verification process to receive access to all the functionality of a traditional POS system, right from their mobile device. They’ll have a digital wallet to send and receive EFTs, a virtual card, the ability to scan and pay using QR codes in South Africa as well as receive payments by showing a QR code. They can even receive payments via tap-on-glass, where a cardholder can pay by tapping their card on the merchant's phone – functionality only offered by handful of apps globally.”
Not only does the app open a new suite of financial services to small merchants who may not have had access to it before, but it will also streamline their finances, adds Selibas. “Many small merchants are well aware of the challenges they face in accepting, and even making, electronic payments. This is a simple way of accepting card payments and participating in the digital payments ecosystem. The mPOS payment solution can accept card payments via QR and NFC (using tap-on-glass). Those funds then go to the merchant’s digital wallet, from where they can pay suppliers via EFT. Alternatively, they can also generate a virtual card for e-commerce payments.”
Last year, Telkom, again in partnership with Ukheshe, launched Africa’s first Mastercard virtual card for use on WhatsApp, enabling Telkom Pay customers to make e-commerce payments. Kagiso Blaad, Executive: Head of Strategic Business Enablement at Telkom, says the telco giant is excited to expand on that service offering with the mPOS app. “Telkom Pay is a digital payments wallet that enables its users to make and receive payments using WhatsApp on their mobile phone. When we added the Mastercard virtual card for WhatsApp, we gave customers the flexibility to shop safely and conveniently using just their smartphone and the Telkom Pay app. And now, we’re giving merchants access to a full suite of services. Together, these services will empower millions of South Africans – even those without a bank account – to access the digital economy and transact online.”
Adds Selibas: “Telkom Pay already offers a low-barrier approach to financially include consumers. Now, with the inclusion/addition of Telkom Pay mPOS, we will offer the same low-barrier approach to merchants - financially including those who were previously often left on the side-lines.
“Both consumers’ and merchants’ needs are being addressed and solved using Ukheshe’s platform, Eclipse. With this platform, we can add new services to our clients’ suite so that it grows with them when their needs, and those of their own clients, change over time – as we’ve done for Telkom. And that has always been Ukheshe’s main goal: To broaden financial inclusion, by serving our clients as best we can.”
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