Small businesses, NGOs, NPOs and charities looking to accept EFT payments or donations can now do so without worrying about paying processing fees.

That’s because payment platform i-Pay has relaunched itself as Ozow and it has a fantastic offer for the aforementioned organisations.

For small businesses and startups processing under R1 million in transactions per month, Ozow will waive all processing fees for the first 12 months of using the service. For charitable organisations, Ozow will waive all transaction fees for so long as they accept payments from Ozow.

Speaking to Ozow’s chief executive officer, Thomas Pays, at an event in Johannesburg, he explained why the firm decided to zero rate fees for small businesses.

“If you look at South Africa, there are 49 million bank accounts. When we talk about online payment people often think of a credit card first but credit cards are only held by 10.7 million South Africans. What you see then is people in a high LSM use a credit card to transact online while people in lower LSMs without a credit card cannot transact online,” Pays tells us.

While there are other solutions that allow EFTs to be made while shopping online, these solutions often cost a percentage of the transaction amount and these can rack up rather quickly and eat into a businesses bottom line.

Ozow hopes to change this by giving companies a cost-effective solution to accepting EFTs for online purchases.

“There are many reasons why an online store is the smartest option for emerging business owners whether they sell products and services, such as allowing customers to shop 24/7 and the ability to analyse the purchase funnel,” he says.

“Eliminating the initial capital outlay for retail premises also substantially reduces the costs and potential risks for a start-up business.”

The Ozow platform allows businesses to accept purchases online as well as in person.

The platform is constantly monitored for threats and Pays tells us that maintenance is conducted regularly to insure the latest updates are applied.

The decision to change from i-Pay to Ozow seems odd at first until you realise that there are a number of companies with that name on the African continent.

“We established that competitors with the same name already trade in some countries we wish to enter. We’re taking years of industry-leading experience, innovation and technology into Africa and so we required a unique, distinctive identity to match,” explains Pays.

Ozow has plans to expand throughout Africa in the next few years with a launch in Mauritius and Ghana expected before the close of 2019. After that, the firm is eyeing a release in Nigeria and Kenya in 2020.