The term “microtransaction” has taken on negative meanings in recent years due to their prevalence in videogames, but in the finance world it speaks to the small purchases everyone makes daily. A focus on microtransactions in South Africa has won startup uKheshe the the 2019 Global Fintech Hackcelerator @ Southern Africa competition.
uKheshe revolves around the uKheshe Card, a simple QR code which can be displayed at an informal shop or even on a lanyard around the neck of someone running a stall. Customers can then scan this QR code through an app to pay.
What sets this apart from other similar solutions is the fact that the owner of the uKheshe Card does not need their own smartphone or a bank account to get their money. Dialling up a USSD code and following the prompts allows them to instead draw the cash at a Pick n Pay till across the country.
The Global Fintech Hackcelerator @ Southern Africa competition was launched by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and works in association with KPMG Matchi. This contest is a platform to show off local innovations in the fintech space and to provide backing for the best entries.
uKheshe, as the winner in 2019, will receive a stipend towards travel to the 2019 Singapore Fintech Festival. There it will pitch the product to an international audience in hopes of bringing this South African product to the rest of the world. In addition to this uKheshe also receives funding to develop a proof of concept for these other markets, as well as input from those international companies.
“We have some talented and exceptional businesses in South Africa all breaking new ground. uKheshe is proud to stand alongside these participants and showcase what local technology can do once it transcends geographic boundaries,” says co-founder Clayton Hayward.
Congratulations to the uKheshe team (pictured above) for its win, and we’ll hopefully hear more about the company and its product in the future.