Earlier today, payments platform Ozow held a media webinar to showcase some of the new solutions its bringing to market across country – Ozapp and Ozow PIN.

Both solutions are aimed at addressing financial and digital inclusion in South Africa, according to the payments platform, with it designed to make the process of setting up and facilitating payments as easy as possible for small business owners and entrepreneurs in particular.

“As an impact-driven and market-led company, Ozow is at the forefront of developing breakthrough payments products that enable greater financial and digital inclusion. While more than 80% of South Africans hold a bank account, only one out of every eight have a credit card. This locks the vast majority of consumers out of digital payments and excludes them from a huge range of services,” highlights CEO of the company, Thomas Pays.

“By simplifying payments for consumers and merchants alike and supporting them with helpful innovations such as zero-rated data costs, we can enable greater participation in the digital economy for all consumers and businesses,” he adds.

These new solutions form part of what the company is calling the “Ozow Revolution“, with them both featuring some rather innovative elements.

The Ozapp for example, is a progressive web application (PWA), which means it takes up far less space on a device than a regular mobile app, as well as being less data intensive, which remains an issue for many when it comes to digital inclusion.

Added to this is the ability to create a profile simply by taking a selfie, and the ability to begin transacting sans bank card, provided you have an active bank account, with the payment system being QR code-based.

“In a further effort at enabling greater digital inclusion, the data needed to use Ozapp is zero-rated, meaning consumers have zero data cost to make use of the progressive web app and can make payments anytime at any Ozow-enabled point-of-sale or pretty much anywhere, including the comfort of their home,” adds Pays.

Switching to Ozow PIN, as the name suggests, it makes use of a uniquely generated pin in order to facilitate contactless EFT payments. The system is designed for use both in-store or online, so Ozow is envisioning it as a solution that can work on a number of different platforms. The company also confirms that it is working to add support for all 11 South African languages on Ozow PIN by the end of the year, with five already supported to date.

“With the launch of Ozow PIN, we are revolutionising the payment experience with a new patent-pending simplified payment innovation that delivers a seamless customer experience without compromising on safety,” notes Pays.

For those entrepreneurs, SMEs and small businesses concerned about the cost of such a platform, Pays confirms that access is free for the first 12 months (up to R1 million in processing per month), with NGOs also getting access for life, for free.

“We’re only just getting started with developing new innovations that enable more South Africans to enjoy the benefits of digital payments. As a business, we will continue to find ways to drive digital inclusion until every person on the African continent can make or receive safe, convenient digital payments,” concludes Pays.