IKhokha Opens First Fintech Retail Store in Pietermaritzburg

Fintech company, iKhokha has this week opened their first Pietermaritzburg retail store, where their point-of-sale devices can be purchased and where merchants can access support, networking opportunities and other business enhancement tools.

Since launching in 2012, iKhokha has become one of the market leaders in the South African SME payments space, and have developed a deep understanding about the complexities and challenges that small business faces in South Africa. As part of their growth strategy, iKhokha embarked on a journey to learn more about what their merchants in communities really needed as added support and convenience.

What they found was the need for an on-the-ground presence, which led to the opening of seven physical stores in various locations in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, as a way to extend the brand, increase sales and provide much needed support. Their eighth store officially opened on Thursday, 25 April, in Selgro Centre, Church Street.

To date, iKhokha has opened retail stores in Phoenix, Isipingo, Umlazi, and central Durban as well as in Daveyton, Soweto and Hillbrow in Gauteng, with a store in Thembisa opening in May. May also sees stores being rolled out in East London and Umtata.

Having already sold their devices predominantly online and at retailers such as Makro, Masscash and Cellucity, this move to include location-based retail stores sees iKhokha able to support more existing merchants, increase their market access and foster more economic growth.

“At iKhokha, we are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and SMEs to believe in better business, by providing support to the underserved self-employed sector of South Africa, a sector that plays such a vital role in stimulating our economy and helping to bridge the unemployment gap,” says Ramsay Daly, co-founder and the Executive Head of Informal Market at iKhokha who has spear headed the initiative.

Each store runs their own marketing activations, as well as pursues business opportunities in the vicinity in which they operate. This includes networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Many merchants have never had access to these types of opportunities before – a platform where they can discuss their challenges and network with other small businesses within their communities.

“Our expansion into retail stores has largely focused on putting the community first. This includes the employment and training of people within the community to work in the stores,” says Daly.

Experienced store manager, Nontobeko Majola, has been hired to head up the Pietermaritzburg store, and says that the opening of this store brings together entrepreneurs from within the community, with the opportunity to gain insight and understanding from each other as well as access support to grow their businesses.

Other store employees at the Church Street store include candidates from the Youth Employment Service (YES), a private sector led initiative that addresses the country’s youth unemployment crisis by empowering businesses to create jobs for South Africa’s many unemployed youth.

iKhokha provides a range of devices and support to empower small businesses, and is a preferred supplier for thousands of merchants who are looking for robust, scalable and cost-effective payment solutions.

Their devices include the iK Flyer, iK Mover, iK Tap on Phone and the iK Flyer Lite, a new smart card machine launched last month. Merchants also have access to iKhokha’s all-in-one suite of intuitive business tools, including a cash advance product, easy-to-use dashboard, sales reports and business insights. iKhokha recently announced that they had surpassed the impressive milestone of disbursing more than R2bn in working capital to their SME customer base.

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