Mukuru and Payfast Connect the Cash Digital Divide for Millions of Customers and Merchants in SA

Over 19 million adults in South Africa are excluded from digital transactions according to the World Bank. This includes people who have an account, but do not transact online. In a KLA poll, 44% of respondents expressed concerns about the security of their personal and financial information while shopping online. Security threats, including scams and phishing attacks, deter many South Africans from engaging in online shopping, as they feel safer in physical stores.

Leading African fintech company Mukuru has partnered with online payment gateway Payfast to launch a new payment service. Available as a payment option on Payfast, Mukuru allows merchants to accept cash payments for online purchases. This also enables the massive, underserved market either earning cash or who don’t have access to digital payment instruments such as credit cards to access safe online purchasing.

When a consumer selects Mukuru as a payment option on the checkout page of the online store, they are sent a unique code. They can take this code to any Mukuru pay point nationwide within 36 hours to pay for their purchase. As soon as the cash payment is made, Payfast informs the merchant, and the online order is processed.

With a wide range of cash-to-digital pay-in points across urban and rural areas in South Africa, Mukuru has a strong foothold in the cash economy. This covers customers who prefer to use cash online, to those employed in the informal sector and primarily deal in cash. Conversely, Payfast, with its expansive network of over 80,000 merchants, is a champion in the digital economy, processing online payments seamlessly for a plethora of services and products. With millions of people still preferring to transact in cash, the partnership between Payfast and Mukuru will bridge the digital divide by offering a safe and convenient way for cash users to participate in the digital economy.

According to Oliver O’Brien, Group Executive Head of Strategy and Business Development at Mukuru, this solution provides consumers with the ideal bridge between cash and digital. “We have customers who trust us and are familiar with using our platform, making their transition to the digital economy seamless,” says O’Brien. The competitive merchant fees and convenience of pay points for this on-demand product for customers makes it an accessible option for all.

“Millions of people in South Africa can now access a range of online stores that cover all categories from entertainment and fashion to groceries and appliances. Merchants can now tap into this sizable and underserved market to unlock more growth opportunities. The partnership with Payfast provides consumers with a safer and more reliable option than cash on delivery that has been fraught with challenges, especially in informal communities,” concludes O’Brien.

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