In South Africa, 70% of the adult population use bank cards as their primary form of financial transaction. Yet at the same time, fewer than 20% of small businesses are set up with the hardware and technology to accept cards as a form of payment. This huge gulf is primarily due to the size and scope of the informal sector, but it’s still disconcerting that the vast majority of businesses are unable to accept payment from the most popular digital payment type in the country.
Effectively card payments have somehow developed as a niche product for the upper and middle classes, even though all the statistics indicate they are very much in the financial mainstream. This anomaly was the driving force behind the establishment of Yoco, the fintech venture that is successfully developing mobile driven payment solutions to help small businesses grow.
Lungisa Matashoba is the co-founder and CIO of the seven-year old South African payments provider that has been a real game changer for so many small businesses.
Payment solutions offer business opportunity
Reflecting on the company’s origins, Matshoba remembers how “My co-founder Katlego Maphai had an illuminating experience while travelling in the United States. He saw the payment solution that the company Square had built, and how it allowed even the smallest of businesses to accept card payments. On his return he shared what he had seen with me, and that conversation is what ultimately led us on this journey.”