Ukheshe Micro-Payments Platform will be Free to Users during COVID-19 Crisis

It is anticipated that there will be millions of recurring grant recipients over the next three to six-month period as South Africa grapples with the economic and social challenges of the nationwide lockdown and beyond.

Micro-payment platform Ukheshe, together with its key strategic partners, Mastercard and Nedbank, has announced that the Ukheshe platform will be free to users during COVID-19 for a 90 day period. This move aims to assist NGOs and government departments looking for an alternative, cost-effective solutions for mass disbursements.

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Clayton Hayward, CEO, and founder of Ukheshe says that the platform is uniquely aimed at facilitating micro-payments with a broader objective to address financial inclusion across the continent.

“This makes us a perfect solution to the current crisis of grant disbursements. Not only do we offer a touchless payment facility, but we also address key challenges such as a simple and easy to use system that is accessible and includes an effective cash-out mechanism. While, importantly, the platform is also extremely safe and secure.”

What makes Ukheshe unique, according to Hayward, is its ability to offer both Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and Peer-to-Merchant (P2M) transactions. “You can register via the app, USSD or WhatsApp, making it universally accessible. It means that you can pay and get paid via the platform with no bank account, you just need a mobile phone.”

With more than 90 million mobile connections in South Africa according to Statisa, Ukheshe is broadly accessible to the informal sector. Hayward says that the good news is that the platform is fully functional and ready to assist with broadscale grant disbursements: “Cashing out will be made possible via ATMs, Pick ‘n Pay and other retail partners.”

As a local software development company, Hayward says that Ukheshe is also able to manage the eligibility of recipients and provide adequate registration facilities, through its current platform. It can also provide an audit trail and manage the dispensation process end-to-end.

Edited by Luis Monzon

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