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How Is Micro-Merchant Card Fueling Digital Transformation?

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The rise of card acceptance devices in South Africa’s informal and micro-merchant sectors is reshaping consumer behavior and driving significant economic changes. The availability of affordable card acceptance is transforming these sectors, making it easier for merchants and consumers to embrace the convenience of cards.

The convergence of increased card penetration and fintech innovations has propelled the digitalization of the informal sector, leading to inclusion and economic growth in previously underserved communities. The Lesaka Informal Economy Digitalization Index shows a significant shift towards card-based transactions, indicating changing merchant and consumer behavior.

Investments in expanding card acceptance terminal networks have played a crucial role in driving this transformation. Kazang, for instance, operates a vast network of terminals, enabling millions of daily transactions, with a significant portion accepting card payments.

Micro-merchants become hubs for daily essentials

Ashley Naidoo, Director of Kazang Pay, highlights how micro-merchants have become hubs for daily essentials in townships and rural areas. The ability to offer free cash withdrawals to shoppers further enhances convenience and reduces costs for both consumers and merchants.

In addition to streamlining cash handling and reducing risks, card transactions help merchants increase basket sizes and attract more customers. Digitalization also simplifies sales tracking and creates a financial footprint that could facilitate access to loans and other financial services for merchants.

Overall, the expansion of card acceptance in the informal sector brings tangible benefits to communities, fostering economic growth and financial inclusion while enhancing convenience and efficiency for all stakeholders.

By Martin Wright, CEO of Kazang

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