In anticipation of millions of recurring grant recipients over the next three- to six-month period, micropayment 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. Photo: Supplied
In anticipation of millions of recurring grant recipients over the next three- to six-month period, micropayment 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. Photo: Supplied

uKheshe, Nedbank, Mastercard offer free transactions for grant disbursements during Covid-19

By Sizwe DlaminiSizwe Dlamini Time of article published Apr 17, 2020

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CAPE TOWN –In anticipation of millions of recurring grant recipients over the next three- to six-month period, micropayment 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. 

uKheshe chief executive and founder Clayton Hayward said this move was aimed at assisting NGOs and government departments looking for an alternative, cost-effective solutions for mass disbursements.

Hayward said the platform was uniquely aimed at facilitating micro-payments with a broader objective to address financial inclusion across Africa.

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

What makes uKheshe unique, according to Hayward, is its ability to offer both peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant 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 online statistics portal Statista, uKheshe is broadly accessible to the informal sector. Hayward said the platform was 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.”

Hayward said uKheshe was also able to manage the eligibility of recipients and provide adequate registration facilities, through its platform. It can also provide an audit trail and manage the dispensation process end-to-end.

uKheshe on Wednesday announced the appointment of Mark Dankworth as executive director of uKheshe Africa, who will drive the company’s move to identify new business-to-business opportunities for the platform across the continent.

According to Global Findex, 1,7 billion adults remain unbanked. Sub-Saharan Africa, with about 350 million unbanked, accounts for 17 percent of the global total according to the report.

Dankworth said that there were already opportunities underway for the micro-payment platform in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Botswana and Angola. Dankworth launched a Kenyan card business in 2013. “I saw how M-Pesa changed many lives in Kenya, and as a fully interoperable wallet solution, uKheshe will undoubtedly change the lives of so many across the continent.”

uKheshe, has collaborated with Africa Assist, a private medical assistance company, to provide Coronavirus Medical Support for its users. Through uKheshe, users will have access to information about the coronavirus Pandemic, as well as a full 24-hour medical support service via phone. This service can be accessed by all uKheshe users by selecting the emergency option #1 on 0104440040.

The uKheshe App is free, user friendly and easy to download for anyone needing to transact without a bank account.

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