Cape Town - Yoco, a South African point of sale (POS) payments company, has signed up 8 000 South African merchants and processes more than R1 billion in transactions a year.

The Cape Town-based start-up addresses the need of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to accept card payments. The SME market is expensive and difficult to serve and has mostly been untapped by traditional financial services companies.

James Kramer, head of data and risk at Yoco, said the company would launch another office as part of national footprint expansion before year-end.

He said the company was also looking to spreading to other African countries.

“We are exploring different African markets, but the approach there could potentially be different from the approach we took in South Africa.”

Kramer said the company’s target was to increase merchants by year-end with a month-to-month new signings. “All our initiatives, such as launching another office, will help us reach our target of more merchants in 2017.”

Yoco is on the verge of launching a new technology to make consumers lives easier.

Yoco offers two chip-and-PIN card readers, which pair via Bluetooth to a mobile phone or tablet, for a once-off purchase fee. Thereafter it charges per transaction, with no monthly rentals. It also offers integrated business intelligence and insights to its merchants. The full solution encompasses the card reader, point of sale (POS) app and a Business Portal.