Clayton Hayward, co-founder, uKheshe, said the platform aimed to keep improving financial inclusion in South Africa where there were more than 11 million unbanked consumers. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – uKheshe, South Africa’s cheapest QR cash card and micro transaction platform, hAs been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2019 Global Fintech Hackcelerator competition.

The Global FinTech Hackcelerator 2019  Powered by KPMG Digital Village called on innovative start-ups from around the world to step forward to address the most complex challenges faced by the financial industry today.

This year, the programme identified 70 problem statements across three focus areas namely financial inclusion, banking and finance, and insurance. 

The initiative, launched by the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) and powered by fintech/bank matchmaking platform, KPMG Matchi, is a fintech acceleration programme that creates a platform for firms to demonstrate their innovative solutions to complex financial challenges in the Southern African region.

Launched in November 2018, the uKheshe card enables consumers to make and receive payments by using a QR code card and a smartphone on which the app is installed. No bank account is required and the uKheshe wallet grows as people pay into it. 

Clayton Hayward, co-founder, uKheshe, said the platform aimed to keep improving financial inclusion in South Africa where there were more than 11 million unbanked consumers. “Many necessary and even life-saving financial services and insurance products are simply too prohibitively expensive for low-income earners and their families. uKheshe is ideal for consumers and employers looking for an innovative and affordable alternative.”

As a shortlisted respondent in the Global Fintech Hackcelerator, uKheshe will showcase its solution at the Southern African Demo Day on 29 October 2019 in Johannesburg. The Demo Day aims to explore sustainable financial services innovations that address real-world financial services challenges.

uKheshe answers the needs of low income workers with offerings such as uKheshe Life, which covers hospital, disability and life cover for R60 a month.

Hayward said uKheshe was formed out of the desire to create financial inclusion for “what we call the ‘missing millions’, because there are so many people who don't have access to basic healthcare, basic insurance and basic financial services”.

He said the firm spent a lot of time looking at the low-income market and specifically at what people in that market need to come up with ways to structure a product that would make the benefits affordable.

Hayward said uKheshe Life was designed for people who in a medical emergency faced ending up in a government hospital where the chances of getting treatment were “risky to say the least”.

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