Insurance / 12 June 2019, 08:30am / Joseph Booysen
Finding affordable solutions for the “missing millions” of low-income South Africans who don't have access to cheap life cover led to the launch of uKheshe Life, says Clayton Hayward, the co-founder of uKheshe (a QR cash card) and uKheshe Life (a hospital, disability and life benefits card).
UKheshe Life offers 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”.
“If you just think of anybody travelling in a taxi, you basically take your life in your hands by getting into one of our taxis. And every day without fail two or three accidents happen in those taxis, where people are seriously injured and faced with the reality of going into a public hospital and not getting the treatment they need,” he said. Hayward added that it was about creating options for the mass market and giving them access to proper emergency treatment. He said the market had reacted positively, attracting more than 50000 members.
Hayward said uKheshe did a survey involving more than 1300 domestic workers in which only 49percent said they were able to save anything at the end of the month, and those who were able to saved less than R200 a month.
“It is for everybody. It is for every minimum-wage worker in South Africa, whether you are a petrol attendant, a security guard or in the hospitality industry They are all paid a large percentage of their wages in cash, which is where the uKheshe proposition comes in, and we can get them on to our system where they can know that their money is safe, and then they can choose the benefits that best suit them,” he said.
Hayward said uKheshe will be launching a few other propositions over the next few months, including a family option, whereby for a little extra cash they can take out cover for their entire family, he said.
“When people are only earning R3000 a month, there is no way that they can afford to pay about R500 for a policy. What we are trying to incentralise is that the employers out there take out the cover for their staff, because it is nothing for them to pay out R60 a month for cover, but it is still affordable enough for the employee to take it out for themselves,” said Hayward.
Launched last month, the uKheshe Life card offers domestic and other workers and their employers easy to understand, affordable insurance cover and offers all the features of the usual uKheshe QR card, but now includes hospital and life benefits for the card holder. For R60 a month uKheshe Life offers R5000 funeral cover and a private hospital guarantee, and should an accident occur there is a R100000 accidental and emergency as well as R100000 death and disability benefit.
Hayward said uKheshe card enables consumers to make and receive payments by using a QR code card and a smartphone on which the app is installed. And uKheshe Life card holders do not need a bank account, nor do they need to undergo medical tests or complete paperwork.
UKheshe is available by dialling *100*82274# and following the prompts. The free number will not require airtime and a card is required, but a virtual one will be created and automatically linked to the consumer's cellphone number.
The Ukheshe Life card can also be ordered through the uKheshe shop.