New tech platform set to boost local business recovery

South Africa is the first region to benefit from a new mobile payment, customer loyalty, and rewards programme, with the launch of UBU International

UBU International aims to boost local businesses sales

The platform-based ecosystem acts as a mobile search system that allows users to access a range of physical and digital retailers. 

Numerous businesses across the country have taken a hard knock-down due to the pandemic and the Covid-19 lockdown.

Businesses who have been able to survive during this trying period are looking for new ways to boost their sales and the new platform UBU International addresses this challenge and promotes the movement of support local. 

UBU International

Founded in February 2020 and based in Cape Town, UBU International received an undisclosed private equity funding from Norway and the United Kingdom. 

Established in February 2020, UBU International is a platform-based ecosystem that converts the massive power of mobile search for products and services into feet through the doors of local physical and digital retailers. The business is headquartered out of Cape Town, South Africa, with backing out of the UK and Norway. 

The UBU International ecosystem engages with three audiences: 

  • Local businesses who are hoping to attract and retain new customers
  •  Organisations or individuals that have a substantial audience, customer base or following (this could include schools, radio stations, gyms, churches or even social media influencers and local celebrities) 
  • Members of the public who want the convenience of a touchless mobile wallet as well as the cashback rewards and discounts offered by a loyalty program.

Andre de Wet, CEO of UBU International explains that the app is designed to assist businesses in growing their sales but also provides added benefits to users. 

“Our platform solves a commerce problem. Rather than simply focusing on sales conversions, it is designed to increase sales and drive foot traffic for brick-and-mortar retailers, while using digital channels to address relevant audiences for both retail and e-commerce businesses, many of whom can’t afford large advertising campaigns or to implement complex loyalty programmes. The UBU platform and ecosystem users also come out on top as research has shown that cashback and great deals are the benefits most sought after in loyalty programmes.”

UBU International provides businesses with their own branded loyalty wallet where their audience, customers or followers can get direct loyalty rewards, and also shop in the wider UBU Marketplace.

As a proudly South African founded startup, UBU International plans to scale up into 10 – 15 new countries, entering the international market within the next year to 18 months. 

App benefits 

Users are able to utilise a cashless system to pay for items using a wallet or mobile payment system. In addition, users will have access to a loyalty and rewards programme where all merchants on the marketplace are available for users to apply their rewards too. 

Organisations who have their branded wallets earn a commission for each purchase made by their users, creating a passive income stream. This is a unique way for wallet holders to earn income from their users outside of their normal sphere of business.

When searching for local services and retailers (like restaurants, B&Bs, handymen, coffee shops, salons, retail shops, etc), the wallet directs users to participating businesses in their area. When the user purchases services or products at these vendors, users are immediately provided with cash-back.

Businesses gain exposure via the UBU Marketplace which is constantly promoted by the participating organisations and businesses to their networks and clients.

This gives them access to a market that they would otherwise struggle to reach, attracting new customers, boosting sales, and keeping existing customers coming back for more.

“Our solution merges marketing, loyalty, and payments. With one platform we solve the small business challenge of getting feet through their door. We enable radio stations, churches, schools, gyms, NGOs, and even social media influencers to monetise one of their greatest untapped assets – their audience. For the wallet users, we give them the convenience of a touchless payment system that puts money back into their wallet, rather than complicated points reward systems. It’s an elegant solution for each participant,” explains de Wet.

Companies, organisations, and individuals can sign up now to join the UBU International ecosystem. Brands such as JacarandaFM, East Coast Radio, and Radio Laeveld are already members, along with 100s of small businesses countrywide. 

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Featured image: Andre de Wet, CEO of UBU International (Supplied)



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