SA fintech launches prepaid virtual card for SMEs

A digital payment fintech, PayCentral, has partnered with Mastercard to launch a secure online platform DigiCentral.

The online platform provides SMEs with a cost-effective digital payment solution that allows business owners to pay incentives, rewards, gifting, corporate expenses, and employee salaries via a prepaid virtual card.

  PayCentral has partnered with Mastercard to digitise SMEs payment solutions via prepaid virtual card

In an official press release, Veenash Parbhoo founder of PayCentral explains that DigiCentral is targeted at SA SMEs to offer the virtual card as an alternative payment solution.

“A large part of our focus in South Africa is directed toward SMEs. We find that owners of smaller businesses need options when it comes to paying their staff as well as managing their petty cash and expenses. Working with small businesses for the past five years has allowed us to see them grow as a result of the payment products we offer.”

Rise of digital payments 

Mastercard’s research reportedly indicates that due to the Covid-19 pandemic 68% of South Africans are online shopping more frequently and 75% are utilising contactless payments.

Digital payment methods prioritize safety and cleanliness, especially during this uncertain time. Households with lower income brackets are at risk for using cash as a primary means of transaction. PayCentral’s main objective is to eliminate physical cash from the ecosystem as well as reduce crime threats to business owners and salary recipients.

The virtual card

Founded in 2016, PayCentral has created an online portal that allows SMEs to access a card management platform. The platform requires no monthly cost with full reporting capability. 

The PayCentral portal allows business owners to gain full control of their transactions without the intervention of a third party. The payroll process will differ as the distribution of funds will be shifted onto a card rather than employees receiving cash or payments into their bank accounts.

Furthermore, PayCentral has launched a physical Mastercard prepaid card, DigiCentral, that ensures recipients can withdraw money from any ATM and specific POS terminals countrywide.

The DigiCentral virtual card is a prepaid card that allows users to only spend money they have to avoid overspending and debt. The virtual card encourages the elimination of physical plastic cards and can be used for eCommerce and in-store purchases. 

Suzanne Morel, Country Manager, Mastercard, South Africa explains that managing finances is especially important due to the state of the economy and the global pandemic.

“Social distancing has changed the way consumers pay and they now opt for touch-free, secure, and seamless ways to pay without compromising their health and safety. This, in turn, has accelerated the demand for safe and secure virtual cards. Through our partnership with PayCentral, we can help small business owners to better meet the needs of their employees – without the costs and risks associated with cash.”

Similar to a physical card, DigiCentral virtual cardholders will receive a 16-digit card number, security code, and expiry date, to ensure they can complete a purchase online

The virtual card has the capabilities to link to online retail apps such as Uber, Uber Eats, Checkers 60 Sixty, and more.

The DigiCentral virtual card can be loaded to any Masterpass-enabled digital wallet to allow in-store purchases. Once the virtual card is loaded, the cardholder is able to scan a QR code displayed in retail store checkouts via their mobile phone, in addition to billers that accept Masterpass payments in SA.

DigiCentral virtual card benefits

Cardholders will receive benefits for using the DigiCentral virtual card such as:

  • A lower-cost compared to monthly commitments required for bank accounts
  • Free access to balances and transaction history via app and online
  • Instant payment in times of need
  • The reduction of risks associated with being paid in cash

PayCentral aims to expand to Pan Africa to promote digital payment solutions and eliminate physical cash in the ecosystem. 

The partnership between Mastercard, a global technology company in the payments industry, allows the acceleration of powering an inclusive, digital economy where people can make safe, smart, and accessible transactions. 

Read more: SA 4IR startup LayUp creates unique payment solution
Read more: New Nigerian fintech to launch digital wallet platform

Featured Image: DigiCentral online platform (supplied)



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