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Fintech launches digital payment system for unbanked in Africa

Headquartered in London, SendSpend plans to launch its global payment system platform that enables unbanked individuals in Africa to complete payments and transfers only using a smartphone device. 

SendSpend plans to launch its global payment system platform that enables unbanked individuals in Africa to complete payments and transfers only using a smartphone device

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In a press statement, Tracy Andersson, co-founder and group director of SendSpend explains that the fintech is committed to ensuring financial inclusivity in Africa.

“SendSpend is committed to enhance and uplift the lives of people in underserved local communities. Financial inclusion is a primary focus in achieving one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of eliminating poverty and SendSpend is very proud to be part of this very ambitious goal. We want to enable economically marginalised consumers to participate in the digital economy by having access to financial services.” 


Founded in 2016 by South African duo Tracy Andersson and Graham Davies, SendSpend is focused on providing an essential financial service to Africa.

SendSpend’s platform utilises cloud and mobile technology enables unbanked individuals in Africa to access much-needed financial services simply with an internet connection and access to a smartphone device. The payment system is not restricted to a specific mobile network or financial institution. 

Currently, the app is available in South Africa but SendSpend plans to launch its offering through the continent. 

The free-to-use and download platform simply requires users to register to use its services. 

How does it work?

The mobile payment system is not linked to a bank account or mobile operator and is owned and operated by SendSpend. 

As the sole owner of the platform, the supply chain is cut down and eliminates unnecessary costs which results in SendSpend being able to provide an affordable service to both consumers and merchant owners. 

Graham Davies, co-founder of SendSpend explains how the fintech is able to provide a cost-effective service. 

“We set out to develop a payment system that was affordable, secure, and functional. In addition, SendSpend’s flexible and dynamic architecture enables us to adapt to different compliance and regulatory requirements encountered by different countries. This allows us to offer a full suite of services and functionality when competitors often can’t”.

Customers are able to top up their virtual card or withdraw money from SendSpend Cash In/Out agents that are available in their area. 

The online platform can be used to pay for services or products at selected merchants either by scanning the QR code or entering the registered mobile number into the online checkout. 

To ensure that each transaction is conducted safely, two-factor authentication using an OTP is a requirement for all online transactions.

Assisting township SMEs

Not only does SendSpend’s platform assist unbanked individuals but it aims to empower township or rural merchants. By opting to become a SendSpend agent, business owners are able to generate an income by setting their own cash handling fees for users who wish to withdraw money. 

“Our Smart Agents are the backbone of SendSpend’s Agent Network. We’re taking financial services right into the villages and rural areas that frequently pose a challenge to financial institutions. Consumers no longer need to travel long distances to access financial services such as insurance, money transfers, and online buying,” adds Andersson. 

Customers are able to find viable Cash In/Out agents by simply searching on the in-app Google map which indicates the distance and fees each agent charges for a deposit or withdrawal. 

Online businesses

To tackle the challenge that many online businesses face where a product is ordered and customers are unable to pay for the item, SendSpend holds the online payment in escrow. 

“In this way, the merchant has confidence that the goods will be paid for once delivered and the customer has confidence that they can cancel the order and have funds immediately refunded to their SendSpend e-Wallet should the incorrect goods be delivered, or the goods not be delivered at all,” explains SendSpend. 

SendSpend is an Authorised Financial Services Provider, approved by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

Read more: African fintechs encouraged to apply to Catapult: Inclusion Africa 2021
Read more: Working from home qualifies a financial claim from SARS

Featured image: Supplied

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