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Local fintech partners with Telkom to launch payment innovation

Joburg-based fintech startup Ukheshe Technologies has partnered with Telkom, Mastercard and Nedbank to create a virtual card solution which helps users complete secure eCommerce transactions via popular instant messaging platform Whatsapp

The latest payment innovation enables Telkom clients to conduct safe payments via Whatsapp by simply using their mobile device. The concept will empower millions of South Africans, with or without bank accounts, to access the digital economy.

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Ukheshe and Telkom Pay bring users Africa’s first virtual card

Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe Technologies shares that they are excited to collaborate with Telkom with this venture. “We are thrilled to assist Telkom in making new, innovative products possible, and look forward to continuing our journey of supporting clients in their efforts to offer cutting-edge payment solutions to people who need them most,” he says.

The virtual card solution

The Telkom Pay application was launched in 2020. It is a digital payment solution that allows users to receive and send money using WhatsApp. The inclusion of the Telkom Mastercard virtual card for WhatsApp in the wallet means that users can also send payments to local and international companies that accept Mastercard, such as Uber and Netflix. 

Telkom Managing Executive for Financial Services, Sibusiso Ngwenya, says: “We are proud to lead the way in launching the first virtual card through WhatsApp on the continent. This ensures greater financial inclusion through affordable products and services that cater to everyone and are easily accessible through a mobile device at any time.”

The user simply creates a virtual card on their profile, links it to their digital wallet and then transfers money from the wallet to the card. When a user buys a product online, they get a virtual prepaid card with a 16-digit card number, security code and expiry date to complete the purchase.

The digital Mastercard solution is stored within the Telkom Pay app and customers can temporarily block, cancel or replace their card through the app, giving them added security and control.

The expansion of Telkom Pay’s services is a crucial step forward in improving access to the digital economy, according to Suzanne Morel, Country Manager for Mastercard, South Africa. “South Africans are increasingly shopping online, yet many people are left out as they lack the financial tools needed for e-commerce. This digital-first solution bridges the divide by giving consumers instant access to a virtual payment solution through WhatsApp, without compromising the safety and security of transactions. Together with our partners, we are helping more people to benefit from the choice and flexibility that a growing, inclusive digital economy brings.”

Read more: Local fintech partners with Infobip to create SAs first WhatsApp payment gateway
Read more: Social & Inclusive Business Camp calls for African entrepreneurs

Feature image: Dimitri Karastelev via Unsplash 

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