According to the companies, the partnership will see more than 18 000 small township-based businesses and spaza shops, for the first time, receive free access to on-demand security services and emergency medical response and business insurance.
Hello Pay, the merchant terminal service of Hello Group, which provides small businesses and spaza shops with digital payment access, has embedded business insurance, as well as the emergency response services offered by Aura, as a free offering to its 18 000 customers on the Hello Pay Premium Service.
In a statement, the firms say with an estimated 200 000 spaza shops and many more small businesses across South Africa, especially in the 40 to 50 townships, informal settlements and hostels, there are significant opportunities to extend these services.
Aura’s platform enables users to activate panic buttons during an emergency. The service links them to immediate on the ground emergency services to keep them and their customers safe, and create a more secure environment in communities surrounding their businesses, the company notes.
It explains the system is activated when a business owner presses their panic button during an emergency.
Immediately, security and medical response, from vetted security and medical responders that Aura has recruited onto its platform, are deployed.
According to Aura, the system is linked to 6 500 armed response vehicles, and the closest responder accepts and responds to the user.
“Hello Pay is our merchant terminal business, which allows small businesses and spazas to collect payments digitally,” says Moosa Manjra, CEO of Hello Group.
“Besides the obvious security provided by digitising payments, as opposed to cash, we also understand that the personal safety of small business operators is critical to ensuring their success. That is why we decided to embed Aura’s armed response panic service and a basic business insurance cover, to keep our customers safe from physical and economic harm.
“Our objective is to ensure that if our customers feel unsafe or face a threat towards their business, they can simply press one button, and help will be there within minutes. Furthermore, they are shielded from any riots or looting event that occurs through the embedded business cover from Hello Pay, which includes SASRIA insurance for riots, strikes, unrest and similar events.”
Warren Myers, founder of Aura, says: “Aura has democratised access to emergency response services, making it more affordable, efficient and accessible.
“We are determined to make these services available across every township and informal settlement across the country.”