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Mukuru, Payfast provide cash option for online shopping

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 10 Nov 2023
Shoppers can now select Mukuru as a payment option on the checkout page of an online store.
Shoppers can now select Mukuru as a payment option on the checkout page of an online store.

Fintech company Mukuru has joined forces with South African online payments gateway PayFast, to introduce a new payment service in the country.

Available as a payment option on Payfast, Mukuru allows merchants to accept cash payments for online purchases, according to a statement.

It adds that the service enables the underserved market that is either earning cash, or does not have access to digital payment instruments, such as credit cards, to access safe online purchasing.

“When a consumer selects Mukuru as a payment option on the checkout page of the online store, they are sent a unique code. They can take this code to any Mukuru pay point nationwide within 36 hours to pay for their purchase. As soon as the cash payment is made, Payfast informs the merchant, and the online order is processed.”

According to Oliver O’Brien, group executive head of strategy and business development at Mukuru, the solution provides consumers with a bridge between cash and digital.

“We have customers who trust us and are familiar with using our platform, making their transition to the digital economy seamless,” says O’Brien.

“Millions of people in South Africa can now access a range of online stores that cover all categories, from entertainment and fashion, to groceries and appliances. Merchants can now tap into this sizable and underserved market to unlock more growth opportunities.

“The partnership with Payfast provides consumers with a safer and more reliable option than cash on delivery that has been fraught with challenges, especially in informal communities.”

Mukuru was launched in the mid-2000s, enabling customers in the diaspora to send fuel and grocery vouchers back home via SMS. It later started offering money remittances, now providing financial services to over 13 million customers across Africa, Asia and Europe.

With a range of cash-to-digital pay-in points across urban and rural areas in South Africa, Mukuru covers customers who prefer to use cash online, to those employed in the informal sector and who primarily deal in cash.

Cape Town-based Payfast offers payments processing services for the e-commerce market across the African continent. The company enables transfer of money between online buyers and sellers.

With millions of people still preferring to transact in cash, the partnership between Payfast and Mukuru will bridge the digital divide by offering a safe and convenient way for cash users to participate in the digital economy, the companies say.