Yoco reaches 50K customers, offers new card machine
Local point-of sale payments (POS) provider Yoco has experienced growth in the last few years, reaching a customer base of 50 000 merchants across the country.
To further expand its reach, the company yesterday launched a low-cost card machine, Yoco Go, targeted at previously underserved small businesses that have not had access to card payment and POS technologies.
Launched in 2015, Yoco builds tools and services to help small businesses accept card payments and manage their day-to-day activities.
By integrating its technology with the Mastercard Payment Gateway Services, the fintech company brings Mastercard cardholders secure contactless payment-enabled devices.
Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg, Yoco's founders outlined the company's rapid growth since entering the market, and how it had made good on its Series B funding round, when it raised R230 million in September 2018.
“Yoco's focus as a technology company is on opening-up commerce by enabling entrepreneurs to get paid, run their businesses, and grow,” says Katlego Maphai, co-founder and CEO.
"A year ago, Yoco had a customer base of 27 000 merchants. After announcing our Series B funding, our mission intensified to improve access to underserved small businesses, by growing our customer base nationwide and investing heavily in product development and scalability.
“In a market estimated to be more than one million small businesses, we are delighted to announce that Yoco's customer base reached 50 000 merchants last week. Alongside this, we are processing R6 billion in card transaction volume, annualised.”
The Yoco Go device comes at a once-off cost of R799. It accepts tap, swipe, chip and PIN and mobile payments like Samsung Pay. The machine has all-day battery life.
“Our calculations show there are at least one million small and micro businesses in SA that operate wholly on a cash basis. By providing them with a full payment ecosystem, these businesses have a better chance to grow and thrive.
“Yoco Go is far more accessible to business owners that were previously excluded from the digital payment ecosystem. The low cost does not imply diminished functionality – the card reader is bundled with Yoco’s POS and business portal, which provide valuable tools for small business owners,” notes Maphai.
Recent figures indicate only 7% of small businesses accept card payments in SA.
Yoco says its research has shown that having card payment facilities can increase a small business's sales by up to 40% - presenting a vital growth mechanism in today’s challenging economic climate.
Maphai believes this limits the ability of these small business owners to grow their revenue, because they cannot accept card payments in a country where card penetration is over 75% among adults.
The introduction of the Yoco Go is a critical element of the company's growth strategy of doubling its merchant base over the next 12 months.
"We are now in a position to provide an even broader base of small business owners with access to payment technologies which were never before affordable to them," concludes Maphai.