Payment aggregator Pay@ in African expansion drive

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South African payment aggregator and payment solutions provider Pay@ is on an African expansion journey, as it prepares to establish a presence in Zambia, Mozambique and Angola, with additional African countries in the pipeline.

The fintech firm offers fully integrated payment platform and payment solutions to online and physical merchants, to enable customers to make payments seamlessly and securely. Payment solutions offered include digital and mobile payments, generic QR readers, apps for online payment, USSD and card solutions.

Over the past few years, it has established operations in Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho, and says following phenomenal digital growth spurred on by the pandemic, it is expanding further into Africa, with plans to establish a retail partner network.

With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement set to generate combined consumer and business spending of $6.7 trillion by 2030, Pay@ believes the continent requires payment platforms to cater for this growth.

“Ultimately, our aim is to improve our services both for the under-banked and the banked, and to help create a payment culture by making digital payments a lot more accessible and easier for people,” says Pay@ CEO Andrew Hardie.

“If you have to get into a taxi to go to the closest town to make a payment, it can cost you a lot of money. But if you can make a payment via mobile money, EFT using your mobile phone, the Internet, a spaza shop or your local retailer store, it’s more convenient and saves you money.

“We intend providing bill presentment and payment options across the spectrum in Africa and believe the efficiencies we have been offering South Africans, such as real-time validations, notifications and reconciliations, will be welcomed by those in other countries on the continent.”

The decision to expand was driven by several factors, including demand from South African clients operating in these markets, a retailer network in these areas and significant growth seen by the company from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hardie says that over and above providing Pay@’s established payment offerings in Zambia, Mozambique and Angola, the company is actively looking to expand its services via strategic partnerships, in order to meet the specific requirements of each local market.

It is looking to enhance payment systems, both front-end and back-end, for businesses, and help them facilitate easy payments for their customers.

“What makes Africa an exciting challenge is that you can’t follow a blanket approach; there are some similarities among the various countries in the methods or channels that they use but every country also has differences. Pay@ is at the forefront of innovation; we’re continually improving as a business, and adapting as we expand across the continent too,” he concludes.

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