Ozow aims to up digital inclusion with new payment solutions
Digital payments company Ozow has introduced new online payments solutions, as the company’s local user base reaches over 400 000.
Initially established as i-Pay at the end of 2014, Ozow offers online banking payment solutions that enable merchants to receive and process payments from any South African.
The services include e-commerce solutions, a QR code solution and SMS payments conducted from any smartphone.
The newly introduced solutions Ozapp and Ozow PIN form part of the company’s Ozow Revolution portfolio. They are targeted at all South Africans, but are more useful for the under-banked population – who have minimal banking services, and no credit card facility – with the aim of creating greater opportunity for South Africans to participate in the digital economy.
It is estimated there are only eight million active credit cards in SA, but more than 49 million bank accounts, notes the company.
Ozow says its Revolution solutions are also designed to make the process of setting up and facilitating payments as easy as possible for small business owners and entrepreneurs, in particular.
Ozapp is a Web application that enables customers with a bank account or eWallet facility to transact without a card through a QR-code enabled payment. It is designed to ease adoption by doing away with the need for a dedicated native application.
Ozow PIN simplifies EFT payments through a four-step payment process that can be completed in seconds, without the need for a user to remember their online banking login details.All they need to know is their four-digit Ozow PIN.
"With the launch of Ozow PIN, we are revolutionising the payment experience with a new patent-pending simplified payment innovation that delivers a seamless customer experience without compromising on safety,” says Thomas Pays, CEO and co-founder of Ozow.
“And in keeping with our commitment to greater digital and financial inclusion, Ozow PIN will be developed in all 11 official languages by the end of the year.”
The digital payments company says it has also zero-rated data costs for its new offerings, to ensure all South Africans can access digital payments.
In addition, sole proprietors can now make use of Ozow as a payment provider free of charge for the first 12 months, or up to R1 million free processing per month, according to the company.
Previously, Ozow’s payments innovations were only available to online enterprises and SME merchants, but due to increased demand, the company has expanded its services to sole proprietors and individuals.
Unless digital inclusion is guaranteed for all South Africans, any efforts to build a vibrant and growing economy will fall flat, notesPays. As it stands, too many locals are excluded from online and other value-added services simply because they lack access to a bank card.
Only one in eight adults in SA has access to a credit card, notes Pays.
“The over-reliance on card payments to facilitate online and other transactions continues to exclude a large portion of the country’s consumer market. The South African government has set its sights on fostering greater digital inclusion. The SA Reserve Bank’s Vision 2025 has also emerged as a roadmap to establishing a vibrant open banking ecosystem in the country,” statesPays.