Start-ups

i-Pay rebrands to Ozow, prioritises SME support

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Ozow CEO Thomas Pays.
Ozow CEO Thomas Pays.

Instant EFT payment service provider, i-Pay, has rebranded to become Ozow Secure Payments.

As part of the rebranding exercise, Ozow will offer zero processing fees to emerging businesses and non-profit organisations accepting EFTs for payments or donations through its gateway.

In a statement, Ozow says start-ups, youth-run businesses and small, medium and micro enterprises processing under R1 million in online transactions monthly will do so free of charge for the first 12 months.

"By zero-rating the costs of accepting this form of payment, we are presenting more entrepreneurs the option of establishing their own businesses, which means more opportunity for financial autonomy, job creation, a competitive retail environment, consumer choice and an entrepreneurial, diverse economy," says Thomas Pays, Ozow CEO.

Ozow provides an instant EFT payment service that allows customers to make secure online payments directly into a bank account. The service is active with all six major banks in SA, namely Absa, First National Bank, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Capitec and Investec.

Pays anticipates that merchants and consumers will increasingly recognise the advantages of automated EFT payments.

For example, during last year's Black Friday sales, SA's largest online retailer encouraged consumers to use alternative payment methods such as EFT to maintain service, he pointed out.

"EFTs are reliable, quick and completely trusted and secure," he says. "Our merchants have reported that consumers are embracing them over more traditional methods such as credit or debit cards, particularly during busy shopping periods."

Explaining the shift from i-Pay to Ozow, Pays says the decision is in line with the company's ambitions to expand into the rest of the African continent. "We established that competitors with the same name already trade in some countries we wish to enter."

Outside of SA, Ozow is available in Namibia, with plans to expand to Mauritius and Ghana by the end of 2019, and additional countries including Nigeria and Kenya in 2020.

"As technology and the digital economy evolve, we need to keep leading innovation," concludes Pays. "We look forward to sharing new services and innovations with local and African merchants and consumers."

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