Ukheshe, Infobip create Telkom WhatsApp payment gateway

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Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe.
Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe.

Local micro transaction platform Ukheshe, in collaboration with a global cloud communications platform Infobip, has developed a WhatsApp payment gateway for use by Telkom.

The companies say in addition to being SA’s first digital wallet platform, the solution is the first WhatsApp channel to enable payments using QR codes.

In a statement, Ukheshe says the solution allows Telkom customers to quickly and securely send money to anyone with a mobile number, with no need for another app or additional software.

The digital wallet platform’s service offering will be extended to accommodate the issuing of virtual cards, with Ukheshe saying coupled with chat banking, it underpins the company’s drive to support digital-first e-commerce adoption.

The launch of the WhatsApp payment gateway comes as Ukheshe seeks to expand its international reach as a solution-driven B2B provider of digital-first payment solutions that enable banks, telcos and fintech firms to provide banking and payment services to their customers through a solution called “chat banking”.

This, the company says, informed the project and collaboration with Infobip.

“Infobip’s deployment of a WhatsApp Business API solution leveraged by Ukheshe’s Eclipse API integration is a first of its kind. Working with Infobip has been particularly exciting, as we have developed an easy and cost-effective way to send and receive money using an app that is already on customers’ phones,” says Clayton Hayward, co-founder and CEO of Ukheshe.

“Chat banking is a solution that will add immense value to people’s lives.

“We are thrilled that through various working associations, we are able to assist organisations to address financial literacy and inclusion. The chat banking solution empowers end-customers by giving them access to the Internet, an efficient and secure digital wallet, while meeting know your customer requirements.

“The digital wallet will also be able to link to other cards, add virtual cards, pay or get paid with a QR code, send money, make cash withdrawals or pay for goods.”

Shaun van Rooyen, strategic accounts and partnerships manager at Infobip South Africa, comments: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Ukheshe on this project. The initiative and wonderful partnership align with our goal of connecting the world. The project is something that we are proud of and want to keep working on to see how we can help Ukheshe do more.”

The latest move by the fintech firm comes as the company is making inroads into the East African market on the back of ramped up efforts by Ukheshe to establish and enhance key partnerships in Africa, as the continent shifts towards digital channels, products and services.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest-growing investment zones for financial technology companies, according to the trade body that represents the interests of global mobile network operators.

The GSM Association predicts that total Sub-Saharan Africa subscribers will reach over 600 million by 2025, and will become a flagship for mobile disruption.

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