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Airbuy allows cash-only customers to make online payments

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Local fintech start-up Airbuy has signed a partnership deal with 1Voucher, a subsidiaryof voucher distribution firm Flash Group, to enable online payments for shoppers, using a voucher instead of a bank card.

Airbuy is an online payment gateway launched in 2017 by South African tech-entrepreneurs Tshepang Kobo and Njabulo Makhathini.

It allows African consumers to make e-commerce payments, without the use of a credit or debit card, avoiding the risk of exposing their personal bank details when transacting.

The start-up uses digital tokens known as Airbucks, which allow users to make safe payments across its partner e-commerce sites.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive e-commerce, fraudsters are also stepping up efforts to swindle people, with a growing number of South Africans falling victim to online shopping scams.

In its latest move, Airbuy has introduced what it calls a simpler way of making online payments, allowing cash-only customers to shop across its partner e-commerce sites – using the 1FORYOU top-up prepaid voucher.

The vouchers are now available across SA’s townships, rural areas and urban retailers.

According to the company, the Airbuy top-up vouchers aim to make online shopping for ordinary South Africans a reality. An estimated 23.5% of SA’s population is unbanked, according to Oxford Business School.

Shoppers will be able to make a payment at any online store that has the Airbuy payment button once their Airbuy account has been topped up.

“Our goal has always been to provide accessibility even to the ordinary man on the ground,” says Makhathini.

“Now even people in the townships can walk to their nearby tuck shop, get a 1FORYOU voucher and top-up their Airbuy wallet and shop online wherever they can find an Airbuy payment button.

“This is strategically aligned with our aggressive growth plan for this year of getting our Airbuy button on as many online platforms as possible, whether they are big or small.”

South Africans can purchase the vouchers from major retailers, including PEP, PEPhome, PEPcell, Shoprite, Checkers, Usave, Dealz, Ackermans, OK, House & Home, Russells, DUNNS, HiFiCorp, Incredible Connection, Rochester, Sleepmasters and Bradlows.

The voucher partner network allows customers to pay for a range of services, including WiFi, travel, ticketing, online gaming and online shopping.

After purchasing a 1FORYOU voucher, customers insert the voucher code on their phones to generate a PIN to top-up their Airbuy wallets. The funds can be used at any Airbuy partner online merchant of their choice.

“With Airbuy vouchers in place, South African e-commerce platforms will give online shoppers a sense of comfort when shopping online,” comments Kobo.

“This is another way we are making online shopping much safer and more convenient for South Africa’s online shoppers.”

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