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uKheshe offers free transactions for grants during COVID-19

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Micro-payment platform uKheshe has, in partnership with Mastercard and Nedbank, announced it will be free to social grant users during COVID-19 for a 90-day period.

SA has 11.3 million for South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant beneficiaries and uKheshe says it wants to assist NGOs and government departments with an alternative and cost-effective solution for mass disbursements.

The move by the start-up comes on the back of recent announcements by banks that they will significantly reduce their charges for SASSA grant beneficiaries, and increase the number of pay-points they can use to collect their grants.

Now, uKheshe, a micro-transaction platform that allows QR card-holders to perform financial transactions such as receiving payments and making withdrawals, has also joined the fight to help reduce the damaging impact of the virus.

Clayton Hayward, CEO and founder of uKheshe, saysthe platform is fully-functional and ready to assist with broad-scale grant disbursements. “Cashing out will be made possible via ATMs, Pick n Pay and other retail partners.”

He adds the platform is aimed at facilitating micro-payments, with a broader objective to address financial inclusion across the continent.

“Not only do we offer a touchless payment facility, we also address key challenges such as providing a simple, accessible and easy to use system. Importantly, the platform is also extremely safe and secure. This makes us the perfect solution to the current crisis of grant disbursements,” says Hayward.

What makes uKheshe unique, according to Hayward, is its ability to offer both peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant transactions. “You can register via the app, USSD or WhatsApp. It means you can pay and get paid via the platform with no bank account; all you need is a mobile phone.”

With more than 90 million mobile connections in South Africa, according to Statisa, uKheshe is broadly accessible to the informal sector.

Hayward says that as a local software development company, uKhesheis able to manage the eligibility of recipients and provide adequate registration facilities, through its current platform. It can also provide an audit trail and manage the dispensation process end-to-end.

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