Bridging the Digital Divide: Mukuru and Payfast Collaborate for Cash-Based Online Transactions

Published 5 months ago

A significant number of South African adults, over 19 million, are excluded from digital transactions, according to the World Bank. This segment includes individuals who possess an account but refrain from online transactions. A KLA poll revealed that concerns about online security, especially during online shopping, were a deterrent for 44% of respondents. Many South Africans prefer physical stores over online shopping due to threats like scams and phishing attacks.

Mukuru and Payfast Launch New Payment Service

Mukuru, a leading African fintech company, has teamed up with online payment gateway Payfast to introduce a new payment service. Accessible as a payment option on Payfast, Mukuru enables merchants to accept cash payments for online purchases. This service assists those earning in cash or lacking access to digital payment instruments, such as credit cards, to make safe online purchases.

How the Service Works

Upon choosing Mukuru as a payment option during online checkout, consumers receive a unique code. This code can be used at any Mukuru pay point in South Africa within 36 hours to pay for the purchase. After receiving the cash payment, Payfast notifies the merchant, who then processes the online order.

A Step Towards Bridging the Digital Divide

Mukuru, with its extensive cash-to-digital pay-in points across urban and rural South Africa, plays a crucial role in the cash economy. It caters to customers who prefer using cash for online purchases and those in the informal sector who predominantly deal in cash. On the other hand, Payfast, with an expansive network of over 80,000 merchants, facilitates online payments for a wide range of services and products. The Mukuru-Payfast partnership aims to provide a safe and convenient method for cash users to participate in the digital economy, thus bridging the digital divide.

Customer Convenience and New Growth Opportunities

Oliver O’Brien, Group Executive Head of Strategy and Business Development at Mukuru, regards this solution as a bridge between cash and digital. He states that the platform’s trustworthiness and ease of use make the transition to the digital economy seamless for Mukuru customers. The competitive merchant fees and convenience of pay points make this on-demand product accessible to all.

Moreover, the partnership with Payfast allows millions of South Africans to access a variety of online stores selling everything from entertainment and fashion to groceries and appliances. It provides an opportunity for merchants to tap into this sizable and underserved market, unlocking potential growth. According to O’Brien, this partnership offers a safer and more reliable option than cash on delivery, which has posed challenges, particularly in informal communities.

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