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SA fintech launches prepaid virtual card for SMEs

The online platform provides SMEs with a cost-effective digital payment solution that allows business owners to pay incentives, rewards,employees and more.

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A digital payment fintech, PayCentral, has partnered with Mastercard to launch a secure online platform DigiCentral.

The online platform provides SMEs with a cost-effective digital payment solution that allows business owners to pay incentives, rewards, gifting, corporate expenses, and employee salaries via a prepaid virtual card.

PayCentral has partnered with Mastercard to digitise SMEs payment solutions via prepaid virtual card

In an official press release, Veenash Parbhoo founder of PayCentral explains that DigiCentral is targeted at SA SMEs to offer the virtual card as an alternative payment solution.

“A large part of our focus in South Africa is directed toward SMEs. We find that owners of smaller businesses need options when it comes to paying their staff as well as managing their petty cash and expenses. Working with small businesses for the past five years has allowed us to see them grow as a result of the payment products we offer.”

Rise of digital payments

Mastercard’s research reportedly indicates that due to the Covid-19 pandemic 68% of South Africans are online shopping more frequently and 75% are utilising contactless payments.

Digital payment methods prioritize safety and cleanliness, especially during this uncertain time. Households with lower income brackets are at risk for using cash as a primary means of transaction. PayCentral’s main objective is to eliminate physical cash from the ecosystem as well as reduce crime threats to business owners and salary recipients.

The virtual card

Founded in 2016, PayCentral has created an online portal that allows SMEs to access a card management platform. The platform requires no monthly cost with full reporting capability.

The PayCentral portal allows business owners to gain full control of their transactions without the intervention of a third party. The payroll process will differ as the distribution of funds will be shifted onto a card rather than employees receiving cash or payments into their bank accounts.

Furthermore, PayCentral has launched a physical Mastercard prepaid card, DigiCentral, that ensures recipients can withdraw money from any ATM and specific POS terminals countrywide.

The DigiCentral virtual card is a prepaid card that allows users to only spend money they have to avoid overspending and debt. The virtual card encourages the elimination of physical plastic cards and can be used for eCommerce and in-store purchases.

Suzanne Morel, Country Manager, Mastercard, South Africa explains that managing finances is especially important due to the state of the economy and the global pandemic.

“Social distancing has changed the way consumers pay and they now opt for touch-free, secure, and seamless ways to pay without compromising their health and safety. This, in turn, has accelerated the demand for safe and secure virtual cards. Through our partnership with PayCentral, we can help small business owners to better meet the needs of their employees – without the costs and risks associated with cash.”

Similar to a physical card, DigiCentral virtual cardholders will receive a 16-digit card number, security code, and expiry date, to ensure they can complete a purchase online

The virtual card has the capabilities to link to online retail apps such as Uber, Uber Eats, Checkers 60 Sixty, and more.

The DigiCentral virtual card can be loaded to any Masterpass-enabled digital wallet to allow in-store purchases. Once the virtual card is loaded, the cardholder is able to scan a QR code displayed in retail store checkouts via their mobile phone, in addition to billers that accept Masterpass payments in SA.

DigiCentral virtual card benefits

Cardholders will receive benefits for using the DigiCentral virtual card such as:

  • A lower-cost compared to monthly commitments required for bank accounts
  • Free access to balances and transaction history via app and online
  • Instant payment in times of need
  • The reduction of risks associated with being paid in cash

PayCentral aims to expand to Pan Africa to promote digital payment solutions and eliminate physical cash in the ecosystem.

The partnership between Mastercard, a global technology company in the payments industry, allows the acceleration of powering an inclusive, digital economy where people can make safe, smart, and accessible transactions.

Read more: SA 4IR startup LayUp creates unique payment solution
Read more: New Nigerian fintech to launch digital wallet platform

Featured Image: DigiCentral online platform (supplied)

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2020/12/sa-fintech-launches-prepaid-virtual-card-for-smes/

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Ventureburn

Local emotional intelligence app users significantly grow

It’sOk, an innovative tech startup that aims to promote emotional intelligence among students has experienced exponential growth.

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Based in Johannesburg, It’sOk, an innovative tech startup that aims to promote emotional intelligence among students has experienced exponential growth in the number of the users of its unique and cutting-edge platform.

ItsOk experiences massive growth in users in SA

With its hard launch only taking place a mere few months ago in March with users from a single school, King David Victory Park, the app has grown tremendously since then.

In an interview with Ventureburn Cody Gordon, co-founder, and CEO of It’sOk explains;

“It’sOk had its hard launch this March with 50 students in King David Victory Park. Since then, we have experienced a huge amount of growth both on our product side and our school client base. In 2022 we will have 10 000+ users on our app. These users are a combination of parents, teachers and students.”

According to reports from the tech startup, it will be present in the follow institutions in 2022; the Crawford International group, St Peter’s Boys and Girls, Centennial Schools, King David Victory Park, Uplands College and a few Curro schools.

Not only is the app being utilised by in-person teaching but also through online schools.

“We’ve also seen our app making a huge positive impact in schools of all backgrounds for example, The Tomorrow Trust students, which comprises of orphaned and vulnerable children all have access to It’sOk,” adds Gordon.

With innovation and emotional intelligence growth for students at the forefront of the startup focuses, Gordon explains that the app has been upgraded to meet the needs of the schools and their students.

“An example of this is that we have now developed and automatic flagging system for schools to identify at risk students. Strategic people in the schools arat-riskied of these students and this allows the school to help these students and develop specific interventions instantly,”

ItsOk

ItsOk is a tech startup that has created an innovative emotional intelligence app that is designed specifically for a school environment.

The tech startup has combined the power of technology with a holistic approach to promoting emotional awareness and intelligence among young students in South Africa.

With many institutions reaping the benefits of employing ItsOk’s platform with their students, Justin Attlee, St Peter’s Boys – Head of Pastoral Care highlights the impact that it has had on their learners.

“The huge value our schools are seeing in our technology is that the students now have a dedicated time each day to develop their emotional intelligence through our app, students now have a safe place to express how they are feeling and receive assistance when they need it. The schools are now also able to be proactive in their mental wellness strategies in the school based on the It’sOk data. This allows the school to be proactive instead of reactive in dealing with student emotions, “Thanks so much for the weekly feedback. This is giving us great insight in how the boys are feeling and allowing us to be proactive in implementing interventions.”

Read more: SA food tech startup partners with V&A Waterfront

Featured image: (Left to right) Cody Gordon, CEO and Michale Dukes CTO of It’sOk (Supplied)

In an interview with Ventureburn Cody Gordon, co-founder, and CEO of It’sOk explains;

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/10/local-emotional-intelligence-app-sees-huge-growth/

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SA fintech partners with rising global fintech to foster financial inclusion in SA –

Ukheshe Technologies has partnered with Chipper to help in the global fintech’s rollout of digital payment services and products.

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Innovative and ground-breaking local fintech Ukheshe Technologies has partnered with new-kid-on-the-block Chipper to help in the global fintech’s rollout and implementation of digital payment services and products.

Ukheshe has partnered with Chipper

The products which Chipper cahs aims to roll out include free and unlimited peer-to-peer payments across South Africa along with added benefits such as purchasing airtime, data and also the ability to legally purchase and sell cryptocurrency. Chipper’s service and digital payments aim to be a game-changer among the local community.

Not only will the partnership yield new fintech services for locals but it also will enable effective and safe financial transactions across the continent. The partnership aims to work in harmony allowing existing customers of Chipper to use this function as it will incorporate Ukheshe’s Eclipse API framework.

Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe comments on the partnership with Chipper.

“Ukheshe’s Eclipse API provides access to payment technology, products and services – all from one convenient platform. The rapid shift towards innovative digital-first solutions is undeniable and we are thrilled to partner with Chipper, a company that shares our vision and enthusiasm for credible, seamless payment solutions that drive the payments revolution in Africa.”

Chipper

Founded a mere three years ago, the ‘rising start’ tech startup has been labelled as the continents ‘biggest and fastest-growing payment app.

With Chipper users are able to easily conduct instant no-fee local and cross border money transfers and discounted airtime purchases.

Since its official launch, Chipper claims to have over four million users in eight countries in Africa and the UK.

With financial inclusion at the forefront of the aims of both of these startups, the partnership will build on fostering financial inclusion by creating accessible financial digital solutions for individuals in Africa

“The relationship between Ukheshe and Chipper aims to spearhead digital-first fintech solutions made in Africa to broaden access and financial inclusion for those who need it most. Our digital payment solution supports wallet functionality and will offer much-needed simplified payment solutions that allow users to send and receive cross-border payments safely, quickly, and efficiently, ” concludes Hayward.

Supplied

Read more:

Featured image: Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe (Supplied)

Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe comments on the partnership with Chipper.

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/09/sa-fintech-partners-with-rising-global-fintech-to-foster-financial-inclusion-in-sa/

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Startup partners with Telkom to launch translation platform for SA languages

Telkom has partnered with SA startup Enlabeler to launch an AI platform that translates speech into text and provides transcription services for local languages.

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Telkom has partnered with South African startup Enlabeler to launch an AI platform that translates speech into text and provides transcription services for local languages.

The platform, called izwe.ai, was unveiled at the AI Expo Africa 2021. It is described as “a multi-lingual technology platform that transforms your audio and video data to text, captions or subtitles in your local languages”.

Telkom and Enlabeler collaborated to create the platform, with the aim of providing a way to bridge the language gap in a variety of industries.

“With Enlabeler, we have built a solution that can offer a seamless transcription experience with highly localised and reliable outputs, which help us deliver as a strategic partner for our clients,” Telkom Executive of Data Science Stefan Steffen said in a statement.

“Working with an agile startup like Enlabeler has helped us accelerate our long-term plans to unlock this market segment. ”

Enlabeler

Enlabeler is a data labelling and annotation solutions provider.

Founded in 2019, the company describes itself as Africa’s first remote data labelling community. It employs people around the country to augment and train the AI solutions and services provided by the company.

The company provides video and image annotation services, computer vision and object detection models, entity extraction from text datasets, as well as translation and transcription services.

The izwe.ai translation platform

According to Telkom, the izwe.ai platform has a unique ability to interpret South African accents. It also uses machine learning to constantly improve its translations.

The aim of the platform is to provide transcription and translation across a range of industries. These include education, academia, legal services, and media production.

“This technology can be a game-changer in business, as well as education, government, and healthcare delivery,” Telkom head of Innovation Dr Mmaki Jantjies said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Telkom Foundation CEO Sarah Mthintso highlighted the education benefits of the service.

“STEM subjects are the foundation for the careers of the future, but to truly drive digital transformation in South Africa, we need learners to be able to learn in their home language,” Mthintso said in a statement.

“That’s where AI-driven speech services are so important.”

Translation and transcription service launch

The service will be launched in a phased approach. The first phase includes the launch of izwe.ai and the collection of information from potential clients via survey.

The service is offering five hours of free machine transcription in exchange for the completion of the survey.

The second phase will include the release of the machine transcription model.

“In release 2 you will have access to a market-leading machine transcription model to transcribe your files with a click of a button,” the service says on its website.

The third phase will include the implementation of human input into automatic transcription outputs. Finally, phase four will include the launch of additional services.

You can find out more about the platform on the izwe.ai website.

Feature image: Ventureburn

Read more: Fairwork Project puts out call for Pledge supporters

Read more: African global business services sector to grow to $19.8 billion by 2023 – research

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/09/startup-partners-with-telkom-to-launch-translation-platform-for-sa-languages/

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