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SA company scoops international award

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A South African mobile commerce provider, iKhokha, has won the Innovation Award at the 2016 Mastercard Innovation Forum in Budapest, Hungary.

iKhokha was recognised in the Innovation category for extending the acceptance of Masterpass, the digital payments service from Mastercard, into the face-to-face environment in South Africa for the first time.

iKhokha joined seven other Mastercard partners from the Middle East and Africa regions who earned top honours in the Inclusion, Engagement and Excellence categories.

Using a low-cost iKhokha mobile point of sale device and mobile app that is powered by Masterpass, 3 500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across South Africa can now accept digital payments, reducing their exposure to the risks and costs of managing cash.

Matt Putman, CEO of iKhokha says: “We are honoured to receive this award from the Mastercard global Innovation Forum judging panel. It serves as great validation for the hard work that the iKhokha team has put into driving digital financial inclusion for SMEs in SA. Our goal is to continue to grow acceptance for card and digital payments and help SA’s one million SMEs access financial services across digital, mobile, physical and retail sales, and onboarding channels.”

“This is a richly deserved accolade for extending Masterpass’ acceptance beyond online stores into the physical retail world in SA for the first time,” says Anton van der Merwe, head of market development for Mastercard, South Africa. “Thanks to iKhokha, South Africans can now make fast, seamless and secure digital payments in-store using the Masterpass app on their smartphones.”

Adds Putman: “Innovative distribution is as important as innovative technology – you need both to drive real change. Through our efforts South African business owners can now walk into a retail store, purchase a low-cost iKhokha card machine and instantly be able to accept physical and digital card payments. They can also sign-up online and have the iKhokha device delivered to them, even to remote areas.”

To use Masterpass, iKhokha merchants ring up the sale on the iKhokha app on their smart phones, enter the transaction amount and generate a Quick Response (QR) code. Consumers simply open the MasterPass app on their mobile device, and scan the iKhokha merchants’ unique QR code.

iKhokha also recently launched a program in partnership with Mastercard to drive card acceptance and digital financial inclusion for SMEs in townships and informal areas.

The Mastercard Innovation awards are intended to highlight the best examples of partners who introduce payment solutions that help drive financial inclusion, that engage consumers and demonstrate excellence.