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Payment tech boosts South African SMEs

Technology payment solutions like iKhokha are helping businesses thrive in SA’s post-lockdown economy

Are business owners likely to see a return to normal in 2022?

Critical to South Africa’s economy, small, medium, and micro-sized businesses (SMMES) have taken immense strain over the past few years as an already tough economic environment was followed by months of Covid lockdowns.

Analysts predict, heading into 2022, many developed markets and emerging markets may be able to return to “normal”. As Covid risks reduce with the increased rollout of vaccinations, governments can adopt more flexible policies to manage the virus, reducing border shutdowns and other lockdown measures in the year ahead.

Fitch Solutions forecasts that the global economy will grow 4.1% – above the pre-pandemic 3.1% rate – and Sub-Saharan Africa is to remain steady at 3.6%. While there is some light at the end of the Covid tunnel, supply chain challenges, inflation and geopolitical tensions make for a complex global picture.

SMEs will need all the support they can get in revitalising their businesses and using technology to reach more customers and improve efficiencies.

An in-depth McKinsey SME report found that “post the Covid-19 crisis, more than 65% of payments will be done using cards or means requiring POS devices; a significant drive from financial institutions can help drive uptake and readiness in businesses.”

As more people shift to digital payments over cash, payment solution companies are thriving. In December 2021, iKhokha processed more  R1.2-billion in card volume – and are up more than 100% year-on-year from a transactional volume perspective, highlighting the significant adoption of digital payments.

“iKhokha has been focused on building out a true omnichannel offering, with both online and in-person digital payment solutions for SMEs,” says Graeme Cumming, iKhokha Chief Growth Officer. “We have also ensured that merchants using our payment solutions for both card-present and online payments will get the lowest combined transaction rates in SA.”

iKhokha recently launched a payment gateway for the WooCommerce and WordPress platforms, with Wix and other popular website builder platforms to follow, allowing SMEs to set up online payments quickly.
Says Matt Putman, iKhokha CEO: “We know how important the role is we have to play in reigniting the GDP growth of our country, and how pivotal it is for us to lead the way in giving SMEs across SA a digital footprint and the tools they need to accelerate their growth.”

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