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Ukeshe opens WhatsApp payment gateway



Digital fintech provider Ukheshe Technologies and global cloud communications platform Infobip have developed South Africa’s first WhatsApp payment gateway for use by Telkom, the country’s third largest mobile operator. 

In addition to being South Africa’s first digital wallet platform, says Ukeshe, the solution is also the first WhatsApp channel to enable payments using QR.

Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe

The project and collaboration with Infobip forms part of Ukheshe’s objective of expanding its international reach as a business-to-business provider of digital-first payment solutions that enable banks, telcos and fintechs to provide banking and payment services to their customers through a solution called chat banking.

Infobip’s deployment of a WhatsApp Business API solution, leveraged by Ukheshe’s cutting-edge Eclipse API integration, is claimed to be a first of its kind. It allows mobile operator customers to send money to anyone with a mobile number quickly and securely with no need for another app or any additional software.

Clayton Hayward, co-founder and CEO of Ukheshe, says developing South Africa’s first WhatsApp payment gateway was an exciting opportunity to provide a relevant and workable payment solution.

“The chat banking solution empowers end customers by giving them access to the Internet, an efficient and secure digital wallet, while meeting Know your Customer (KYC) requirements,” he says. “The digital wallet will also be able to link to other cards, add virtual cards, pay or get paid with a QR code, send money, make cash withdrawals or pay for goods.” 

He says that the service offering of the digital wallet platform will be extended to accommodate the issuing of virtual cards, which, coupled with chat banking, underpins Ukheshe’s drive to support digital-first e-commerce adoption. 

Shaun Van Rooyen, strategic accounts and partnerships manager at Infobip South Africa, says that the partnership between Infobip and Ukheshe is underpinned by the current need for organisations to find innovative means to make their customers lives easier, while also providing the masses with access to effortless banking.

“The initiative and wonderful partnership aligns with our goal of connecting the world,” he says.

Ukheshe and Infobip also provide an intuitive chatbot service to ensure mobile operator customers receive timeous assistance to queries and personalised follow up customer service.

Hayward says Ukheshe’s platform has expanded and evolved significantly in recent months as the financial services market seeks innovative solution providers that can address the fundamental gaps faced by people that are seen as unbanked. “We have developed an easy and cost-effective way to send and receive money using an app that is already on customers’ phones. Chat banking is a solution that will add immense value to people’s lives.”