10,000 SMEs now accept card payments with SA’s Yoco

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South African payments company Yoco has announced it now has 10,000 SMEs across the country using its point of sale (PoS) platform to accept card payments.

The company is adding over 1,000 new SMEs to its base every month, making it the largest independent mobile PoS player in South Africa by number of merchants.

Yoco was launched the simple idea that all businesses should be able to accept card payments irrespective of size or maturity. It launched at the end of 2015, after a successful beta programme, with 500 merchants.

At the end of 2016, the company announced it had acquired over 5,000 SME merchants, growing by a factor of 10 in a year. Now, the company has doubled in size since the beginning of the year.

“Many SMEs struggle to get a card payment solution from the traditional providers because the traditional offerings do not cater for small or young businesses,” said co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Katlego Maphai.

Minimum trading history, 12-24-month lock-in contracts and an often month-long application process are just some of the hurdles faced by SMEs when applying for a card machine.

“It means that they are unable to offer card payments to their customers. But how will they grow if they cannot accept card payments? To an SME, every payment matters, especially today,” said Maphai.

Yoco has focused its efforts on expanding access to card payments to all types of SMEs, regardless of size, industry and even location. Its mobile card readers can be used to accept payments both at the store or on the go, and the application process takes five minutes online, after which a courier delivers the card reader to the business owner.

“By lowering the barriers to entry, we are enabling all types of SMEs to start accepting card payments, and together with our free point-of-sale app and business intelligence portal, start tracking their sales and formalising their business to enable growth,” Maphai said.

“This milestone is indicative of the significant demand for these kinds of services in the SME sector. Over 72 per cent of Yoco merchants had never accepted cards before, a key metric for us at Yoco, as we look to be market makers, not just participants.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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