SA’s Wallettec clocking up pan-African integration deals

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South African mobile wallet integration startup Wallettec has signed integration deals with providers in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia and Zimbabwe since its launch in October of last year, and plans to increase merchant usage and revenues in 2015.

Wallettec is a platform provider that specialises in mobile wallet integrations, currently used by cryptocurrencies, retailers, mobile banking institutions and other businesses looking to provide their clients with a better experience in banking and payments.

The solution enables any mobile wallet or third party wallet system to interface with a point of sale (PoS), enabling the wallet owner to pay using his wallet account.

Johan Meyer – who had been involved in mobile money in various capacities for ten years – told Disrupt Africa the uptake of the platform by mobile money providers over the course of the startup’s first year had been better than expected, with Wallettec now used in a number of African countries and set for further growth.

“As far as merchants go we are in discussions with three major retailer groups in South Africa who operate in South Africa as well as other African countries, and we are planning to go live before the end of February,” he said. “There is a lot of interest in Wallettec in Zimbabwe, but those deployments will only happen later in 2015.”

Meyer founded the company after realising mobile money had failed to catch on in South Africa because, apart from the strict rules and regulations enforced by the Reserve Bank, of the fact it could not be used at the PoS.

“For that reason I decided to shift my focus to developing a product that will enable mobile wallets to effortlessly interface with any payment platform, like any PoS system or e-commerce platform,” he said.

He said though Wallettec is not a unique solution in itself, it does offer a unique approach to the problem.

“Instead of forcing the mobile money user to convert his digital money into vouchers or sending them to an ATM to withdraw the money, they can use their mobile wallets at the PoS,” he said. “No interference with the existing payment process at all. And no learning curve for the client makes this integration seamless and painless.”

Meyer said the solution also solves a problem for the PoS companies, which have been flooded with integration requests because of the number of mobile money services and cryptocurrencies.

“Integrating every mobile money service or cryptocurrency will take a lot of time and money,” he said. “With Wallettec the PoS company does a single integration and all the mobile money services and cryptocurrencies integrated with Wallettec are immediately available to the PoS. The PoS has the ability to select which mobile money services and cryptocurrencies they want to allow, saving the PoS companies a lot of man-hours in development that in turn converts to allow for money saved.”

Self-funded and with revenues of approximately ZAR700,000 (US$60,000) from transaction fees thus far, Wallettec has no plans currently to seek investment and is instead focused on adding merchants and integrating more providers, having already got M-Pesa, Airtel Money and Bitcoin on board.

“Our plans for 2015 are to concentrate on the countries we are currently operating in and to increase the amount of merchants using Wallettec,” Meyer said.

“We do believe that we have the biggest and most successful mobile money providers onboard and can provide merchants in those countries with an unbeatable product and payment experience.”

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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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