South African mobile payments startup iKhokha has won the Innovation Award at the 2016 Mastercard Innovation Forum in Budapest, Hungary, recognised for extending the acceptance of the Masterpass digital payments service into South Africa for the first time.
The Durban-based iKhokha supplies SMEs nationwide with its low-cost mobile payments solution, helping merchants accept card payments via a device linked to a secure application on a connected smartphone or tablet.
The startup recently launched a merchant cash advance service, and earlier this month partnered Mastercard in a bid to boost payment card acceptance at micro, small and medium enterprises in informal settlements.
iKhokha joined seven other Mastercard partners from the Middle East and Africa regions who earned top honours in the Inclusion, Engagement and Excellence categories.
“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 South Africa,” Matt Putman, chief executive officer (CEO) of iKhokha, said.
“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.”
Anton van der Merwe, head of market development for Mastercard South Africa said iKhokha richly deserved the accolade for extending Masterpass’ acceptance beyond online stores into the physical retail world in South Africa for the first time.
“Thanks to iKhokha, South Africans can now make fast, seamless and secure digital payments in-store using the Masterpass app on their smartphones,” he said.