South African fintech startup Ukheshe Technologies will expand its footprint into the Asia-Pacific region as it introduces innovative digital-first payment solutions via key partnerships in what is emerging as a lucrative growth market for the B2B payment technology specialist.
Ukheshe has developed a technology platform that helps banks and telecoms provide SMMEs with affordable digital banking and payment services, with client acquisition, onboarding and distribution costs that are a fraction of traditional merchant accounts.
It currently provides the platforms and technology that support nine issuers, 334,029 merchants and over 2.2 million apps, which combined process millions of transactions every month.
Disrupt Africa reported in March the startup was expanding its operations internationally after raising US$2 million in equity and debt funding in November of last year, and it is now making steps in that direction by moving into Asia-Pacific.
Clayton Hayward, the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO), said while Asia’s traditional banks and telecoms have responded proactively to rapid disruption in the digital payments environment, they are challenged by constraints in building fully integrated SaaS platforms.
“Ukheshe aims to partner with local institutions by offering credible, agile solutions in an ever-changing market. Our payment technologies also solve for the problems of expensive acceptance rails and carrying cash, particularly in markets within Asia-Pacific where digital wallets are expected to become the preferred online payment method over the next four years,” he said.
The expansion will be led by Donovan Drew who has been appointed as president of Asia-Pacific. Drew brings with him over 25 years of experience in enterprise software, telecommunications, networks, outsourcing, services, security and fintech solutions, representing various technologies across several industries. He said he was looking forward to exploring the many opportunities for Ukheshe and its partners in the region.
“With an increased need for cost-effective digital payment solutions, our value proposition delivers an integrated solution platform for merchants, aggregators, retailers, banks and their customers,” he said.
“We believe we can aid traditional players in re-securing some of their traditional flows by partnering with issuers and acquirers in a dynamic and constantly evolving environment. On the back of tremendous success in Africa, Asia-Pacific offers a similar opportunity to use our talent and experience to deliver world-class payment solutions.”