#10Q: Transforming digital payments while building brand loyalty

Clayton Hayward, CEO and co-founder of Ukheshe, recently announced that Ukheshe launched a prepaid payments programme with Mastercard and Nedbank.

Clayton Hayward, CEO and co-founder of Ukheshe, recently announced that Ukheshe had launched a  prepaid payments programme with Mastercard and Nedbank. Adding to the transformation of the digital payments landscape in South Africa, Ukheshe aims to provide everyday businesses access to prepaid and virtual cards, which were typically only available to large enterprises. Hayward says that through Ukheshe’s innovative payment solutions, businesses in South Africa can now issue virtual prepaid cards to employees or customers – providing recipients with improved financial freedom where they have the option to earn rewards, incentives, and have a secure card that can work anywhere in South Africa – while building brand association. “From providing a path to financial inclusion to the underserved; to acting as a safer, more convenient payment option while travelling; or enabling people to shop online, prepaid payments have a broad appeal and room for growth in South Africa,” he added.

1. What does this achievement mean to you?

As a serial technology entrepreneur and business strategist, the success to date with Ukheshe Technologies is by far the most meaningful and exciting. Not only are we forging new roads for technology and Africa, we are helping more than 11 million unbanked or underbanked become financially included.

2. What makes your business unique?

The Ukheshe technology platform is the only one of its kind that helps banks and telcos provide SMME’s with affordable digital banking and payment services. It is these solutions that is making informal banking accessible across the continent. Ukheshe is also a Mastercard Start Path Partner and has won numerous technology awards, including the Ecobank Challenge, the Singapore FinTech Festival and the SARB Fintech Challenge. We are also a member of Catapult Inclusion Africa and The World Bank has endorsed our platform.

3. How has the Covid pandemic impacted your industry?

While the pandemic has been devastating across the globe, it has resulted in a renewed focus on a cashless payment revolution. Ukheshe has managed to move a massive part of the South African informal sector into a cashless payment revolution, while also assisting Government with fund disbursement efforts.

4. How does your industry sector need to innovate to thrive?

The fintech sector has been one of the industry sectors to watch across the globe, but most especially in Africa. As a sector, it is constantly evolving and enjoys rapid growth as a result. It drives both disruption and assists in leapfrogging of legacy systems which accelerates digital transformation of financial services and solutions. As a player in this field, it is of paramount importance to keep abreast of all that technology is capable of achieving and continue to use it to drive efficiencies, break down barriers and empower communities.

5. Tell us more about your strategy?

For Ukheshe, our strategy is simple: to drive financial inclusion in everything that we do.

6. Proudest professional moments?

I am lucky to be experiencing many moments as we build this incredible business. Our standing with Mastercard is something we are immensely proud of, as are the awards we have won to date. Two current highlights include our participation as finalists in the Singapore FinTech Festival and the SARB FinTech winner, as well as runner-up in the Ecobank Challenge.

7. Do you have a life philosophy?

Don’t talk; just do!

8. How do you inspire others?

I am not sure that I do, but if that is the case, then I would hope by making dreams a reality, being a good Dad and great husband.

9. What are you currently reading?

Wow, time to read when you run a fintech is hard, aside from having five children with the youngest being two years old.

10. What is your superpower?

Being a great Dad! At the end of the day, that matters more than anything.


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