Ozow, a digital payment gateway has come up with a unique way of helping people use their basic bank accounts to make payments.
After an exponential growth year, Ozow has secured a $48 million Series B fund to make more payment solutions available to its customers.
CEO, Thomas Pays started Ozow in 2014 to facilitate financial inclusion through open banking. Consumers can access the internet banking platform when they make transactions online.
According to Pay most fintech companies and banks did not see the need for using bank payments to drive online transactions as the use of manual EFT processes were the more popular in carrying out online transactions.
In a report published by Deloitte, out of the 80% of South Africans who own a bank account only 24% carry out over three transactions in a month.
Unlike other African countries, the credit system is prevalent in South Africa, but it doesn’t solve the underbanked situation in the country.
Take, for instance, if you want a point-of-sale device, you need a company like Yoco. Also if you want to accept payments via card on your e-commerce site, you need to go to a PayU, he added.
Ozow was launched to automate the manual EFT processes consumers use to carry out all e-commerce transactions, making it seamless for consumers to pay in three clicks.
Investors like Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund participated in the funding round which was led by the Chinese internet giant, Tencent.
Consumers can use Ozow by first making it their primary payment option when shopping online then select their bank and log in using their banking details which then allows Ozow to automate the payment process.
The platform is free for individual users while Merchants can use it for free in the first 12 months, process value up to $65,000 per month.
Distributors and payment service providers can utilize the platform to resell their products and get charged a percentage fee of 1.5-2.5% for every successful transaction made via Ozow. Other clients include enterprise companies, such as MTN, Vodacom, Shoprite Group, Takealot, and Uber.
Committed to providing automated bank to bank payment solutions for more than 47 million bank account holders in over 100 industries in South Africa, Ozow has raised a combined $1.2 million in seed and angel rounds.
Before this Series B round that’s increased its total raise to $51.7 million, its number stood at $3.7 million from backers.
Expressing his excitement on the company’s investors, CEO and founder, Pays had this to say, “It’s an honour to have on board Tencent, Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest Fund. This validates our role in transforming the banking industry through development of convenient, innovative and more inclusive payment solutions for everyone”.
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