Ukheshe Technologies and Infobip collaborate to create SA’s first WhatsApp payment gateway

Leading digital fintech enablement provider, Ukheshe Technologies, together with Infobip, a global cloud communications platform that enables businesses to build connected customer experiences across all stages of the customer journey at scale, have developed South Africa’s very first WhatsApp payment gateway for use by Telkom, one of the country’s largest mobile operators.

In addition to being South Africa’s first digital wallet platform, the solution is also the first WhatsApp channel to enable payments using QR.

The project and collaboration with Infobip forms part of Ukheshe’s objective of expanding its international reach as a solution driven B2B provider of digital-first payment solutions that enable banks, telcos and fintechs to provide banking and payment services to their customers through a solution called ‘Chat Banking’.

Infobip’s deployment of a WhatsApp Business API solution leveraged by Ukheshe’s cutting-edge Eclipse API integration is a first of its kind. The unique solution allows mobile operator customers to send money to anyone with a mobile number quickly and securely with no need for another app or any additional software.

Clayton Hayward, co-founder and CEO of Ukheshe, says developing South Africa’s first WhatsApp payment gateway was an exciting opportunity to provide a relevant and workable payment solution: “We are thrilled that through various working associations we are able to assist organisations address financial literacy and inclusion. The chat banking solution empowers end customers by giving them access to the Internet, an efficient and secure digital wallet, while meeting Know your Customer (KYC) requirements. The digital wallet will also be able to link to other cards, add virtual cards, pay or get paid with a QR code, send money, make cash withdrawals or pay for goods.” He adds that the service offering of the digital wallet platform will be extended to accommodate the issuing of virtual cards, which coupled with chat banking, underpins Ukheshe’s drive to support digital-first e-commerce adoption.

Shaun Van Rooyen, Strategic Accounts and Partnerships Manager at Infobip South Africa, says that the partnership between Infobip and Ukheshe, is underpinned by the current need for organisations to find innovative means to make their customers lives easier whilst also providing the masses with access to effortless banking.

“It has been a great pleasure to work with Ukheshe on this project. The initiative and wonderful partnership aligns with our goal of connecting the world. The project is something that we are proud of and want to keep working on to see how we can help Ukheshe do more,” he says.

As integration partners for the project, Ukheshe and Infobip also provide an intuitive chatbot service to ensure mobile operator customers receive timeous assistance to queries and personalised follow up customer service should they require.

Hayward says Ukheshe’s digital-first enablement platform has expanded and evolved significantly in recent months as the financial services market seeks innovative solution providers that can address the fundamental gaps faced by people that are seen as unbanked. “Working with Infobip has been particularly exciting as we have developed an easy and cost-effective way to send and receive money using an app that is already on customers’ phones. Chat banking is a solution that will add immense value to people’s lives.”