Financial Inclusion across Africa starts here

Africa’s first digital in-store lay-by app is aiming to create financial inclusion throughout the continent – starting in South Africa. Local fintech startup LayUp is taking the lay-by process into the 21st century – for merchants and consumers – with a mobile app and rollout of a terminal app via payment & merchant solutions provider Dashpay, which will make the app accessible to millions of potential customers at thousands of POS points, nationwide.

Nearly 24% of adults in South Africa are unbanked and R12bn in cash is believed to be held outside of the banking system. COVID-19 related lockdowns have sent unemployment figures soaring to an estimated 7.6 million, meaning that nearly 30 million people are locked out of the South African economy. More people are being forced to turn to credit to help make ends meet, but millions lack a credit record to enable them to access secured loans, seeing them turning to disreputable lenders, with dire consequences.

Those millions of South African consumers who are unable to access credit, make use of the lay-by system to make ends meet. A lay-by traditionally allows customers to choose an item at a store and pay a deposit, followed by monthly, interest-free payments until the full amount is paid up and they can take delivery of their items. LayUp digitises this process, with instant verification and easy management at the store where the lay-by was initiated, via the mobile app or at any merchant which offers access to the terminal app on its POS.

“LayUp simplifies an essential payment method for millions of people, as well as merchants for whom the process of initiating and managing the collection of payments is a time-consuming and onerous process,” says LayUp Founder Andrew Katzwinkel. “The simplicity of the system allows merchants to improve conversion rates, increase basket sizes, build loyalty from return customers, reduce administration cost & effort and access reconciliation & reporting tools online”.

Layup also provides tremendous flexibility to merchants across verticals. “LayUp is designed to give the merchant full control as to how they want to structure their lay-by offering, making LayUp accessible across multiple verticals such as retail, travel, medical and education,” says Katzwinkel.

Dashpay is rolling out the app on its Android N910 touch screen POS terminals across the country and merchants simply need to sign up via to be able to offer the facility to customers, with capped fees and low transaction costs.

“Hosting the LayUp app on our POS solutions will help encourage healthy financial behaviour on the part of customers and unlocks vast amounts of purchasing power – which benefits both consumers and merchants,” says Dashpay MD, Benjamin Powell. “It also means that customers can manage their payment commitments almost anywhere there’s a Dashpay POS solution, which also increases footfall for merchants in their own stores”.