Digital payments company, DPO Group, has launched an e-commerce platform to help merchants across Africa to move their businesses online. Known as DPO Store, the platform will be powered by Mastercard’s payments gateway technology and available in 19 countries in which DPO operates.

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DPO Store is initially targeted at essential services such as supermarkets, food stores, pharmacies and chemists. Merchants are provided with a free website and an integrated digital payments function which is fully connected to the DPO and Mastercard payments gateway platform. This means that all forms of payment including cards and mobile money can be accepted. The website is customised for each merchant to reflect their brand and it includes stock management capability, a stock-alert system when product inventory runs low and real-time order management.

Since the product was soft-launched in Kenya on 1st of April, DPO says thousands of transactions have taken place.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is not only a human tragedy, it is also having a growing economic impact and is forcing companies everywhere to make changes to their businesses. SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy in Africa and many are already struggling to be visible and trade in this unusual environment, with many of their customers now staying at home.” Eran Feinstein, CEO of DPO Group commented.

”We are pleased to be partnering with Mastercard on this timely initiative to try and address some of the challenges businesses of all sizes are facing, working with merchants to ‘reinvent’ their business by offering a fast, secure online capability, which they may not have had access to before. We are also offering DPO Store merchants up to 25 per cent discount on transaction fees and preferred settlement terms.” he added.

In 2018, DPO Group and Mastercard entered into a partnership whereby DPO is authorised to act as a Pan-African payments switch via Mastercard Payments Gateway Services, meaning it can independently authorise transactions with no need for bank integration.

“At Mastercard, we see a connected world where opportunity and prosperity are possible for everyone, everywhere. We are leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships – like this one with DPO – to deliver the resources small business owners need now to help them sustain their business as they quickly adapt to a new way of operating and evolved customer needs through ecommerce.” Adam Jones, Area Business Head, East Africa, Mastercard said.

“Working with our long-term partner DPO, Mastercard is delivering measurable, positive impact to these SMEs by enabling them to seamlessly offer their products online to a much wider customer base while including them in the digital payments ecosystem thereby.”

Currently, 55 businesses providing essential products and services such as supermarkets, restaurants, groceries, pharmaceuticals and fresh produce have already signed up to the DPO Store in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia as consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce for their day to day transactions.

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