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South African fintech startup Ukheshe expanding to Asia-Pacific


South African fintech startup Ukheshe Technologies has announced that it will be expanding its footprint into the Asia-Pacific region as it introduces innovative digital-first payment solutions. The startup says it will do this via key partnerships in what is emerging as a lucrative growth market for the B2B payment technology specialist.

The move comes as Ukheshe continues to build on its solid reputation as a trusted enablement partner. The company has established relationships with financial service players including Mastercard, as well as a number of high-profile telecommunications providers, and other organizations throughout Africa and in other key global locations.

Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe says that while Asia’s traditional banks and telcos have responded proactively to rapid disruption in the digital payments environment, they are challenged by constraints in building fully integrated SaaS platforms. “Ukheshe aims to partner with local institutions by offering credible, agile solutions in an ever-changing market. Our payment technologies also solve for the problems of expensive acceptance rails and carrying cash, particularly in markets within Asia-Pacific where digital wallets are expected to become the preferred online payment method over the next four years.”

Ukheshe’s imminent expansion will be led by Donovan Drew who has been appointed as President: Asia-Pacific. Drew brings with him over 25 years of considerable experience in enterprise software, telecommunications, networks, outsourcing, services, security and fintech solutions, representing various technologies across several industries. He has led and built sales teams and territory plans while developing successful go-to-market strategies in international markets and concluding multiple large complex global enterprise deals.

Drew says he is looking forward to exploring the many opportunities for Ukheshe and its partners in the region. “With an increased need for cost-effective digital payment solutions, our value proposition delivers an integrated solution platform for merchants, aggregators, retailers, banks and their customers. We believe we can aid traditional players in re-securing some of their traditional flows by partnering with issuers and acquirers in a dynamic and constantly evolving environment. On the back of tremendous success in Africa, Asia-Pacific offers a similar opportunity to use our talent and experience to deliver world-class payment solutions.”

Ukheshe’s digital-first offering is underpinned by Eclipse. As an innovative orchestration framework layer, Eclipse enables single API integration to access multiple payment solutions with the inclusion of third-party products, allowing Ukheshe partners a variety of customisable payment products. The Eclipse API offers user authentication and KYC, virtual and prepaid cards, digital wallets, loan management, messaging, fraud detection, payments, eCommerce, Mastercard acquiring, issuing, all in one integrated credible payment solution.

Commenting on Ukheshe’s move into the Asia-Pacific region and Drew’s appointment, Hayward says Ukheshe’s aptitude for bringing innovative payment technologies to traditional issuers and acquirers and enabling major organisations to solve a number of legacy payment challenges speaks for itself. “We are delighted to have someone with Drew’s skills and experience lead Ukheshe’s operations in this important territory where the Eclipse API has proven global demand as a market-leading framework.”

Currently, Ukheshe provides platforms and technology that support 9 issuers – made up of 3 telcos and 6 banks and fintechs, 334 029 merchants, and 2 271 880 apps combined which process millions of transactions every month.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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