Mastercard Start Path is an exclusive startup engagement program that enables later-stage startups to rapidly scale through access to Mastercard’s technology, solutions & partners around the globe
Focused on financial inclusion, Ukheshe’s technology platform helps banks and telcos provide affordable digital banking and payment services (BaaS). With client acquisition, onboarding and distribution costs that are a fraction of traditional merchant accounts, informal banking is now an accessible, untapped and lucrative growth market for banking partners. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest-growing investment zones for financial technology companies and is fast-becoming the flagship for mobile disruption. Driving this growth is the unbanked.
Clayton Hayward, co-founder and CEO, Ukheshe, says that its inclusion in Mastercard’s Start Path programme is not only exciting, but prestigious for the startup: “Mastercard’s ecosystem, customers and innovations will assist us to continue building one of the most significant transaction platforms on the continent.”
He says that Start Path will also assist in further addressing the unbanked challenge faced by the continent: “We need to ensure that we are able to reach these unbanked individuals and better understand, as financial service providers, why they opt to stay in the informal sector.”
According to Hayward, since launching Ukheshe 15 months ago, the plight for financial inclusion has become glaringly obvious. While progress has been made in terms of mobile money, it’s become imperative that we move beyond that and look into digital payment solutions: “Financial inclusion is not just about technology disruption, but more about solving greater economic problems. Consumers need simpler, more cost-effective ways to do simple tasks such as sending or receiving money and buying airtime.”