Blog » Payfast and Mukuru bridge the cash and digital divide 

Payfast and Mukuru bridge the cash and digital divide 

In a transformative move to unlock online transactions for an underserved market, online payment gateway Payfast has announced the addition of Mukuru Pay as a payment option on their platform. Mukuru is one of the largest money transfer providers in Africa, whose network enables more than 250 000 cash to digital pay points in South Africa alone. With over 30% of adults in South Africa not having an account with a financial institution, and many preferring to transact in cash, the partnership between Payfast and Mukuru will bridge the digital divide, by offering a safe and convenient way for cash users to participate in the digital economy.  

“Cash is still king for many locals, but this shouldn’t stop anyone from being able to shop online. Over 12-million members of the South African population are reliant on cash transactions. With the recent push to make the majority of online payments cashless, an entire group of consumers has been excluded from using online services. Our goal is to drive financial inclusion and enable this under-represented market to shop online safely, and confidently,” says Brendon Williamson, Managing Director of Payfast. 

Mukuru Pay allows merchants to accept cash payments for online purchases. When a consumer selects Mukuru as an option at checkout, they are sent a unique code, which they can take to any pay point nationwide, and use it to pay for their purchase. As soon as the cash payment is made, the money is reflected in the merchant’s Payfast account. 

To ensure affordability on both sides, merchant fees will be kept to a minimum, while the number and accessibility of pay points will reduce the distance that consumers have to travel to make payments. “For consumers, this is a secure and convenient way to pay. For merchants, it means accessing an entirely new customer base. Alongside Mukuru, we want to break the boundaries of physical cash. We want to start creating an ecosystem where unbanked individuals can easily join the digital economy,” says Williamson. 

​​​Over 50% of South African consumers rely on cash transactions; “The partnership is a significant step in our continuous and relentless commitment towards financial inclusion. Enabling cash payments for online shopping, will allow cash-reliant consumers to access a new range of online services and merchants to tap into a wider customer base. We are excited to see how this partnership diversifies online payments in South Africa,” says Oliver O’Brien, Group Executive Head of Strategy and Business Development at Mukuru. 

Offering flexibility to consumers in terms of how they can pay enables a more personalised shopping experience – which is essential to building trust and attracting new customers. “We’re not just providing new features for merchants, but also giving them access to a massively underserved market that makes up one of the largest portions of transactions in the country, namely cash,” says O’Brien.  

For more information about the Mukuru Pay feature, visit www.payfast.io.  

About Payfast  

Payfast by Network is South Africa’s leading online payment gateway. Founded in 2007, Payfast was acquired by Network International in 2019, joining forces with Paygate under Network’s ownership. These cutting-edge payment solutions revolutionise the way that businesses process and accept payments. Serving 80 000 businesses, Payfast is dedicated to developing innovative payment solutions ensuring the highest level of convenience and trust for both merchants and customers alike. For more information visit www.payfast.io

​​​About Mukuru 

Mukuru is a next generation financial services platform for Africa’s emerging consumers, that offers affordable and reliable financial services to a customer base of over 12-million across Africa, Asia and Europe. With over 100-million transactions to date, its core was built by providing international money transfers. From this base, they have developed a set of services to address the broader financial needs of our customers. They operate in over 50 countries and across over 300 remittance corridors.