South African fintech startup Paymenow is now offering its more than 50,000 users the ability to buy food from retailer Shoprite directly in the Paymenow app.
The Stellenbosch-based Paymenow was formed in 2019 and went live with its first customer a week before lockdown hit in March 2020. Its platform allows employees early access to their wages, but utilises gamification to take them on a journey to financial wellness. As they complete stages their status improves, and they get rewards by way of lower service fees.
Founded by Deon Nobrega alongside business development head Bryan Habana (a Rugby World Cup winner), technical director Willem van Zyl, head of software development Gerry Potgieter, and founder investor Garth Mackintosh, Paymenow aims to ease the burden inflicted by payday and micro lenders through affordable, real-time, access to cash.
The company has now expanded its offerings, giving employees who have signed up on the Paymenow app the ability to fund a Shoprite Money Market Account. This acts as a virtual wallet so that they can redeem their funds at any Shoprite, uSave or Checkers store as well as send grocery vouchers to family or friends anywhere across South Africa at the touch of a button.
“This is just another way in which Paymenow is looking to help our users stretch their money further and allow affordable, responsible access to necessity items,” said Nobrega.
These necessities include food, prepaid airtime and prepaid electricity. The provision of these value-added services, at much reduced fees, has taken off better than anticipated, with Paymenow having seen almost 15 per cent of all transactions going towards the purchase of airtime, data, and electricity since they were launched in late March.
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Following on from the success of its Shoprite partnership, Paymenow will be rolling out a similar offering to Pick n Pay and Boxer Superstores, which will allow Paymenow users to buy essential grocery items, airtime, data, and prepaid electricity from more than 700 stores nationwide.
Habana said Paymenow was working on adding other necessity-type value-added services to its offerings.
“With real inflation seemingly much higher than the official 3.2 per cent, we want to help as many South Africans as possible stretch their rand when it comes to life’s necessities,” he said.