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South African fintech Ukeshe to acquire Oltio from Mastercard

Ukheshe has agreed to buy Oltio from Mastercard, the company that developed the digital payments platform for Masterpass, Mastercard’s QR code payments service.

Oltio developed the digital payments platform that supports Masterpass, Mastercard’s QR payment service in South Africa and enables people to safely pay for a wide variety of purchases with their bank card by scanning a QR code with their mobile phone.

According to Fintech Extra, Ukheshe has an established partnership with Mastercard, as it is a participant in Mastercard’s Accelerate programme - including Start Path and Fintech Express. The programme offers an access point to tap into Mastercard’s technology, data, expertise and global network of corporates and fintechs to help scale its operations globally.

Clayton Hayward, Ukeshe CEO

Ukheshe will continue to provide the same support to the banks and other service providers that currently offer Masterpass, ensuring business continuity with no impact to consumers or merchants. The deal is also set to strengthen Ukheshe’s existing partnership with Mastercard, combining its ability to solve local market pain points with Mastercard’s global scale, technology and payment expertise.

The use of QR codes in South Africa complements the extensive investment in contactless payments to provide merchants of all sizes - from large retailers chains to individual shop owners and street vendors - a fast, secure and inexpensive way to accept payments. Currently, more than 300,000 merchants and billers accept Masterpass.

The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the year.

South Africa In Focus

Population: $58.5 million (Compared to UK's 66.8 million)

GDP: $351.4 billion (Compared to UK's $2.827 trillion)

GDP Per Capita: $6,040 billion (Compared to UK's $42,370)