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Mastercard Start Path selects Ukheshe for international engagement programme

Clayton Hayward is the co-founder and CEO, Ukheshe. (Image source: Ukheshe)

Ukheshe, an SMME digital banking platform provider, has been selected to join Mastercard Start Path, an exclusive startup engagement programme for later-stage scaling startups

Focused on financial inclusion, Ukheshe’s technology platform helps banks and telcos aim to 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, said, “Mastercard’s ecosystem, customers and innovations will assist us to continue building one of the most significant transaction platforms on the continent.”

He added that Start Path will 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 people move beyond that and look into digital payment solutions.

However, Hayward commented that Ukheshe has realised that financial inclusion goes beyond consumers and plays a far greater role in the lives of small-scale entrepreneurs. “It’s ultimately about inclusive economic growth and how digital financial services can play a major role in the increase of financial inclusion in Africa.”

“After sourcing the best and brightest later stage startups from across the globe, we’re thrilled to welcome Ukheshe to the Start Path ecosystem of innovators,” said Amy Neale, senior vice-president, Start Path and Fintech, Mastercard.


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