SA fintech startup Yoco announces it has hit 10 000 SMEs users milestone

South African payments company Yoco today announced that it now has 10 000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) clients in South Africa using its point-of-sale payments platform to accept card payments.

“This milestone is indicative of the significant demand for these kinds of services in the SME sector. Over 72% of Yoco merchants had never accepted cards before, a key metric for us at Yoco, as we look to be market makers, not just participants,” said Yoco CEO and co-founder, Katlego Maphai in a press release today.

Maphai said the company is adding over 1 000 new SMEs to its base every month. This makes it the largest independent mobile point-of-sale player in South Africa by number of merchants, he claimed.

Yoco launched at the end of 2015, after a successful beta programme, with 500 merchants. At the end of 2016, the company announced it had acquired over 5 000 SME merchants, growing 10 times in a year.

Minimum trading history, 12-24-month lock-in contracts and a sometimes-month-long application process are just some of the hurdles faced by SMEs when applying for a card machine.

Yoco’s mobile card readers can be used to accept payments both at the store or on the go, and the application process takes five minutes online, after which a courier delivers the card reader to the business owner. The card reader can be purchased upfront at R1 749 once-off or paid through instalments.

“By lowering the barriers to entry, we are enabling all types of SMEs to start accepting card payments, and together with our free point-of-sale app and business intelligence portal, start tracking their sales and formalising their business to enable growth,” said Maphai.

Yoco has in the past two years of operation, raised $7-million in funding from international investors and employs over 70 people in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The startup was recently selected as one of the top 250 most promising fintech companies in the world, by global research company CB Insights. It was one of only five African fintech companies that made it onto the prestigious list.