Nearly 24% of adults in South Africa are unbanked and R12bn in cash is believed to be held outside of the banking system. COVID-19 related lockdowns have sent unemployment figures soaring to an estimated 11 million, meaning that as many as 30 million people are locked out of the South African economy. More people are being forced to turn to credit to help make ends meet, but millions lack a credit record to enable them to access secured loans, seeing them turning to disreputable lenders, with dire consequences.
In the absence of the ability to access credit, millions of South African consumers make use of the lay-by system, which allows them to choose an item at a store and pay a deposit, followed by monthly, interest-free payments until the full amount is paid up and they can take delivery of their items.
South African fintech startup LayUp targets this massive unbanked, uncredited population who use lay-by to get by with a Smart Tech solution that solves an administratively onerous, analogue problem. Whereas customers previously had to complete reams of paperwork in-store, return to the same store to make payments and continually grapple with complicated administration, LayUp’s digital solution allows for online or in-store activation, instant approval after a one-step sign-up and automated recurring payments with multiple payment methods including Cash, Debit & Credit Card or instant EFT, to completely streamline the lay-by process.
“LayUp removes the onerous administrative burden from in-store staff, enables easy, remote repeat payments for the consumer and closes the purchase loop – a huge problem in the lay-by space,” says Founder Andrew Katzwinkel. “Our aim is to easily avail inclusion in the continental financial space across Africa and simplify a payment method that millions of people rely on, to make ends meet – and ultimately to create financial inclusion throughout Africa”.
The simplicity of the system allows merchants to improve conversion rates, increase basket sizes, build loyalty from return customers, reduce administration cost & effort and access reconciliation & reporting tools online.
The omni-channel digital payment plan solution encourages healthy financial behaviour, whilst unlocking vast amounts of purchasing power – a boon to both consumers and merchants. The platform is currently gaining traction with merchants and consumers in South Africa and will be rolling out into other African territories throughout 2021.
For more about LayUp, visit layup.co.za or contact [email protected].