Tafari Capital, a Black-owned Fintech startup, has announced the launch of its locally developed, fully integrated digital finance and e-commerce platform – the Tafari App. The App offers free personal and business accounts that also allows users to build an online store where they can sell their products and services. The Tafari App will also offer remittance services for both local and international transactions.

This digital platform will enable Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (“SMME’s”) and individuals to sell products and services to consumers while being able to accept payments through its Bank-level secure feature – “Tafari Pay”.  

The Tafari App will also function as a Digital Mall, where consumers will be able to purchase anything from household appliances to services such as electricity and mobile data and airtime. Businesses have been moving their operations onto digital platforms for the past 20 years. The effects of the recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, have accelerated the need for companies of all sizes to look at digital platforms not just as alternatives, but as imperatives.

“With the limitations imposed by the national lockdown in South Africa, companies have limited access to their customers and this is affecting their businesses negatively. The platform will enable companies to access a broader customer base,” explains Dr. Thabo Lehlokoe - Executive Chairman of Tafari Capital.

The Tafari App will allow users to open smart accounts with full transactional functionality (Cheque, Savings, or Sharia-compliant accounts) for free. These accounts can have the ability to transact in multiple currencies. Tafari Pay, with its advanced functionalities such as ‘Scan To Pay’ using QR Codes and ‘Please Pay MeTM’, will provide users with the ability to accept card payments without the use of a point-of-sale (POS) device.  Through the deployment of ‘Big Data Analytics’ and ‘AI’, the Tafari App will be able to generate alternative risk assessment tools from users’ on-platform behavior.  This functionality will create differentiated access to credit via the Credit Mall in the Tafari App.

Dr. Lehlokoe adds that this platform will help South Africa (and later, the African continent as a whole) to address the issue of financial inclusion by providing an easy way for both SMME’s and individuals to enter the formal Financial Services sector.

According to recent World Bank research, 77% of all jobs in Africa are created by SMME’s accounting for almost 50% of the GDP. At the same time, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) states that there are 81 million SMME’s based in Sub-Saharan Africa with a credit need of $132 billion. Also, many SMME’s in Africa have products, but accessing the right market for their products remains a challenge.

“For the first time, customers will have access to Personal and Business transactional accounts linked to a free digital marketplace, where they can easily and securely buy and sell goods and services from fellow users while creating a digital record that allows for easy access to credit,” concludes Dr. Lehlokoe.

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