Fintech ImaliPay enters South African market

SOUTH AFRICA – Financial services platform for gig economy workers ImaliPay has entered the South African market, its third major African market after Nigeria and Kenya, aiming to help more of Africa’s gig economy workers improve their financial security and shape their journey towards financial freedom.

Co-founded in 2020 by Tatenda Furusa and Sanmi Akinmusire, ImaliPay offers both new and existing gig workers or freelancers the ability to seamlessly save their income and receive in-kind loans through a buy now, pay later model tied to their trade.

As gig workers save money or repay loans on time, they are able to build a credit history that will in turn unlock more formal financial services in the future.

Workers on ImaliPay’s platform today are able to earn 3-5x more thanks to the firm’s buy-now-pay-later services.

The startup raised some funding in March 2021 and has partly utilized that capital in order to launch operations in South Africa.

It already has operations in Nigeria and Kenya, and since launching in 2020 has powered over 400,000 litres of fuel and enabled a total of 30 million trips on ride-sharing platforms, and has also enabled gig workers to generate savings and access affordable insurance. 

“In South Africa alone, there are over four million gig workers,” said ImaliPay’s Group Partnerships Manager Alexandria Akena.

“We want to be able to drive more inclusive financial participation for all of them. We are entering South Africa with a robust ecosystem of marketplace vendors that will serve our customers nationwide,” he added. 

The startup will be leveraging Stitch as its payments and open banking partner to offer customers a seamless payments experience.

“Thanks to Stitch, workers using ImaliPay can easily make payments on the tools they purchased once they begin to earn revenue. Stitch makes it easy for them to pay into ImaliPay by linking their bank accounts, so they can make payments with a single click,” Akena said.

The ImaliPay team is launching in South Africa with a number of vendor partners, focusing first on their buy-now-pay-later services, with savings to follow.

Through ImaliPay, gig workers can purchase petrol, smartphones, airtime, and other tools via a WhatsApp chatbot, and receive vouchers that can be used to purchase the tools they need from partner vendors.

Kiaan Pillay, co-founder, and CEO of Stitch said, “We’re super excited to be working with the ImaliPay team as they launch in South Africa, and to help them get more money into the hands of the significant gig worker population in this market. Seeing innovative fintech companies like ImaliPay expand to new markets in a matter of weeks and provide compelling products is one of the main reasons we started Stitch.”

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