[LISTEN] Entrepreneur Katlego Maphai tells story of Yoco's success

Fintech start-up Yoco has changed the game for small businesses across South Africa with its card payment machines.

CEO and co-founder Katlego Maphai joins 702's Refiloe Mpakanyane to tell the story of the groundbreaking company.

RELATED: Cape Town start up Yoco gets a boost from major Dutch tycoon

Maphai first saw a similar point-of-sale system in the US in 2011, but it was only a year later that he had a lightbulb moment when he witnessed a friend paying by card in a little hole-in-the-wall eatery.

It wasn't until this moment that I understood the impact that the technology could have. From that point onwards, alongside having this incredible team of co-founders, it just became an obsession to bring that experience back home to South Africans.

Katlego Maphai, CEO and co-founder - Yoco

Researching the market back in South Africa, they found that while 75-80% of adults had cards, only 250,000 businesses were able to accept this form of payment.

Maphai details a number of barriers that were stopping small businesses from accessing card payment systems, including minimum monthly transaction volumes and a requirement that they'd been trading for six months.

Imagine, you need something that can help you grow but you can't get it because you haven't been trading.

Katlego Maphai, CEO and co-founder - Yoco

The BSc Information Systems graduate explains the burden of the inherent costs of a traditional distribution model which is people-heavy and salesperson-driven.

You've always got this decision: do I go for a bigger business where I know the return on my investment is going to be a lot more predictable or do I go for a smaller business that's unpredictable. Ultimately our innovation has been distribution.

Katlego Maphai, CEO and co-founder - Yoco

We've stripped down the people-heaviness and we've gone digital. Most people see our product for the first time on Facebook. They see an advert and then they click on it, go to our website and they can sign up in five minutes.

Katlego Maphai, CEO and co-founder - Yoco

The product is sent to you, you download the app, you connect the card machine and you can start transacting.

Katlego Maphai, CEO and co-founder - Yoco

For more on the Yoco success story, take a listen:


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