iKhokha believes that small businesses are the key to a prosperous economy. That’s why it offers no rental fees and South Africa’s lowest transaction rates to give these businesses a chance to thrive.
Established in 2012, iKhokha is a co-founder-led organisation that is driving digital inclusion for all businesses, irrespective of their size. After eight years of helping SMEs grow, iKhokha is poised to cater to the thousands of South African business owners who are disillusioned with traditional financial service providers.
“As it stands, legacy providers in South Africa could be doing more for our SMEs. These small businesses are the ones that will drive our GDP growth, so we’re ready to step up to ensure they have the support they need,” says iKhokha CEO Matt Putman.
To accomplish this, iKhokha has ramped up their brand advertising to reach a broader market of business owners.
“From a brand investment perspective, we felt like we needed to tell more stories that connect with SMEs,” says Putman. “We knew there was an awareness job to be done to educate small business owners, who are either not represented or misrepresented by the traditional players, to give them a way to participate in the digital economy.”
iKhokha also realises that the current climate is the ideal time for businesses to make a move to safer electronic payments.
“We recognise that there’s a shift happening around digital card payments, which has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and an evident desire to move away from the cash and analogue world,” says Putman. “After cutting our teeth as a startup, iKhokha has reached a point of maturity where we can now make business easier for SMEs at scale.”
For Putman, disrupting the financial landscape is key as traditional providers continue to sideline SMEs. It’s a challenge which iKhokha has taken in their stride as they aim to shift the perception around the banking sector as the only provider of card machines and business tools.
Head of growth Lindsay Johnson believes that considerable brand investment will prompt business owners to see that iKhokha has their best interests at heart.
“Our hope is for all South Africans to see iKhokha as a brand that’s here to uplift entrepreneurs with business growth opportunities, despite the economic hardships weighing down on their shoulders,” says Johnson.
She highlights that iKhokha’s ability to offer real value to their customers is essential for widespread adoption.
“We’d like iKhokha to become synonymous with entrepreneurship enablement by really making it easier for anyone to own a business,” says Johnson. “Ideally, we’d like to become a part of the intimate dinner table conversations happening in South African homes.”
Creative director at iKhokha Dylan Laubscher says that to deliver this message and connect with new customers authentically, iKhokha has addressed their perception in the market.
“We updated our design language to define how we communicate the iKhokha brand. By creating distinctive brand assets to utilise in cross channel touchpoints, we’re able to engage our potential merchants in a human way, wherever they are,” says Laubscher.
Customer support is another critical business area that enables iKhokha to deliver on their promise of human-first service and maintain their top-in-category rating on Hellopeter.
As the business continues to scale, iKhokha will invest in top talent, especially in the product and development teams, to create new opportunities and drive the business into new territories.
The choice, however, will seemingly fall to SMEs as to what happens next. Will they continue on the traditional path with legacy providers or will they divert to a new road with mobile payment providers like iKhokha?
Only time will tell, but if iKhokha’s rapid rise to the summit of the fintech space is any indication, positive change for small businesses isn’t only on the horizon, it’s coming boldly into focus.
Looking for more? Take a closer look at the iKhokha brand here.