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Ozow

About

Ozow believes that payments should be easy. That’s why Ozow provides easy, fast, and secure payment solutions for everyone. From QR codes, point of sale, eCommerce, e-billing, peer-to-peer payments, and everything in between, Ozow has your payment needs covered. With Ozow, you can make and receive payments… from anywhere and at any time. All you need is a bank account and a smart-enabled device. It’s that simple.

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Values

  • Be Committed

    Through persistence, commitment, grit, endurance and hard work, we strive to give out our best selves in the most passionate sense because we know that the effort, we put in today will get us closer to our achievements tomorrow.

  • Be Innovative

    We are open to new opportunities and new learnings. There is so much more to explore. Together we combine our knowledge and efforts, encouraging creativity into building the Unicorn we aspire to be.

  • Be Honest

    We deliver honestly on our commitments. We own our actions, and we accept accountability for our decisions.

  • Be Inclusive

    We are a team who support each other through this journey with respect and dignity no matter our background or where we are from. We do not discriminate, exclude, or speak poorly of others. We uplift and value our relationships by being courteous, kind and considerate.

Insider experiences

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Partnership announcement

The Ozow x Zapper partnership: where competition becomes collaboration

The Ozow x Zapper partnership: where competition becomes collaboration

Choice is powerful, especially when it comes to how you manage your money. In our quest to give you more choice, we’re constantly circling the waters for brands to join forces with. Our latest partnership is quite unique. We’ve teamed up with a competitor to better serve both our customer bases. Ozow is now available as a payment option on Zapper. When you use Zapper, you now have more choice. You can either select Ozow to make instant bank-to-bank payments, or you can use your pre-loaded card. You may be asking why we would partner with our direct competition. Quite simply, it’s to cement ourselves as a market disruptor. Ozow is one of the leading bank-to-bank payment providers in South Africa. Zapper owns a significant share of the QR code payments market – they’re used by more than 70 000 merchants in the retail and hospitality worlds. As partners, we can leverage off of each other’s strengths, infrastructure, and markets. Ozow’s CEO and co-founder, Thomas Pays, says it best, “When two competing fintechs join forces, the partnership can be much greater than any adversity. This ultimately benefits the 47 million bank account holders in South Africa, all while driving financial and digital inclusion.” He goes on to say, “People often hear the term ‘financial inclusion’, but don’t really understand why this is so big for fintechs like us. At its core, it’s about giving consumers and businesses greater access and choice. This is especially true for many consumers, who have been locked out of these types of services because they don’t have a credit card.” Now, all these customers will have to do when using Zapper to make payments through Ozow, is select Ozow as their payment option in the Zapper app. When they checkout, they’ll be asked to enter their bank login details and create a four-digit PIN. Once that’s done, they’ll select the bank account they want to pay from, follow the steps to confirm the payment, and then approve it on their banking app. While this partnership enables consumers to make easier, quicker and safer payments on Zapper, there’s also a notable benefit for merchants – no fees to process card payments. Competition. Collaboration. They’re two conflicting ideas in the business world. But when they meet, they’re cause for innovation. At Ozow, that’s what we’re all about. *Join us on our journey * If you want to be part of the team that’s constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, then check out our careers page https://ozow.com/ozow-careers/ – there might just be something for you. This originally appeared on Ozow's blog. Read it https://ozow.com/blog/cape-union-mart-partner-with-ozow-2/.

Other announcement

The evolution of payments is helping to create a contactless society

The evolution of payments is helping to create a contactless society

While people have been paying for goods and services for millennia, the arrival of the internet in the ‘90s became a major turning point for the payments sector. Since then, digital innovation has evolved payments solutions at breakneck speeds. Everything from contactless payments, QR codes, and digital wallets, consumers have so many new ways to pay. This is the view of Thomas Pays, CEO and co-founder of Ozow, who says that the technology developed over the decades has improved our everyday lives and made it easier for people to transact. “Fuelled by the pandemic, however, there has been a rapid adoption and acceptance of these new payment methods. With concerns of the spread of the virus, the increased usage of contactless payments has also empowered people to transact securely from their own devices without any physical contact,” he points out. The shift to a contactless ecosystem is also accelerating the decashing of the economy and has primarily been led through mobile. In fact, mobile payments and digital wallets are two of the most popular payment types globally, eclipsing cash transactions in 2020. Unlike developed countries with legacies banking systems, Pays explains that Africa is perfectly primed to leapfrog and quickly adapt to new technology. “We can see wider adoption because people don’t have to make any significant change from one system to the next. Without decades of legacy systems, we have a tremendous advantage in being able to do this.” The widespread usage of digital payments in various forms has also worked to resolve the historical disconnect between online and in-store pay points, where the ease of checkout has been a big issue. Pays says that retailers responded by integrating this technology into the point-of-sale systems – providing more ways for customers to pay for goods and services. “As businesses gear up for Black Friday and the festive season, these new payment options will be vital.” Innovation isn’t slowing down either. The introduction of e-wallets and invisible payments, like those used by Uber and Amazon Go, are providing people with a way to pay for goods and services without having to take any action. While traditionally, these often required a credit card on file, this is being eliminated with the introduction of wallets and direct payment links to bank accounts through digital overlay services developed by fintechs. “With every new payment solution introduced, the most important thing to understand is that these are designed with the highest international safety and security standards to ensure that consumer and banking data is protected,” he adds. This future of payments is very exciting, says Pays. “With every new technology developed, the goal will always be to simplify people’s lives by making payments even easier, quicker, and more secure. At the rate that it’s evolving, we will easily get to a stage where wearable payment tech won’t require cards, batteries, or an internet connection.” “This innovation has one primary goal – to drive financial inclusion and access for everyone. Ultimately, this supports the South African Reserve Bank’s Vision 2025 to improve access for the 52 million bank account holders in South Africa,” says Pays.

Other announcement

New payments system set to shake up South Africa’s banking industry

New payments system set to shake up South Africa’s banking industry

A major change is coming to South Africa’s banking and payments sector. Known as the Rapid Payment Programme (RPP), this evolutionary banking concept aims to create a simpler, safer instant payment ecosystem that would give people the ability to make real-time payments using simple identifiers, such as mobile numbers or email addresses. Led by BankServAfrica in collaboration with the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA), RPP is the first of its kind in the country – unifying the entire banking sector under the common goal of broadening and modernising the industry to include those who had historically relied on cash as their primary payment method. According to Thomas Pays, CEO and Co-Founder of Ozow - an Instant EFT payment solutions provider, the initiative is set to change the course of how people transact in the future. “Not only will this make it easier for people to be able to make payments, but it will also help solve one of the biggest challenges that our country faces - how to get the millions of underbanked South African's transacting in the digital economy.” Aligning with the South African Reserve Bank’s Vision 2025 and PASA’s Project Future aimed at modernising the payments industry, RPP has been endorsed by various government bodies, 11 major banks and the broader fintech industry. It is anticipated that the successful launch of the initiative will take place as early as 2022. “This is a massive step in the right direction and is something that we have actively been lobbying for over the last six years. Our mission is centred around an imperative to empower previously disadvantaged South Africans with the development of innovative payment solutions that meet their real-world needs,” explains Pays. What this will mean for consumers While 80% of South Africans own a bank account, more than 70% of all retail payment volumes are still cash-based . In the informal economy, it is estimated that as much as 89% of all transactions are done using cash . To reduce the reliance on cash, Pays says that the move to introduce this next-generation payment ecosystem will make it easier for consumers to be able to transact digitally. “What sets RPP apart from previous banking initiatives that have hoped to achieve the same goal is that consumers will be able to select phone numbers, email addresses, and domain-based aliases as a way to identify themselves for the purposes of receiving payments,” he explains. The system is also set up to enable consumers to be able to make or receive payments instantly without having to wait for the funds to clear, regardless of which bank they are with. In the long-term, RPP will contribute to building a safe, reliable, and efficient National Payment System that would ultimately benefit all levels of society in the country. International success of rapid payment systems South Africa’s RPP is based on several international initiatives that have helped to revolutionise the way people pay in countries like India, Brazil, US, UK, Thailand, China and Singapore. Launched in 2015, India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) redefined the way people made payments, resulting in more than a billion transactions being made through the system each month. Pays says that the system has helped India rapidly expand its entire banking ecosystem to previously untapped markets, which equated to a 50% increase in overall transactions in the country that were previously non-existent on the system. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Brazil’s Central Bank saw the need to create and regulate a new instant payment system called PIX to improve access to online services. Since its launch in November 2020, PIX has had the fastest adoption of a new payment service in the world. In total, 83 million individual users and more than 5.5 million companies registered more than 242 million PIX keys. More than 45% of the country’s population now uses this as a payment method. Fintechs to play a vital role Within the world of banking, fintech companies are at the forefront of developing these simple and accessible payments solutions to enable consumers to bank or transact online. BankServAfrica has recognised that fintech companies and other third-party providers will play a crucial role in developing easy and simple user interfaces for consumers to be able to use. “We believe that the work that Ozow has done to enable bank-to-bank payments online and in-person through some of the most simplified payment solutions for enterprises, SMMEs and individuals is perfectly primed to deliver RPP to the market,” says Pays. Using India as a benchmark, there is also tremendous value for fintechs to be part of the solution in South Africa. In February 2021, fintech providers of India’s UPI recorded a total of 2.3 billion digital payment transactions worth over four trillion Indian rupees. This marked a year-on-year growth of over 70% in volume of transactions . As a result of UPI, India’s fintech sector grew by an estimated $31 billion in 2020. By 2023, this is expected to jump $140 billion and by 2025, the fintech industry valuation is estimated at $150-160 billion . “Across the value chain, from the banks to fintechs like Ozow, we are geared to drive consumer awareness and build trust that would ultimately encourage migration to these new forms of digital payments. Unlike before, the unified approach that underpins RPP will act as a massive catalyst to ensure that this happens,” he adds. “We look forward to collaborating with BankServAfrica, PASA, the banks and all other stakeholders within the industry to help create a truly democratised, equitable, and inclusive financial and banking sector that will meet the needs and better serve all South Africans,” says Pays.

Other announcement

Social media has become the new marketplace

Social media has become the new marketplace

Since the late 2000s, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives - whether to connect with friends and family, share information with others, or stay updated on the latest news and trends. With an average of 3.5hrs spent on social media each day by South Africans, according to the latest stats from Hootsuite, it has been a natural evolution for these networks to become the new marketplace for consumers. Coined social commerce, social media platforms have introduced shopping portals and added functionality to allow people to buy and sell goods directly off their platforms. Back in 2016, Facebook launched its Marketplace to cater to people wanting to use their social media platforms to shop locally. Many of the other social media platforms followed suit, opening a whole new marketplace for consumers. Thomas Pays, Co-Founder and CEO of Ozow – a leading Instant EFT payment solutions provider, says that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and even TikTok, have capitalised on this trend by introducing social commerce on their channels as a new way for people to buy and sell goods online. “The move has helped to redefine where and how people shop.” Younger consumers driving social commerce While the pandemic has amplified the usage of social commerce, Gen Z (aged between 9-25yrs) and Millennial (aged between 16-40yrs) consumers have been using social media for years as a source of information of products and services that they are considering using. “With Forbes citing that 40% of all shopping is currently being done by Gen Z alone, retailers would be foolish to underestimate the power that social media wields on their bottom line,” points out Pays. Combined, the Gen Z and Millennial generations have fast become the largest consumer generation in history. In South Africa, this equates to 73% of our population – a powerful consumer base online. Younger consumers have moved beyond traditional eCommerce favoured by millennials and are more likely to use social commerce — the practice of purchasing wholly within a social media platform. What makes it work is that the algorithms provide a personalised shopping experience (thereby reducing the risk of abandoned carts), all while delivering greater engagement that gives them the ability to co-create an experience that is uniquely their own. *Benefits of social commerce * Apart from the immediate benefits, there is tremendous value in entrepreneurs using social commerce as a way to sell their goods and services. “For novice digital entrepreneurs who are just entering the market, social commerce acts as the perfect gateway to more formal eCommerce platforms that they may use in the future. Platforms like the Facebook and Instagram marketplaces, for example, have been designed to be simple enough that anyone can buy and sell online – opening up the eCommerce system to millions of new users,” adds Pays. According to a recent study of 23 African and Asian countries, which was conducted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), it found that 58% of businesses that sold primarily through their own eCommerce channels saw a drop in monthly revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic. In comparison, businesses that used third-party marketplaces and social channels saw a collective increase in sales of 64%. “While the increased usage of social commerce by these consumers continues to redefine the way retailers operate, their shopping behaviour during this pandemic cemented their value as a generation of consumers steadfast on transforming the economy,” says Pays.