ImaliPay, a fintech platform has made South Africa its third African major market after Nigeria and Kenya. The financial service platform for gig economy workers aims at helping Africa gig economy workers shape their financial freedom journey and improve on financial security.
Co-founded in 2020 by Tatenda Furusa and Sanmi Akinmusire, ImaliPay provides both new and existing gig workers or freelancers the capacity to seamlessly save their income and also receive in-kind loans through a buy-now-pay-later model tied to their trade thereby allowing workers access essential tools needed to perform their jobs and earn more revenue.
As gig workers either save money or repay loans on time, they are building a credit history that will in turn unlock more formal financial services for them in the future. As of today, workers on ImaliPay’s platform are able to earn 3x-5x more, all thanks to the firm’s buy-now-pay-later services.
The fintech startup raised some funding in March and has been able to partly utilize that capital to launch its operations in South Africa. Having already had ongoing operations in Nigeria and Kenya, and since its launch in 2020 has been able to power over 400,000 liters of fuel and also enable a total of 30 million trips on ride-sharing platforms.
“In South Africa alone, we have over four million (4M) gig workers,” said the Group Partnerships Manager at ImaliPay, Alexandria Akena.
“We aim to be able to achieve more inclusive financial participation for every one of them. We are coming into South Africa with a robust ecosystem of marketplace vendors that will serve our customers nationwide.”
ImaliPay’s fintech platform will leverage Stitch as its payments and open banking partner to offer customers an itch-free payments experience.
“All thanks to Stitch, gig workers using ImaliPay can easily make payments on the tools they purchased as soon as they begin to earn revenue. Stitch makes it easier for payment to be made into ImaliPay by linking their bank accounts so that it can be done with a single click,” Akena said.
The ImaliPay fintech team is launching in South Africa with some vendor partners and will focus first on their buy-now-pay-later services, with savings to follow. Through the ImaliPay platform, gig workers can easily purchase petrol, smartphones, airtime, and other tools via a WhatsApp chatbot, and receive vouchers to be used to purchase their required tools needed from partner vendors.