South Africa’s Selpal, a fintech startup that operates specifically in townships, is planning nationwide expansion after securing funding from FirstRand Group, one of the largest financial service providers in the country.
Selpal has developed an integrated system connecting informal retailers with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) suppliers, wholesalers, and brands.
Selpal provides store traders and informal retailers with a smart PoS device free of charge. This device has basic PoS functionality, and enables the retailer to sell their products virtually, such as airtime, data, electricity, and DStv, and enables Selpal’s ‘Store Traders Vault Wallet’.
Stephen Goldberg, CEO of Selpal told the local media, “The Vault Wallet is an e-wallet that we have developed that provides the store trader with as much financial functionality as we are able without being a bank. Funding the Vault Wallet acts as the working capital for the virtual products – which are all pre-paid – and enables the store trader to pay his suppliers electronically without using cash.”
He added, “With the know-how and financial muscle that FirstRand brings, together with our understanding of the unseen market, we believe that we can fundamentally change the business landscape in the townships and create massive value for all the participants in our ecosystem,”
Since its inception, what Selpal has done is tap in businesses and networks in South Africa’s township which no bank bothered to pay attention to earlier.
Reportedly, almost 50 percent of South Africa’s urban population lives in townships.
Last year, South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) joined hands with Selpal to boost the financial inclusion of the country’s informal sector.