South Africa’s telco Telkom waded into the country’s red hot financial area with a new financial services entity to compete against the likes of mobile phone rivals MTN, Vodacom and FinTech players.

Telkom Financial Services will offer solutions to empower businesses and individuals to participate in the digital economy.

It is part of Telkom’s strategy to continue its drive to diversify its income streams beyond the fixed-line business.

The main aim is to bring down some of the barriers, especially for small to medium businesses to be part of the economy.

The country’s largest fixed-line provider disclosed in an advert in the Sunday Times that it will introduce Telkom Financial Services.

It has launched four services: Pay, Lend, Insure and Transact.

“We enable businesses to accept card payments and instant EFTs wherever and whenever they do business,” said Telkom.

“We know what it takes to grow a business so we’ll also be offering business loans to ensure that those brave enough to grow our economy can do so.”

The company added that its insurance services will help businesses and customers prepare for any uncertainty with advice and funeral cover. Telkom Funeral Plan is underwritten by Guardrisk Life.

“We will soon enable digital wallet solutions for customers to buy products and pay for services via our YEP app, website, as well as other online tracking platforms.”

Seeking to help the growth of small businesses in South Africa, who have been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Telkom Business announced in June the launch of its latest innovation, Yep on Google Play and Apple’s app store.

Yep! is a digital marketplace where customers can safely and confidently search and purchase from small, trusted businesses.

The app is geared toward economic sustainability, creating a long-term future for small businesses.

Last month, Telkom announced that Yep raked in 500 000 customers less than a month after going live.

With Yep, Telkom transformed its 70-year-old Yellow Pages business into an online marketplace targeting SMEs.

Also read: Why the Relaunch of MTN’s MoMo is More Than a Mobile Money Service in SA?

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