[Interview] Basie Pharedi, Co-Founder, Nabutone Connect, South Africa
Basie Pharedi is CTO and co-founder of South Africa based fintech company, Nabutone Connect, provider of modern payment solutions.
Would you introduce your company?
Nabutone Connect is a payments service provider delivering through technology applications in hardware and payment solutions within the cashless payment sector. The company has acquired and now owns data collections and POS payment technology solutions, thus facilitating low cost and improved management efficiency, improved through the realisation of mobile application operations. From the establishment till now, Nabutone Connect terminals and systems have been widely used in industries such as logistics, warehousing, retail, e-business, medical treatment, finance, energy sources, clothing, government, public utilities and many other sectors. Our infrastructure is based on an open-system architecture, which uses relational database technology. This architecture to be deployed will assist in the reduction of high cost experienced in many environments today.
Where is Nabutone Connect located?
We’re at 585 Mendelssohn Street, Constantia Park, Pretoria East, Gauteng Province, South Africa
For whom are your services?
Our target market is the SMME sector. We have realised that SMMEs can be the backbone of any economy and the main driver of economic growth. We chose the sector because small businesses are significant contributors to job creation, creating more than 50 percent of all employment opportunities in South Africa. Currently the SMME sector contributes more than 45 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
What are USPs of this service you provide?
Nabutone Connect created its new Nabutone Dock platform that can facilitate multiple payment methods on one device. We have sourced exclusive distribution rights within South Africa to a high quality POS device with EMV, NFC, QR scanner and touch screen capabilities. We had to develop a software middleware layer which was required to facilitate development and deployment of POS “apps” on the device such as VAS (Airtime/Electricity sales), Card switching (EMV, debit/credit), Digital transacting (Snapscan/wiCode) and Merchant based loyalty and rewards (Digital stamp card / % back in rewards to customers).
We at Nabutone Connect came up with an attractive “all in one” offering for a merchant (specifically SMME) which is competitive to bank POS offerings.
How has the market responded to Nabutone Connect?
Markets often respond favourably to new and modern, and that is what we bring to the table. Customers are tired of Legacy POS systems, legacy POS tech is quickly falling out of favour with new tech savvy business owners. Nabutone Connect embraces contactless payment methods to allow customers to make transactions without needing to swipe or dip their cards.
Consumers are choosing us because we keep costs down and have a competent Customer Service Team.
What are the growth plans of the company?
We are currently busy with regulatory requirements in Nigeria as we have set up an office in Maitama, Abuja. We will be expanding to Ghana soon.
We are looking into possible IPO solutions in the fourth quarter of the year.
In what direction will Nabutone Connect be taken this year?
At the beginning of the second quarter we will be launching our Digital Wallet called “NabuPay”. Nabutone Connect has developed an advanced consumer-centric rewards engine that offers clients the ability to provide mobile loyalty, coupons, vouchers and in-store airtime rewards to our consumer base.
As a new entrant into the digital payment space, we’re looking for the best way in which to differentiate ourselves. Nabutone Connect teamed up with wiGroup to work together on the card terminal solution to provide SME’s a competitive acquiring offering, and we would now like to venture into the consumer fintech space with a digital payments application for consumers.
The NabuPay loyalty and rewards mobile solution offers customers the ability to securely link their accounts to the mobile application to pay in-store. Furthermore, customers can earn back into the loyalty wallet or redeem coupons on specific products in a retailer.
This solution is supported through the wiGroup react native framework and will be deployed on both IOS and Android, making the front-end solution accessible across a wide range of customers devices. On this space we will be competing with MTN Money and Virgin Money Spot.
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