SA fintech Ozow launches zero-rate data payment apps

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
Ozow app

South African fintech company Ozow (formerly known as i-Pay) has launched two payments apps. One payment solution is a progressive web app that won’t require data and the other is an application that simplifies bank transfers. In what the company is calling the Ozow Revolution, they seek to make digital payments available to every South African. Ozow aims to expand the avenue for South Africans to participate in the digital economy through these apps.

What is Ozow?

Ozow is a fintech company that provides automated EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) through SMS, e-wallet and QR Code. The company offers secure payments over a number of different banks through one application. Through Ozow’s integration with banks, they offer securely cardless services through their platforms:

“While more than 80% of South Africans hold a bank account, only one out of every eight have a credit card. This locks the vast majority of consumers out of digital payments and excludes them from a huge range of services”

Thomas Pays, Ozow CEO and Co-founder

Ozow also has a merchant base that includes, NGOs, NPOs, individuals and small to medium businesses.


The first Ozow payment app is called Ozapp. This is a PWA (Progressive Web Application) that won’t require users to have data to access. South Africa has a number of users who have smart capable phones. But many use lower-end models that may not have the storage for a lot of apps. The PWA is a means of addressing this. Users with a bank account or an e-wallet would only need to scan a QR code and that will allow them to transact without any data required.

“In a further effort at enabling greater digital inclusion, the data needed to use Ozapp is zero-rated, meaning consumers  have zero data cost to make use of the progressive web app and can make payments anytime at any Ozow-enabled point-of-sale or pretty much anywhere, including the comfort of their home.”

Thomas Pays, Ozow CEO and Co-founder

Ozow Pin

The second Ozow payment app is called Ozow Pin. This application is a means of simplifying EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), it takes the process of a bank transfer and puts it into 4 steps.

“By reducing the time needed to make EFT payments and removing friction in the transaction process, Ozow PIN can help grow transaction volumes while attracting new customers. It’s a win-win for consumers and merchants.”

Thomas Pays, Ozow CEO and Co-founder

In addition to this Ozow is now offering individuals and small business owners a charge-free period of 12 months or up to R1 million in transactions a month.

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  1. Anonymous

    Come on Valentine, you are better than this. You are a tech site but claim a PWA doesn’t require data (why the hell is the second letter for Web in there then?) and in the very next quote say that the data it uses is zero-rated…. so which is it?
    And zero rated in Zim? On which networks? My guess is none, unless Strive owns them. In which case, it’s totally irrelevant to us.
    Please put a little more though and effort in rather than just coping the press releases you receive.

    1. Valentine Muhamba

      It might be a little bit left field but this I think is an interesting way to approach the issue of financial inclusion. We will track how it goes, and see what comes of it.

      Is this totally irrelevant for us in Zim? With the changes coming to payments after on and after the 30th when Zimswitch is the natioal switch this move by Ozow could inspire mobile telecoms companies to think outside the box in order to make a case for themselves to customers

      On the other hand, the concept may not find it’s way here in this shape or form, but there may be someone out there with an idea that could borrow some apsects of what Ozow is doing. Who knows the idea might be compelling enough that telecoms may consider implementing zero-rating for that idea.

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