Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes Yoco’s $16 million Series B funding round. In addition, China’s Beijing Inspiry Technology is deploying a mobile payments in Japan, and Volopa has chosen Onfido to help verify applicants’ identities when on-boarding new clients.
South Africa-based Yoco has notched $16 million in a Series B round led by venture capital firm Partech, the company said in an announcement. With the funding, the company plans to build out its network of merchants, attract more FinTech talent and invest in developing products.
“Our Series B investment allows us to continue to scale our operations and deliver a world-class product experience that enables small businesses to thrive,” said Yoco Co-founder and CEO Katlego Maphai in the announcement.
The market is ripe for such technology, the company claims, as only 7 percent of small businesses in South African countries accept card payments, even though the country has a card penetration rate of 75 percent.
In other news, China’s Beijing Inspiry Technology Co., Ltd is deploying an offline mobile payment product called Inspiry Smart Box in Japan, the company said in an announcement. The Smart Box Extended, which is an upgraded version of the Inspiry Smart Box, enables customers to make payments by scanning a QR code on their smartphones through the Alipay app. At first, Inspiry Smart Boxes were brought to retail stores in the cities of Osaka and Tokyo.
And Volopa has chosen Onfido to help with its customer onboarding through the use of artificial intelligence-powered know-your-customer (KYC) technology, the companies said in a press release. With Onfido’s technology, a customer signing up for a card through Volopa can take a photo of his or her identity documents along with a selfie. The technology from Onfido, in turn, checks the authenticity of the identity document, cross-references the applicant’s identity against watch lists and looks for “facial similarity.” In the announcement, Onfido CEO Husayn Kassai said, “balancing security against scale is a challenge for many businesses, but our machine learning technology means we’re able to help Volopa deliver both.”