ImaliPay, Africa’s financial services platform for gig economy workers has named Stitch, a pan-African API fintech startup as a payments and open banking partner as part of its South African expansion.
Currently in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, the gig economy enabler is ensuring financial inclusion for Africa’s gig workers. With its partnership with Stitch, ImaliPay launched in South Africa within two months.
This is similar to its last month partnership with Cellulant to leverage the payments company's infrastructure and solutions in Kenya and Nigeria.
Launched in 2020, ImaliPay (also known as ImaliPay Technology Corporation) describes itself as the "financial sidekick" of freelancers and blue collar gig workers. ImaliPay uses artificial intelligence and big data on its digital financial platform to provide tailored financial products and services that promote the inclusion of gig workers in partnership with gig platforms.
With Stitch, workers that benefit from ImaliPay can easily make repayments directly from their bank accounts for items purchased via buy-now-pay-later, with just one click and also contribute to savings through the same linked account.
As people across the globe embrace working from home and leave formal employment in favor of gig-based work, the pandemic has enabled Africa and other emerging markets to explore online gig work to increase productivity and the quality of work for its large workforce.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s youngest region, with over 60% of its population being below 25 years, and it comprises 13% of the world’s workforce, second only to Asia. However, African countries currently experience very minimal participation in digital work compared to other emerging countries.
Alexandria Akena, Group Partnerships Manager at ImaliPay said that "in South Africa alone, there are over four million gig workers, and we want to be able to serve all of them better. We will launch by partnering with a few major gig platforms, and with Stitch as our payments partner"
"Our customers are able to earn 3-5x more because of our service. With Stitch, our customers will conveniently pay for buy-now-pay-later products and bill payments. The market is ripe for us to drive more inclusive financial participation for gig workers in South Africa", Akena added.
A survey of 3000 gig workers across five markets from venture capital firm Flourish Ventures indicated that the biggest financial concerns gig workers have, exacerbated by the pandemic, include the ability to save for the future and the ability to pay off debt.
ImaliPay will provide gig economy workers with access to tailored digital financial services through a one stop shop with its savings product, insurance and buy-now-pay-later marketplace, enabling affordable access to the tools workers need to perform their jobs and earn more revenue.
Gig workers in South Africa can now access ImaliPay’s services, using ImaliPay’s innovative financial products, customers can purchase key working capital inputs like fuel, smartphones and airtime to increase the productivity around their work.