28th February 2024 3:41 am
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Latest Yoco card machine to benefit SA’s busiest business owners

  • Yoco has launched a new card machine in the local market, the touchpad-style Yoco Neo Touch.
  • The small machine is made with ease of use in mind and offers unlimited 4G data and an all day battery life.
  • South African business owners can purchase the Yoco Neo Touch right now for a launch price of R899.

Last night, Hypertext was invited to attend the 2023 edition of Yoco Next, in which the local fintech startup prepared to launch its latest card machine to the market.

Yoco’s little blue card machines have enjoyed quiet growth across the country. They allow even the smallest of vendors and merchants to leverage card payments, an innovation sorely needed in South Africa.

In 2021, the company processed over R100 million in transactions during Black Friday, and today over 300 000 merchants use Yoco’s ecosystem of products.

The company, started by four friends in 2013, says that it has seen a 16 percent year-on-year growth since 2022, especially in the small business community – its primary market. It has seen significant growth in the travel and tourism industry during that period.

To continue capitalising on the market and to make it even easier for small businesses to access their payments quickly, Yoco launched its most frictionless card machine yet – Yoco Neo Touch.

“The Neo Touch is Yoco’s latest addition to their range of next generation card machines made for small to medium businesses who want to get paid, fast,” the startup explains in a press release sent to Hypertext.

The machine, which is basically a hand-sized touch pad, similar to a small, thick iPad, took Yoco’s engineers and industrial designers 15 months to build, and is something entirely novel. No other device of its like exists anywhere in the world, the company says, and it’s entirely for the benefit of the South African market.

“The true measure of innovation isn’t creating something new, it’s creating something that makes a difference,” said the soft-spoken Lungisa Matshoba, CTO at Yoco, on the verge of announcing the new machine.

“We want to change the rules. Creating a reality where convenience, ease of use and security aren’t just buzz words, but like something real. The team took this opportunity to completely redefine what a card machine looks and feels like. The Neo Touch is bespoken in its shape and design. We are proud to present a custom-made card machine that is now unique to South Africa.”

Lungisa says that business owners are facing challenges like power cuts and inflation at unprecedented levels; “we believe that getting paid shouldn’t be one of them.” This forms part of the machine’s marketing catchphrase of #DramaFree.

Mari Basson, product marketing manager at Yoco, told those gathered at the event that the Neo Touch is made for South African small business owners who are hands-on, work late hours and are always micro-managing their own businesses.

Yoco’s Neo Touch is aimed at helping make the lives of these business owners easier, and for them to be able to access their cashflows as soon as possible.

Security is also top of mind. The Neo Touch doesn’t allow swiping and instead uses mostly tap-to-pay and card insert methods for payments.

“Yoco is the first payments company to receive permission from the Payments Association of South Africa to remove magstripe functionality. By removing swipe-to-pay functionality, Yoco has introduced an additional layer of security to protect both customers and consumers, while beneficially bringing down the production cost of the hardware,” it explains.

According to Yoco, this swipe method of paying has historically resulted in high fraud rates, and only accounts for a tiny percentage of Yoco’s total transactions. The Neo Touch also accepts a full range of payment methods including AMEX, Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay.

But the benefits don’t end there. Yoco says that the Neo Touch is also equipped with unlimited 4G data, WiFi capabilities, and an all-day battery to ensure that business owners are always connected and able to take payments.

Customers can purchase the Yoco Neo Touch at a special launch price of R899. This makes it Yoco’s second most affordable machine right now, after the often-seen Yoco Go. It is available in-store and online right now.

At launch, the card machine comes bundled with a free charging stand allowing customers to charge the device when it’s not in use, on their countertops.

[Image – Provided]

Luis Monzon

Luis Monzon

Journalist. Covering education, AAA gaming and consumer tech. Reach me at Luis@htxt.co.za.

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