SA startups collaborate to secure businesses in township economy

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South African startups Hello Pay and AURA have partnered to provide more than 18,000 small township-based businesses and spaza shops with free access to on-demand security services and emergency medical response and business insurance. 

Hello Pay is the latest service offered by the Hello Group, which allows small businesses to collect payments digitally, while AURA is a tech platform which enables anyone to quickly access the closest vetted security or medical responder.

The two startups have now joined forces to democratise access to these critical services. Hello Pay has embedded business insurance as well as the emergency response services offered by AURA as a free offering to its 18,000 customers on the Hello Pay Premium Service. 

AURA’s platform enables users to activate panic buttons during an emergency. The service links them to immediate on the ground emergency services to keep them and their customers safe, and to create a more secure environment in communities surrounding their businesses. 

“Hello Pay is our merchant terminal business, which allows small businesses and spazas to collect payments digitally. Besides the obvious security provided by digitising payments, as opposed to cash, we also understand that the personal safety of small business operators is critical to ensuring their success. That is why we decided to embed AURA’s armed response panic service and a basic business insurance cover, to keep our customers safe from both physical and economic harm,” said Moosa Manjra, CEO of Hello Group.

With an estimated 200,000 spaza shops and many more small businesses across South Africa, especially in the 40 to 50 townships, informal settlements and hostels (TISH) areas, there are significant opportunities to extend these services.

“AURA has democratised access to emergency response services, making it more affordable, efficient and accessible than ever before. We are determined to make these services available across every township and informal settlement across the country. We provide super quick response times, quicker than most police calls globally, with an average response time of about eight minutes currently for emergency security and medical services,” said Warren Myers, founder of AURA.

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