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New Platform Wants to Boost Buy-Local Efforts and Business Recovery

South Africa is the first region to benefit from a new, white-label mobile payment, customer loyalty and rewards programme, with the launch of UBU International. The platform-based ecosystem converts the massive power of mobile search for products and services into feet through the doors of local physical and digital retailers.

Many businesses have been severely impacted by the COVID lockdowns. Those who have survived the last couple of months are looking for ways to aggressively boost sales. A new platform-based solution addresses this challenge while allowing consumers to support their local retailers as well as their communities.

The UBU International ecosystem engages with three audiences:

  • Local businesses who are hoping to attract and retain new customers;
  • Organisations or individuals that have a substantial audience, customer base or following (this could include schools, radio stations, gyms, churches or even social media influencers and local celebrities) and;
  • Members of the public who want the convenience of a touchless mobile wallet as well as the cashback rewards and discounts offered by a loyalty programme.

“Our platform solves a commerce problem. Rather than simply focusing on sales conversions, it is designed to increase sales and drive foot traffic for brick-and-mortar retailers, while using digital channels to address relevant audiences for both retail and e-commerce businesses, many of whom can’t afford large advertising campaigns or to implement complex loyalty programmes,” explains Andre de Wet, CEO of UBU International.

 

“The UBU platform and ecosystem users also come out on top as research has shown that cashback and great deals are the benefits most sought after in loyalty programmes.”

The UBU Ecosystem
The UBU Ecosystem

Established in February 2020, UBU International is a platform-based ecosystem that converts the massive power of mobile search for products and services into feet through the doors of local physical and .

The business is headquartered out of Cape Town, South Africa, with backing out of the UK and Norway.

UBU International provides businesses with their own branded loyalty wallet where their audience, customers or followers can get direct loyalty rewards, and also shop in the wider UBU Marketplace. It’s in their interest to actively encourage users to download and use their wallet, which includes access to mobile payments, while at the same time having access to the UBU International platform which manages both the loyalty and rewards programme. This programme allows for all merchants on the marketplace to be featured across the whole ecosystem.

Organisations who have their branded wallets earn a commission for each purchase made by their users, creating a passive income stream. This is a unique way for wallet holders to earn income from their users outside of their normal sphere of business.

When searching for local services and retailers (like restaurants, B&Bs, handymen, coffee shops, salons, retail shops etc), the wallet directs users to participating businesses in their area. When the user purchases services or products at these vendors, they get immediate cashback.

Businesses gain exposure via the UBU Marketplace which is constantly promoted by the participating organisations and businesses to their networks and clients. This gives them access to a market that they would otherwise struggle to reach, attracting new customers, boosting sales and keeping existing customers coming back for more.

“Our solution merges marketing, loyalty and payments. With one platform we solve the small business challenge of getting feet through their door. We enable radio stations, churches, schools, gyms, NGOs and even social media influencers to monetise one of their greatest untapped assets – their audience,” says de Wet.

“For the wallet users, we give them the convenience of a touchless payment system that puts money back into their wallet, rather than complicated points reward systems. It’s an elegant solution for each participant.”

Andre-de-Wet-CEO-UBU-International
Andre-de-Wet-CEO-UBU-International

UBU International is well capitalised by private equity funding from Norway and the UK. Once the South African business is bedded down the team is gearing to rapidly scale up in other international markets, with a target of 10-15 new countries within the next year to 18 months.

The UBU International team are no strangers to the world of technology and finance. Before launching UBU International, serial entrepreneur and mobile strategist, Andre de Wet, was, among others, CEO of well-known e-commerce site PriceCheck.co.za and had already sold his first business by the time he was 27.

Companies, organisations and individuals can sign up now to join the UBU International ecosystem. Brands such as JacarandaFM, East Coast Radio and Radio Laeveld are already members, along with 100s of small businesses countrywide.

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