from WELLINGTON TONI in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – IN Zimbabwe, hosting an event where attendees have to pay to gain entry can be a nightmare, not entirely because of the country’s well-documented shortage of cash.
Envisage the chaos at events, from long queues, pick-pocketing, bouncers taking over gate admission processes and a whole lot of security issues at entrances that caused organisers a lot of losses.
A realisation that technology can be a solution to these skirmishes has proven a masterstroke as the company that embraced such modern systems in the hosting of local events has grown into the leading online payment organisation in Zimbabwe, six years after its formation
“We (then) did online payments systems for ticketing having realised that there was a lot of chaos at events,” Lee Masuka, the founder and chief executive of Click n Pay Investments said in an exclusive interview with ITNews Zimbabwe.
“In fact, one of the companies that we hosted an event for confessed that they had actually made a profit for the first time in three years and we were naturally happy with this achievement. For us, it meant our model was working, but there was always room for improvement,” Masuka said.
Click n Pay has expanded to football, music, rugby and other conferences and continues looking for opportunities.
Among some of their biggest clients is Delta Beverages, which hosted the National Braai Fest at Old Hararians in 2019, and the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) for its international matches and various corporate events and musical shows.
“This idea (of the company) started way back in 2014,” Masuka said.
“Having been working in the banking sector, I realised there was an opportunity that came with providing online payment systems in Zimbabwe and Africa.
“I then tried it under a different company but it did not work because our intended targets did not have visa cards,” he said.
In 2017, the idea was remodeled and targeted locals in the Diaspora to buy groceries online from Zimbabwean shops because, at least, they did have visa cards.
“The remodeling actually coincided with Ecocash enabling their system to make online payments,” the executive said.
From there, the company partnered with various show promoters and event organisers to ensure smooth operations at their functions.
It is then that the company started thriving, after realising the power of e-ticketing to solve the above-mentioned problems at events.
Click n Pay platforms accept payments from Ecocash, Visa Card, Master Card, One Money, Telecash and Zimswitch.
“We have also integrated My Cash from the Pick n Pay stores since their own systems also enable cash and swipe transactions,” Masuka said.
Masuka alluded to some challenges though.
“There has been some resistance because, at times, organisers cancel or postpone their events at the last minute when people have paid in advance. So people are naturally wary of losing their hard-earned cash, sometimes without an opportunity to get a refund.” Masuka explained.
“Bounces are still a menace at shows. They invade entry points and force people for less money than what is being charged. That leads to loss for event organisers since that money goes straight into the bouncers’ pockets,” Masuka added.
Technology is again the solution.
“We do not focus on ticketing only, but other solutions like access control and artificial intelligence (AI),” Masuka said.
“Access control systems enable automation of entrances and reduce human dependency. AI solutions further automate the purchasing and verification process during the functions,” he explained.
At events, at least 50 percent of the people buy online tickets because of the convenience, according to Masuka.
“We do hope in five years’ time, people would have fully accepted online payments,” the executive concluded.
– CAJ News