Supporting small business
development in Africa
The development and growth of micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMMEs) in South Africa and across the African continent is critical to its future prosperity. SMMEs are not only key drivers of wealth creation and employment, they are also powerful agents of change in supporting innovation and social mobility.
In 2014 the South African government recognised the importance of SMMEs with the creation of a new Ministry of Small Business Development. The Ministry’s work has been to examine the barriers to SMME growth, defined by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor as being access to finance; poor infrastructure; low levels of research; lack of skills in the workforce and high levels of crime. Access to finance and credit in particular stems from conservative lending practices, low levels of collateral against which to secure credit, lack of credit histories amongst entrepreneurs and poor business planning.
G4S Africa has long worked with SMMEs in South Africa, historically in securing and transporting cash but more recently through providing in-store cash management systems that count, secure and reconcile cash before crediting a customer’s bank account via technology that remains on site.
The financial cost and personal risks inherent to securing cash in small businesses are often dwarfed by the hidden costs of handling it. Whether it’s time spent counting and reconciling, staff theft or the lost opportunity cost in having cash unavailable as working capital, the efficiencies available to small business to focus on what matters, are considerable.
G4S Africa Regional President Mel Brooks said: “We operate in 23 markets across Africa, each of which relies heavily on cash for transactions. The efficiency of transactions is an often unacknowledged but vital aspect of economic productivity that we are working hard to help improve through our Deposita technology.”
G4S Africa now has over 6,000 Deposita devices in South Africa and beyond, servicing small companies through some of the country’s largest retail banks.
The latest development in the group’s Deposita range is a smart safe system that holds up to 1,200 banknotes, registering each note securely within it, reconciling multiple deposits through proprietary G4S cash management software. The business owner can run the software via a USB on a laptop or PC and view cash reports or print receipts.
It incorporates the option of same day credit into the customer’s bank account without the cash leaving the premises, or automatic credit to the customer’s bank account, once the G4S team collects the cash.
Deposita Mini-Pay is the smallest system in the range, offering the unrivalled benefits of larger devices at an entry point attractive to smaller service sector businesses that deal with more infrequent cash transactions.
“A huge number of small service sector businesses, ranging from dentists or doctors to health spas or car mechanics, deal infrequently with cash transactions,” Brooks said.
“Mini-Pay is a cost-effective solution for improving working capital and visibility over cash flows which also enhances the security of the customer’s money. Mini-Pay represents the best of Deposita at a size to suit the small business owner.”
Table of Mini-Pay technical capabilities:
Transaction validation speed
1 x single note feeder
25 notes per minute
Bank Note Capacity
40kg, 40.4 x 37.0 x 40.5cm
1 x training session
Personal computer / Laptop
25mb free drive space
Free USB port