Posted on March 06, 2023
On 6 March 2023, a memorandum of agreement was signed between the University of Pretoria Department of Informatics in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment, and Information Technology and banking and payments enabler Direct Transact to create a pipeline of opportunity for students in the fintech industry.
Pretoria-based Direct Transact is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) and banking-as-a-service (BaaS) provider for businesses that want to launch outsourced banking and payment solutions. The company enables 70% of all clearing and settlement banks in South Africa to operate and plug into the financial system. By connecting millions of bank accounts, electronic funds transfers, card transactions and point-of-sale payments, more than R40 billion in transaction flows across the economy and 21 currencies are supported on the Direct Transact platform every month. The company also enables financial services solutions for retail players such as RCS and Shoprite.
“Our company plays a critical role in the functioning of the financial ecosystem in South Africa, and bringing a local talent pipeline into this ecosystem to drive fresh thinking and innovation is tremendously exciting. A partnership with the University of Pretoria will ensure that many talented young people get the opportunity to make a contribution to the quality and stability of South Africa’s financial grid,“ says Elmar Grobbelaar, Executive Head of Finance, Risk & Compliance at Direct Transact.
This collaboration agreement will ensure that a number of undergraduate students get tuition support for their BCom Informatics and BIS (IT) degrees, and practical experience and mentorship. In addition, the partnership provides the foundation for future collaboration in terms of research and specialist field investigation.
The project leader, Head of the Department of Informatics Prof Hanlie Smuts, says “industry and academic collaboration is a key enabler for ensuring that our department produces industry-ready and industry-relevant graduates. We are honoured to collaborate with Direct Transact, a company that shares its platform, ecosystems, and deep domain knowledge to create more opportunities in the fintech ecosystem.”
Apart from supporting students financially, Direct Transact will also support students to showcase their projects at the annual final-year Capstone Project Day.
“The heartbeat of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) is innovation. Technology provides for a digital transformation process that extends beyond tools and processes. It impacts individuals and organisations, resulting in the improved and sustainable well-being of both people and the planet. Our EBIT graduates are skilled for the future of work and it is not possible if our industry giants don’t offer their skillset and financial support to our students. We are privileged and grateful for the collaboration between EBIT and Direct Transact. We look forward to innovating our tomorrow together,” said Prof Wynand JvdM Steyn, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology.
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