Jasper Ochieng’ is the founder and Ceo of Kibo Capital Group. Kibo Capital Group is a finance and technology company that is committed to supporting creation of capital, financing and creation of real time solutions to everyday problems facing the African entrepreneurs and businesses around payments. In the following interview he shares why the company is set to redefine the fintech landscape in Kenya through a revolutional digital receipt and other payments integration solutions.
Tell us about yourself? When and why did you form Kibo Capital Group?
I have a wealth of experience in finance, banking and innovation having worked for some of the leading Kenyan banks for over ten years. The past decade has seen a disruptive fintech space and supporting infrastructures that have opened up opportunities for businesses like us to operate and thrive.
Technology has revolutionized finance and the whole banking experience. Any kind of banking activity can now be done on a mobile phone or laptop; there is no need for one to visit a banking hall. From paying for bills to transfer of money among others, mobile money and related innovations have made life convenient for Kenyans. Such opportunities informed the birth of Kibo Capital Group.
Payment Gate and Tsenda are one of our key solutions that we have successfully rolled out in the market.
What is Payment Gate?
Payment Gate is simply a receipting solution service provider that avails Universally Verifiable electronic receipts for both Mobile Money payments and banking deposits, online banking or via (Paybill). This innovation delivers unique solution that is tailor made as per client’s specification for purposes of records management and comes with a marketing/Communications/ads management functionality that directly saves clients stationary costs and huge spending on marketing and advertisement. Unlike most other traditional advertising channels, Payment Gate delivers a whole new world of functionalities with superior analytics hence giving one real value for investment.
What informed the launch of Payment Gate?
From my experience, Kenyans have a peculiar habit of throwing away receipts after shopping at supermarkets and malls. Why cut trees only to throw them away? We need to keep our environment in check.
Another observation I made was that after a mobile money transaction or bank payment that is linked to an SMS, a client might delete the text by mistake which makes it hard for them to keep track of their payments records in case of any eventuality.
What then makes Payment Gate unique?
PaymentGate makes sure that the records are kept safe in a secure clouds server. The receipt that is generated has some key features showing the payment details but without revealing other key details such as the client’s mobile money balance or number. Other key features are zero human error in sales entries and a feedback monitoring mechanism as clients can share their feedback on the platform. Businesses are also guaranteed to save on their stationery costs as the solution removes the necessity for physical printouts.
The receipting solution is also universally verifiable, for example for a firm, a manager can be sent the link by a staff member in the field and when she clicks the link, she can view the transaction.
How it works
- Your Customer Pays using your mobile money (Paybill or Buy Goods or swipes using a credit or debit card).
- The Customer receives a Text on their mobile phones (second step only if using MPESA or banks that send text notification on transactions).
- The client receives a (second) text from PaymentGate with a link to a receipt. When they click on the link. A receipt like the one below appears where you can advertise new products. The receipt has a verification mechanism.
The platform has been useful across many sectors with many firms embracing it including Microfinance banks, Sacco’s, supermarkets and real estate firms among others.
What other solutions have you rolled out?
PaymentGate above M-PESA, Mobile money and banking transactions, we also have done invention around making the long supermarket receipts available on the same system. Comes as a link and you see all your items purchased.
Tsenda is a service that allows Kenyans to purchase airtime for any network by sending a simple instruction to a toll-free short code. Through Tsenda one can send their number followed by a hashkey and the amount of airtime to 40512, they’ll be prompted to enter the MPESA PIN and they get the airtime. They can also purchase Kenya Power tokens using the short code.
Kibo Capital has another service offering for loans that targets Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The Chapeo app, which can be downloaded from Google, has been in use by a select few clients of the company since 2016.
What formidable lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur in Kenya?
It’s very painful especially because the things we read in books and what we see overseas is not true here at home. Many people will love your work and want to have a part of it but will not pay for it. They will want it for free and if you do not accept the paltry offers, they will duplicate your products and services. Contrary to what we see elsewhere with Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp, IG and what Microsoft did for LinkedIn and many other examples.
What are the Social and economic impacts of digital receipts?
The impact is infinite: we see global warming today the cases in Australia and elsewhere in the world, the reduction of pressure on our forests is a must do and weather patterns today are no longer predictable. Our receipts are tamper proof and billions of shillings that are lost annually in fake claims and payment records can never be re-emphasized. This is definitely a game changer. Additional benefits include provision of millions of jobs in Kenya through the advertising space that we offer on the receipts. Today we ship billions of dollars overseas on google ads, Facebook ads, Twitter ads etc: we have our own digital invention; made in Africa for Africa and export overseas.
What advise can you give to young fintech entrepreneurs?
My biggest lesson is from Steve Jobs, on love and loss: You got to find what you love, follow it and even when things look darkest, you can hang onto the love. It’s doable, keep moving a day at a time, there’s definitely no overnight success story. But for sure a day is coming. Keep improving yourself every day, collaborate where possible, find a mentor and someone to walk with. Above all always look up to God, it’s always something special.