Mobile money is a form of electronic money that allows one to conduct financial transactions on a mobile phone. It allows financial services to be extended to unbanked people at a significantly lower cost because physical infrastructure isn’t needed.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, mobile penetration is rising with almost 75 per cent of the population having a mobile phone according to popular studies.
While mobile money has enjoyed widespread adoption in Kenya, it is still inherently difficult to access financial services across different networks on a mobile phone.
A recent study by the IMF and MIT found that reducing blockage in financial inclusion has significant and unambiguous direct impact on productivity, and in turn on GDP growth. Smarter allocation of resources and more efficient financial contracting will result in stronger entrepreneurial activities, the study further says.
Due to this challenge, a fintech firm is accelerating financial inclusion in Kenya via mobile financial solutions provided across all mobile telecommunication networks.
M-Transfer, established in April this year, is offering products that are integrated on a block-chain with new distribution channels for the provision of financial services in Kenya.
“We are convinced that you no longer need to have multiple SIM or visit a bank branch in order to access financial services,” says Jeffrey Muiru, founding CEO of M-Transfer Limited during an interview with StartUp Magazine at his office.
He believes that his firm has the longterm commitment to offer individuals and businesses with a market place for solutions that has been traditionally overlooked by the industry.
“Our platform is the only service that offers a marketplace for loans, savings and investment products across different networks,” he notes.
There is no escaping the fact that the lower end of the retail market has been consequently overlooked by mainstream financial service providers, yet they form the bulk usage of mobile money services. “That is why we target them through our USSD solutions.”
On the other hand, businesses need to focus on their key functions to achieve their mandates. However, to accomplish this they need to have a fully functional system in place. Mr. Muiru understands the challenges business go through in processing their payments, both internally and externally. To help solve such payment processing challenges, he designed the platform to allow a business to send and receive bulk payments instantly across networks.
“You can pay staff salaries with our platform or even suppliers. The software allows one to send money directly to their bank account or mobile money wallets. It also has the capabilities of adding and removing approvers of a transaction. Besides, one can schedule transactions for a given date and time and the system will intelligently execute it,” says the young executive. The platform is easy to use and allow a business to save money and time.
Admittedly, an e-commerce solution on the platform allows one to collect payments for the business instantly from various channels.
Every transaction that is executed on the platform is recorded. One can also use such analytics within the platform to further gain insight into his business, he says.
In order to create the most compelling technology platform, the executive says that they monitor customer feedback and use the insights to improve the platform. “People are at the heart of what we do, and we aspire to make exceptional financial products, bettering lives and growing productivity.”
This led to the development of a chama/table banking product. Groups can use the solution to manage their contribution and keep track of their savings.
Besides, the platform can also be used to fundraise for a meaningful course.
Various studies indicate that online payment platforms have been dogged by fraud globally. How then does M-Transfer ensure the platform is secure for its users?
“Our service is hosted by the globally reputable AWS Cloud by Amazon and built on block chain which is very resilient. Besides, we conduct security audits and work with external cyber security consultants to ensure our solutions are secure.”
Other than that, the firm aims to accelerate the uptake of its products and introduce new ones based on the market needs. “We have a mandate to accelerate financial inclusion in Kenya by providing a broad range of financial services via the mobile phone and the internet,” he ends.
CEO’s Sneak Peak:
He’s an Engineer by profession.
Has a background in technology and finance.
He worked in a finance role at the Coca-Cola Company (U.S.).
He has previously worked at Deloitte Consulting LLP (U.S.) on large technology implementations with Walmart, Kraft- Heinz and the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation.