All a customer needs are effective solutions that address his or her needs. Be it shopping, money transfers, entertainment or health services among others, end-users are always looking out for efficient services.
While there are several service providers, all promising effectiveness and efficiency, many fall short, leaving customers displeased. To mitigate this, innovators continue to develop smart solutions with easy-to-use front-ends and very tight, somewhat very hard-to-compromise back-ends.
In Tanzania, AzamPay and AzamPesa are easing payments for hundreds of users whilst working on expansion plans to other countries.
AzamPesa enables consumers to pay for goods and services, Cash In/Out and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transfers at a relatively lower rate. The AzamPesa APP is available on both iOS and Android platforms while the same service is also accessible through the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) infrastructure.
On the other hand, AzamPay is specialized in the development of end-to-end online payment management solutions for companies; offering bespoke solutions that guarantee optimal business performance and efficiency.
These two sister companies are part of the wider Bakhresa Group; an industrial conglomerate founded by Mr Said Salim Awadh Bakhresa in 1975 in Tanzania. It has since spread to several other African countries offering services in Agro Processing, Food and Beverage, Real Estate, Logistics, Broadcast and Media and FinTech among others.
“At AzamPay, we are a payment company that enables businesses to collect and disburse mobile money payments, bank payments and card payments. Mobile money is a prominent payment method and thus we are innovating around it with Push and Bill Payments,” Shadrack Kamenya, the Sales Manager for the Payment Division at AzamPay said.
He added: “What we have come to realize is that most people are currently underserved due to the nature of services provided by other operators. So AzamPesa is a mobile money platform that enables people to send and receive money plus make bill payments through their mobile phones. The main distinction of AzamPesa is that we don’t operate a telecom network; meaning that any person from any network can join and use AzamPesa. We pride ourselves in terms of the cost of services but also how innovative we are in terms of the products that someone can build on top of AzamPesa. One can join AzamPesa through physical biometric registration or through using the AzamPesa Mobile Application.”
Kamenya noted that the main challenge still hindering the wider adoption of financial technology services is traditional cash preference; with less than 15 per cent of total transactions happening digitally while the rest are still cash-based.
“Only 10 to 12 per cent of transactions are happening digitally, with the rest still cash transactions. Most of the money is still in the cash ecosystem and this is the main challenge.”
He called for collaboration among players to address existing challenges and make Financial Inclusion a reality.
“Yes, we have competitors. But the main thing we are competing with is cash. As long as you are doing something to address the issue of cash versus digital money, then we believe that we can work together. We are working with Banks, MNOs, start-ups and other FinTechs because we believe in collaborations. More players coming in will unlock the industry more.”
We interacted with AzamPay and AzamPesa on Day 19 of the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative for Tanzania. First implemented in Uganda, 40 Days 40 FinTechs is an annual FinTech Innovation initiative presented by HiPipo to recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations who are making significant strides in promoting financial inclusivity through the use of technology.
It is aimed at promoting innovation and collaboration among FinTechs in Africa. The initiative is designed to provide FinTechs and startups with mentorship, training, exposure, and networking opportunities to help them grow and scale their businesses.
“We need more storytelling in terms of what is happening in this industry. The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative is critical as it voices out what is happening in the industry. It also brings together different stakeholders to discuss key issues affecting the industry,” he noted.
40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative Tanzania is part of HiPipo’s broader Include EveryOne Program that is generously supported by the Gates Foundation and implemented in partnership with Level One Project, ICTC Tanzania, Ideation Corner, Cyber PLC Academy, INFITX, NG Films, Founders Academy and Mojaloop Foundation.
The Include EveryOne program is a beacon of acceleration of FinTech Innovation, empowerment for Women in FinTech and a catalyst for investment and development in the ICT sector. Minus 40 Days 40 FinTechs, other initiatives under the Include EveryOne Program are the FinTech Landscape Exhibition, Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit and Incubator, Digital Impact Awards Africa and the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit.
HiPipo is recognized as a premier advocate of digital Innovation and financial inclusion champion, a fervent proponent of the #LevelOneProject. HiPipo has been at the forefront, actively promoting digital innovation, Instant, Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), and DFS across Africa. With a legacy of advising, mobilizing, and facilitating the adoption of inclusive financial services, HiPipo’s efforts have been nothing short of transformative! For almost two decades, HiPipo has successfully facilitated the inclusive adoption of these crucial services.