40 Days 40 FinTechs kicks off with Registration of Participants

We are happy to announce that registration for the fifth season of the annual HiPipo 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative has opened. The HiPipo 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative has undoubtedly set the Innovation and Financial Inclusion bar very high; particularly showcasing both the time and lifesaving abilities of Financial Technology.

Although the 2020 and 2021 seasons ran in the middle of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, they laid the groundwork for this project with more than 200 submissions and about 85 participants altogether. The third edition, which ran in 2022, was bigger and better as it focused on the East African region. Some 47 participants, drawn from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania were featured, out of more than 150 submissions. The fourth season outshone all the previous editions as it focused on end-user experiences of FinTech customers. From Kampala to Lwengo, to Nakasongola, to Gulu, to Arua, to Lira, to Mbale, to Sheema, to Kabale, end-users shared how financial technology had transformed their lives, businesses and communities alike.

Run under HiPipo’s Include Everyone program that also encompasses other initiatives such as FinTech Landscape Exhibition, Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit & Incubator, and the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit and Digital Impact Awards Africa; the #40Days40FinTechs platform aptly provides a setting for the various players and stakeholders involved in digital and financial technology to exhibit their products and services. It also gives players a platform to share their ideas on how the unserved and underserved by the present financial systems can be brought into the fold.

“We are happy to kick off Season Five of 40 Days 40 FinTechs. Last year, we focused on end-user experiences and this year, we will focus on the innovativeness of the FinTechs. We are going to have candid discussions with FinTechs about their innovations and latest upgrades and what impact they envision these products and services and upgrades will have on their customers,” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo Chief Executive Officer noted.

He added: “We shall seek to find out how affordable, available, accessible and equitable these innovations are. Importantly, we look forward to finding out how safe and secure these FinTech solutions are.”

With over 150 participants in the last four years, #40Days40FinTechs continues to be the world’s premier showcase event for innovations that are enabling underserved populations to join the digital economy space. We know that this can only get better owing to the inspiration and collaboration of our partners; Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, INFITX, Cyberplc Academy, Ideation Corner and Crosslake Technologies. Most importantly, the initiative owes its continued success to the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Now is the time for Digital Innovators and FinTechs from all over Uganda to submit their registration details before 30th July, 2024 to stand a chance to participate in 40 Days 40 FinTechs Season Five. Participation is on a first-come, first-serve basis as long as your submission meets all the participation requirements.

Important Dates.

40 Days 40 FinTechs Registration: 15th to 30th July, 2024. Register here.

Profiling and Featuring 40 Days 40 FinTechs Participants:  5th August to 20th September, 2024.

FinTech Landscape Exhibition: 27th September, 2024.

HiPipo Leads the Charge in Financial Inclusion, Garnering Global Recognition

In an exhilarating development for the financial technology sector, HiPipo has been crowned the Most Innovative Financial Inclusion Organization for the Middle East and Africa at the prestigious FinTech Awards 2024, hosted by Wealth & Finance International. This accolade recognizes our past achievements and our future endeavours in global financial innovation.

Through our social media announcement, we shared the joy of this achievement: “We are honoured to receive this global recognition, which is proof to our dedicated team, our generous sponsors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and robust partnerships with key stakeholders including the Ministry of ICT, Infitx, Mojaloop, and Comesa Business Council. This award reflects our commitment to digital and financial innovation and excellence.”

Our triumph follows a series of accolades, having been named Best Financial Inclusion Organization consecutively in 2022 and 2023. Notably, in 2022, HiPipo stood out as the only African company on Global Business Leaders Magazine’s list of the world’s top 20 innovators in digital financial services.

Adding to our celebration, our very own CEO, Innocent Kawooya, has been distinguished as the FinTech CEO of the Year 2024 for the Middle East and Africa. His visionary leadership continues to drive HiPipo’s mission of ‘Including Everyone’ in the digital financial narrative, ensuring that no one is left behind in the fast-evolving financial landscape.

Our journey from a promising regional innovator to a celebrated global leader in financial inclusion exemplifies our mission to harness technology for community empowerment. We are more than just a company; we are a movement that champions the inclusion of all, mainly focusing on the underserved and marginalised communities across Africa and beyond.

As we look to the future, HiPipo remains committed to pushing the boundaries of financial technology to create accessible, efficient, and inclusive financial ecosystems. We are excited to continue this journey, ensuring that our innovations lead to awards and, more importantly, to impactful, sustainable change.

#IncludeEveryone #MadeofGOD

Digital Money Movers – April 2024 Edition

In this latest issue, we explore the remarkable impact of digital tools on Uganda’s financial landscape. Our report, “DIGITAL LEAP”, reveals that Ugandans have saved a staggering $7.28 billion through digital tools – a testament to the power of technology in driving financial inclusion.

Read the full report to discover:

– The latest trends and insights in digital payments

– Success stories of individuals and businesses thriving through digital finance

– Expert analysis and perspectives on the future of digital money

Read/Download your copy now here

Digital Leap: Ugandans save $7.28bn through Digital Tools

In 2015, the Digital Impact Awards Africa (DIAA) study under the HiPipo Include Everyone program revealed a lack of corporate websites among 59% of Uganda’s top 1,000 taxpayers. This absence resulted in higher operational costs and reduced profitability.

However, since then, digital transformation, mainly through corporate websites and online presence, has shown substantial benefits in reducing costs and enhancing customer service. It is important to note that HiPipo’s sustained advocacy, with the support and collaboration of partners and stakeholders, has played a crucial role in advocating for digital innovation, leading to this transformation and continuing to drive digital and financial inclusion across economies.

The financial impact on customers of Uganda’s top 1,000 taxpayers is staggering. They save approximately $1,995,000 daily through digital tools. Over ten years since 2014, this figure has scaled to a monumental $7.28 billion, accentuating the substantial financial benefits of digital adoption. This is a clear testament to the potential for further growth and success through digital transformation.

Digital adoption has led to tangible operational efficiency. Customers can find the information they need online and interact with service providers in real-time. Each online interaction saves customers an average of 30 minutes, and customers of these organisations save approximately 1.5 million hours daily. This boosts organisational efficiency and profitability, aligning with broader economic growth, and stresses the tangible benefits of digital innovation, instilling confidence in the future of digital transformation.

The 2015 HiPipo study highlighted the need for more corporate websites and online presence among Uganda’s top taxpayers. This absence hindered cost reduction, improved service delivery, and customer loyalty. The landscape has changed meaningfully since then, thanks to the ongoing HiPipo’s advocacy with partners.

Today, approximately three million online interactions occur every day among the 1,000 organisations, and each interaction saves an average of 30 minutes, leading to a daily time savings of around 1.5 million hours and a financial impact of approximately $1,995,000. The weekly online interaction count reaches at least twenty-one million, saving approximately 10.5 million hours and generating a financial impact of about $14M. The monthly online interaction count reaches approximately 90 million, saving around 45 million hours and leading to an economic impact of approximately $60M. These figures highlight the efficiency gains and financial benefits of digital transformation to Uganda’s business and financial sectors.

Over a year, these organisations facilitate at least 1 billion online interactions, saving approximately 547.5 million hours and resulting in an economic impact of around $728M. Over a decade, since 2014, these organisations have handled an estimated 11 billion online interactions, saving around 5.475 billion hours, with a financial impact of approximately $7.28 billion.

This usage has far-reaching impacts on enterprises and governments. For instance, digital adoption aligns with national economic growth goals by reducing business costs and increasing customer convenience and profitability. This trend benefits small, micro, nano, SMEs, and individuals running businesses. Effective, flexible policies become more urgent as governments should support digital innovation through favourable policies, recognising its impact on national competitiveness.

The findings of this paper suggest that even more attention should be paid to this effect. We plan to run subsequent surveys covering digital tools and financial services, exploring their combined time-saving and economic growth impact. HiPipo’s advocacy has driven digital innovation in East Africa and beyond for nearly two decades. Thanks to this advocacy, similar outcomes have occurred across different East African economies, just like the current Ugandan outcomes. Through initiatives like the Digital Impact Awards Africa (DIAA), HiPipo has highlighted the transformative potential of technology-based solutions, contributing to enhanced efficiency and economic growth among Uganda’s top taxpayers, SMEs, micro, nano, SHFs, and millions of merchants.

This paper further outlines the telecommunications landscape in Uganda as of March 2023. During this period, the average data consumption for Ugandan telecom subscribers was 1.7GB per month. Over the past two years, data expenditure has decreased by 6%. Internet subscriptions have grown by 1.2 million, reaching 27 million, due to the increasing access to the internet through mobile devices. These mobile devices comprise 39.1 million of the devices accessing Uganda’s telecom network, 21% of which are smart devices.

This paper notes that women, especially in urban areas, are leveraging digital tools to save time and money. However, using digital tools needs to extend to off-grid locations where access to power and energy remains challenging. Women are more likely to be employed in lower-paying jobs and sectors, particularly in developing economies like Uganda, where a weighty portion of the population earning less than 115 USD is female. Therefore, access to digital services should be equal for both genders to ensure inclusive economic development. Access should also be accelerated among youth, women and men to help them find more avenues to improve their income. Digital technologies can impact job opportunities for underrepresented women in the tech industry. Understanding customer demographics can help organisations tailor their services to meet gender needs better. Digital innovation can contribute to broader economic empowerment, which may benefit women in specific sectors or communities where they have been disadvantaged.

The report recommends that leaders prioritise digital presence and recognise its importance in enhancing efficiency, profitability, and economic growth. This includes investing in high-value corporate websites, content and digital channels to improve customer engagement and reduce operational costs. Leaders must focus on mobile platforms as mobile is increasingly the primary channel for digital access in Africa. Enterprises should prioritise responsive, mobile-friendly websites and apps to meet customer needs.

Mobile connectivity is vital in developing individuals and economies, accelerating financial inclusion and creating an inclusive economy that benefits all. This, in turn, leads to the advancement of nations, particularly in terms of economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation. The widespread availability of mobile connectivity has enabled individuals, even those in remote areas, to access financial services and participate in the global economy. Moreover, mobile technology has enabled individuals to engage in financial transactions without the need for traditional financial institutions, thereby promoting financial inclusion and reducing the cost of financial services. The result is a more equitable and inclusive economy that benefits everyone, regardless of socio-economic status.

The report highlights the need for enhanced cybersecurity to build customer confidence and trust and ensure safe digital interactions. Digital transformation comes with security challenges, and solutions must be secure, competitive, and universal, essential for sustainable and inclusive growth. Continuous improvement, such as updating the National Information Security Frameworks, is necessary. Partnering with experts like Cyberplc to support all security architecture and technical security assurance domains, such as risk identification, network security, data protection, identity management, posture and vulnerability management, logging, and threat detection, is vital. Regularly evaluating and improving digital strategies is necessary to stay aligned with evolving technological trends and consumer expectations.

Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo Named as Patron of Decent Africa

Decent Africa announces the appointment of Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, Minister of State for Information Communication Technology, as the new patron of the organization. This partnership signifies a significant step towards fostering a culture of decency and respect across the African continent.

Hon. Ssebugwawo brings a wealth of leadership experience, community engagement, and a steadfast commitment to decency and public service, making her an invaluable addition to Decent Africa. Her illustrious career in community mobilization, ICT, and visionary leadership will play a pivotal role in advancing initiatives that promote integrity, elegance, and impactful leadership among Africa’s prominent figures.

In her capacity as Patron, Hon. Ssebugwawo will play a crucial role in shaping the strategic direction of Decent Africa and expanding its outreach. Her expertise in decency and digital technologies perfectly aligns with the organization’s objectives to utilize digital media for broader societal impact and empower future generations through innovative educational and advocacy programs.

Decent Africa is confident that Hon. Ssebugwawo’s guidance will enhance its initiatives and extend its impact deeper into the community. The organization eagerly anticipates productive leadership and collaboration with Hon. Ssebugwawo as they continue to champion and uphold the values of decency and decorum across Africa.

Digital Money Movers – March 2024 Edition

In the March 2024 issue of Digital Money Movers, we present profiles of 40 women leaders from diverse African regions. We aim to provide an overview of the existing challenges, barriers, opportunities, and exemplars critical to fostering an inclusive innovation curve that can benefit all members of society.

Our publication highlights the importance of recognising individuals leading the way and addressing the challenges faced by African women leaders, who can serve as models for others seeking to advance their careers in innovation and entrepreneurship.

By highlighting the experiences of these women, we hope to inspire new ideas and collaborations that can contribute to sustainable economic growth and social progress in Africa and beyond.

Read/Download Digital Money Movers – March 2024 Edition here

2024 HiPipo Women in FinTech Magazine

We are thrilled to announce the release of the 2024 HiPipo #WomenInFinTech Magazine on International Women’s Day today.

This edition showcases the stories of women in Uganda and East Africa who have led the way towards financial inclusion, community empowerment, and transformative progress in the FinTech sector.

The publication features a series of inspiring accounts that highlight the pivotal role of women in shaping the landscape of financial technology in Africa.

Read/Download The 2024 HiPipo Women in FinTech Magazine here

2024 Top 40 Women Leaders Under 40: Pioneering Change in FinTech and Beyond

In the wake of the influential and widely celebrated inaugural “100 Women in FinTech” listing in 2023, we are excited to announce an even more ambitious and impactful edition for 2024. This year’s edition expands on the previous year’s achievements and introduces several new dimensions to recognise and celebrate the women leading the way in the FinTech industry.

In a noteworthy enhancement from last year, the top 100 women selected for 2024 will be honoured with a “Digital Certificate of Excellence.” This prestigious acknowledgement is a testament to their outstanding contributions, service, and societal roles. These are lifelong accolades, empowering recipients to showcase their achievements in their professional biographies and across various social communication platforms.

As we approach the International Women’s Day celebrations, we are thrilled to spotlight 40 remarkable women leaders. These leaders are not just making strides in financial inclusion and gender diversity; they are redefining what it means to be a leader in today’s dynamic financial landscape.

Selected through a People’s Choice process, these 40 women represent the very best of innovation, executive leadership, entrepreneurship, and business acumen — all under 40. They are the women who have been directly nominated by those whose lives and careers they have significantly impacted.

Starting January 30th, 2024, we embark on a journey to showcase one exceptional woman leader each day individually. This culminates on March 8th, aligning with International Women’s Day, when the highly anticipated “HiPipo Women in FinTech Magazine” will be published, featuring more inspiring women.

Join us in this celebration as we highlight these trailblazing women excelling in their fields and paving the way for future generations in FinTech and beyond.

Pocket Budgeting is promoting prudent Financial Management. 40 Days 40 FinTechs Tanzania Day 41

Earning money is very hard but spending needs no rocket science. For instance, it is not news that someone can have TSh. 1,000,000 in the morning and by evening, s/he has used up all the money. This may be due to unnecessary spending, extravagance or poor planning.

Nonetheless, Innovators are using technology to develop tools and platforms that can cure such ills. On Day 41 of the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative for Tanzania, we interacted with Ronald Mwanyika, the Founder of Pocket Budgeting. Here is the story of how Pocket Budgeting is helping its customers manage their money by spending rightly and setting priorities.

HiPipo: What is Pocket Budgeting?

Ronald Mwanyika: Pocket budgeting is a platform that allows people to master their money and make better financial choices or decisions. What we do is we allow people to spend their money in the right areas or the areas that matter; giving them the ability to better understand how their money comes and how their money goes.

HiPipo: Why should customers be interested in Pocket Budgeting?

Ronald Mwanyika: One of the major reasons why a person should sign up with Pocket is for the person who needs or wants to better master their money and attain that financial freedom, they should sign up with Pocket because it is a platform that will give them tools to better manage their money and also a platform that will give them the knowledge they need to better make their money grow and make their money worth something.

HiPipo: How does one get started on Pocket Budgeting?

Ronald Mwanyika: First and foremost, you must have the application on your phone. And after creating an account, you will be able to add your income. Now, we call it net worth, because according to us, net worth is the money that you have after you have removed all the expenses. So, you add your income, and there are several envelopes, such as spending, there is to pay. That’s an envelope where the people that you have to pay, you also have an envelope of people that have to pay you. And there is an envelope for investing and savings. There is an envelope for expenses. So, once you have added your income, you distribute that money into the respective envelope so that you can know how much money is left. One thing that we believe in is you have to pay yourself first. So, after you remove all the expenses, that net worth that remains is the money that you have that has no use. So, it is like the money that you have paid yourself from the income you have gained. Once you start budgeting your money, you start to see how much money you don’t have, instead of just seeing that, oh, I have this certain amount of money that you don’t know where the money goes.

One of the things that we have tried to address is trying to teach our customers how to best allocate their money. We help them prioritize and make good choices.

HiPipo: What are some of the challenges you have so far faced in this business?

Ronald Mwanyika: One of the major challenges we have so far is the issue that comes with people trusting what you are trying to do because when it comes to money, most people are sensitive about that subject. When I was researching to see if people would be interested in such a platform, most people were saying they were interested, but when it came to transacting money through the platform, it was an issue for them, it was a very sensitive subject.

HiPipo: What are your views about partnerships for start-ups in regards to start-up growth?

Ronald Mwanyika: Partnerships are something that helps the company to grow because a startup has competitors in the market that already know the terrains and most of the things about how the business goes. So, for a startup, partnerships are one thing that helps it to grow and catch up to with who are already in the market. So, I believe also in pocket, as we are growing into the market, we will be able to see the companies that we can best partner with us to be able to fulfil the goals that we set out to fulfil.

HiPipo: What are your views about 40 Days 40 FinTechs?

Ronald Mwanyika: Platforms such as 40 Days 40 FinTechs help FinTechs to best show what they can do. They also help to show the regulators the potential of FinTechs and what they need to thrive. And in a way that if the regulators can best see the values and know how the FinTechs operate, they can then set regulations and rules that best suit the industry, regulations that are pro-start-ups and facilitate FinTech companies.

Include EveryOne Program.

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.

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, Crosslake Technologies, 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.