2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon participants make final presentations

Our Reporter.

After over a week of ideation, designing, developing, and coding, the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon reached its climax on Thursday 15th September with the 20 teams presenting their final minimum viable products (MVPs) to the judges.

Day five was very tense and action-packed as participants prepared for the final pitches. The 20 teams that made the final submissions were Her Duuka, Funa House Property, Tawaza Digital Varieties, Lands Resource, Oliwaa Events, Lima Pesa, Jibu, Academic Personal Assistant (APA), The Platter, Rental Pro, Sayl Kare, E-Truck Service, Insure Wallet, The Fintech Devotee, Tegeka Investment Club, Go Green, Autopay, Elevation, Sueno and Izere Education.

According to Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO, all teams met the minimum expectations of the Hackathon as they were able to have working MVPs and also integrated payment solutions from third parties.

“We have been amazed by what we have seen today. The twenty teams have really put in a lot of effort and extra hours to reach this far. From their presentations and product tests, you can clearly see great solutions,” Kawooya said, adding:

“It will be interesting to see how they move to the next steps in their products’ development. As prototypes, they are good, but then they have and in fact, must put in extra effort to complete the job at hand. We promise to continue supporting them in every way possible.”

On her part, Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, the Hackathon Lead Facilitator and CEO of Club Tangaza noted that as a trainer, she was excited to see how the teams improved each passing day. She thanked the participants for their commitment to the hackathon and the broader women inclusion drive.

“It has been a busy week but yes, the teams have been very committed. You can see that each team has had tremendous growth compared to when they came here. On behalf of the facilitators, we wish all the teams the best for the future. Let them continue with their products even after the Hackathon,” Kanyunyuzi noted.

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities. 

The winners of the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon will be unveiled on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel and rewarded.

“We are all set for the Women in FinTech summit, which is a culmination of the Women in FinTech Hackathon. All participants are looking forward and optimistic about winning. The top 5 teams will be announced and rewarded at the summit. Even so, all participants will take home something because they are all winners. I take this early opportunity to congratulate all of them,” Charlotte Neeza, the HiPipo FinTechs Events Manager noted.  

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

Women in FinTech Hackathon participants introduced to Mojaloop Open Source Software

Our Reporter.

Day three of the ongoing Women in FinTech Hackathon was action-packed, with participants working on their products’ MVP phase one.

In products’ development, MVP stands for a minimum viable product. According to ProductPlan, a minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle. The MVP is a critical milestone in the product development eco-system.

Minus the MVP, the participants were also introduced to Mojaloop Open Source Software.

According to Sam Kummary, one of the developers of Mojaloop, this software was designed to provide a reference model for payment interoperability. It can be used to overcome barriers that have slowed the spread of digital financial services.

In his presentation, Kummary took the teams through how developers and innovators can freely use the Mojaloop core code, join the community, and build inclusive, real-time payment systems to help support economies. He shared in-depth insights on the Mojaloop scheme, hub and platform and the roles that each play.

“Mojaloop can be used to create interoperable payment solutions in areas such as person-to-person transfers, payroll, and other bulk payments, account management and fraud monitoring,” Kummary said.

On his part, Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted that innovators can use Mojaloop to develop secure and interoperable payment systems that are acceptable globally.

“Payments Schemes around the world are in the process of implementing or considering implementation, of Mojaloop-based interoperable payments systems. Women in FinTech Innovators can use Mojaloop open-source software to support financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of interoperability and financial inclusion,” Kawooya said.

Still on Day 3, the teams were mentored on Product Management. This session was delivered by Mercy Angela Nantongo, the EzyAgric Product Manager.

Nantongo noted that Product Management is a continuous process that ensures that both the product owners and customers get the best results possible.

“Product Management is important as it is the first interaction with customers before any issues arise. It plays a key role in product marketing at initiation, before you build, while building the product, and after you complete the product. Product Management ensures that you are on top of the market trends. It ensures that your customers get the best quality of your product,” Nantongo said.

Organized by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation, the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon has brought together 20 women-led teams this year. The week-long Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel, Kampala; where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

We are equipping Women with skills and right tools to transform Society

Our Reporter.

Day Two of the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon concluded with Teams completing their Solution and Prototype designs.

According to Boston Technology, a Solution Design is the first step towards the eventual physical deployment of any solution. It is a visual blueprint for what needs to be built out. On the other hand, a prototype design is an early sample or a visual model of a product created to test a concept or process.

With these two tasks completed, the teams are all optimistic that they will be able to each deliver a minimum viable product – MVP at the end of the hackathon.

According to the HiPipo CEO, Innocent Kawooya, the Women in Fintech Hackathon doesn’t only address the gender diversity challenge in the technology industry but also empowers women with the right skills and tools to think, design, innovate and transform societies.

“Seeing the teams getting down to serious work is a great deal for us because it shows how far we have come; from having a dream, putting it on paper as an idea and now executing it. The same process is what all innovators must go through to actualize their products,” Kawooya said, adding;

“The facilitators and mentors in this hackathon are equipping participants with the required technology skills and also introducing them to real life realities that they must overcome if they are to succeed.”

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities.  This year’s edition has gathered 20 Women-led teams of between two to four members each.

It is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

Minus the ‘FinTech’ technical work that the hackathon is about, the participants were on day two mentored by Cynthia Mpanga, a renowned public relations practitioner and corporate affairs manager at Standard Chartered Bank, Uganda. Her mentorship was focused on personal branding, public relations, and communication.

The week-long #WomeninFinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel, Kampala; where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

We are learning, innovating, and hope to win – 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon participants

Our Reporter.

With the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon underway, participants are thrilled and full of hope that they will at the end of it be better people; ready to transform the world through financial technology innovations.

They attribute this to the detailed daily program designed by the organizers that mixes learning technology, developing solutions, and improving personal skills.

Winfred Nandawula, the Team Leader of Tawaza Initiative notes that the Hackathon is helping them breakdown huge concepts into realistic and achievable products.

“One of the biggest issues that has been out there is that innovators have so many things that are going on and have a wide scope of things they are dealing in. But today we are here to learn that you can scale down a problem into something narrower and more achievable. Most of the teams are here to win, learn, innovate and solve community problems,” Nandawula noted.

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities.  This year’s edition has gathered 20 Women-led teams of between two to four members each.

Sophie Nabaale, a participant from Team Sueno- Wetase noted that even though she has been at a hackathon before, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is different from the first one she attended as it teaches both innovation and life skills.

“For example, today, we learnt about financial management, which is a key topic for individuals and businesses. We are here to learn all that is there to learn and I expect to win regardless of the tight competition. But even without winning, I am sure that what I will get from here will impact so much on me and my team at large,” Nabaale said.

Day One of the Hackathon saw teams complete their Problem Statements and Business Cases in addition to being introduced to Level One Project principles. They were also mentored on Finance Management by Damali Ssali, the chief programs and projects officer at Private Sector Foundation Uganda, and Personal Growth by Wendy Nanfo, the COO Kuda Bank (Uganda).

Novita Nyirarukundo, a participant from Kisoro District and Team Leader of Land Resources observed that even though this was her first hackathon, the first day surpassed her expectations.

“We have been introduced to the latest financial technology and new ways of innovation. I have been inspired by the different speakers such as Madam Wendy who mentored us on personal growth. I have realized that success and rest do not sleep together. In all, we are learning and competing for the top prize,” she said.

The 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon seeks to close the Gender Gap in Access to Technology, Skills, and Usage of Digital Financial Services. It will provide women innovators and students an opportunity to use digital financial technology to explore business concepts. The hackathon will introduce participants to useful tools and offer an introduction to technologies such as Mojaloop Open-Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative will cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance, and FinTech in general.

According to Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, the Project’s Lead Facilitator and also co-founder of Club Tangaza, the Hackathon is key in closing the gender diversity gap that is currently experienced in the technology industry.

“Technology has been around but it is a male-dominated space. So when HiPipo comes up with such a project, it is trying to onboard more women in this space. The women that are being trained here will in the future contribute to not only closing the gender gap but also changing their communities. This is a learning vehicle that is enriching the ladies and giving them a push to venture and actively participate in the Financial Technology industry,” Kanyunyuzi explained. 

The week-long Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate in the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel, Kampala; where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

#LevelOneProject: 20 Teams make final shortlist for 2022 #WomenInFinTech Hackathon

Kampala, Uganda. Following the completion of both entry submission and review process, we are excited to unveil the 20 teams that are going to take part in the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon, scheduled for 10th to 15th September 2022. The 20 teams have been shortlisted from over 50 submissions received.  

The successful teams will work on FinTech products and solutions in areas such as Agri-Tech, E-Commerce, Payments, Savings and Loans, Edu-Tech, and Fundraising.

“We are happy to introduce this year’s participants. The teams shortlisted come from allover the region including a team from Rwanda and Tanzania. Other teams are traveling from as far as Kisoro. This clearly indicates that the project has continued to grow and is attracting more quality. We have had pre-hackathon discussions with all the team leaders and can confirm that they are all ready to innovate, and transform their communities,” Charlotte Neeza, the HiPipo FinTechs Events Manager explained, she added;

“This announcement sets the stage and puts the Hackathon wheels into motion. On our side, we are set to receive all participants, starting Saturday at 7 am. Those traveling from far are set to arrive on Friday.”  

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities. 

The 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon seeks to close the Gender Gap in Access to Technology, Skills, and Usage of Digital Financial Services. It will provide women innovators and students an opportunity to use digital financial technology to explore business concepts. The hackathon will introduce participants to useful tools and offer an introduction to technologies such as Mojaloop Open-Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative will cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance, and FinTech in general.

“Our ultimate objective is to help achieve a leveled playing field by guiding the African continent into fully maximizing its digital dividend and potential, with the entire populace equitably participating in the use, leverage, dissemination, innovation, adoption, and adaptation of secure digital financial services to improve their lives and livelihoods,” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th of September, where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

In case of any queries, reach out via socialweb@HiPipo.com

NOTEAM NAMETEAM LEADER
1HERDUUKATABITHA ATWIINE
2FUNA HOUSE PROPERTY MATERSKIYIGA MARION OLIVEA
3TAWAZA DIGITAL VARIETIESWINFRED NANDAWULA
4LANDS RESOURCENOVITA NYIRARUKUNDO
5OLIWAA EVENTSZAHARA NAMWANJE
6LIMA PESAMARIA VIVIAN AWORI
7JIBUNAKISOZI MASTULAH SARAH
8ACADEMIC PERSONAL ASSISTANT (APA)DIANA NAJJUMA
9THE PLATTERNAMULWA PATRA HIGENYI
10RENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM(RMS)AMASE STISHA MARGRET
11SAYL KAREVICTORIA NAKITTO
12E-SERVICEJOSEPHINE NANKUNDA
13INSURE WALLETEVELYNE NAKANWAGI
14THE FINTECH DEVOTEETUSIIME EMILY QUEEN
15TEGEKA INVESTMENT CLUBSHAMIM NAKAYIZA
16GO GREENMARIAM HAVILLAH MIREMBE
17AUTOPAYBETTY HAPPY
18ELEVATIONRACHEAL IPERU
19HER ICT SKILLSMUKAYIRANGA JANE
20IZERE EDUCATIONSHAMIM NIRERE

Ends.

2022 Digital Impact Awards Africa Open for Nominations

Following the consecutive eight seasons of Digital Impact Awards Africa, we are glad to announce that entry submissions for the 2022 edition are open.

Digital Impact Awards Africa is a platform that promotes Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion, and Cyber Security. The Awards recognize and celebrate stakeholders that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to serve communities.

The Digital Impact Awards Africa celebrates digital excellence across the continent, big or small, local or international.

The 9th edition is slated for 18th November 2022 at Kampala Serena Hotel as part of the annual Digital and Financial Inclusion summit.

The summit explores strategic trends and technologies that are shaping the future of Digital, ICTs, and Business. Special attention is paid to the safety of customers’ funds and the security of platforms in the Digital Financial Services ecosystem. 

This year’s summit will bring together C-Level executives that are spearheading the scaling, adoption, and usage of digital and financial services across Africa. The summit will discuss the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on the business ecosystem and what players are doing to recover.

Speakers will come from multinationals, large enterprises, small and mid-sized enterprises, and start-ups. Additionally, the summit will offer a platform for informal businesses (like market vendors, smallholder farmers, sole proprietors, public transporters, e-commerce delivery agents, etc.)   

The summit and awards are using these 3 official tags; #IncludeEveryone #DIAA2022 #LevelOneProject. 

Now is the time for you to nominate your best service provider, products, and brands: Just visit https://bit.ly/3KvUEZn  

Here is the full list of categories open for nomination. 

  1. Financial Inclusion Excellence
  2. Digital Banking Excellence
  3. Banking Innovation Excellence
  4. Community/MFI Banking Innovation Excellence
  5. FinTech Innovation Excellence
  6. Financial Services Digital Excellence
  7. Consumer Goods Digital Excellence
  8. Utilities and Government Services Digital Excellence
  9. Technology Services Digital Excellence 
  10. Digital Campaign Excellence 
  11. Digital Brand of the Year

HiPipo unveils the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator; on-boards participants from across East Africa.

Kampala, Uganda: When you empower one woman, you have in fact supported an entire family. This is no longer an optimistic opinion but a statement of fact.

This is why HiPipo is keen to empower women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities. 

In both 2020 and 2021, HiPipo deliberately and in full adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols implemented the Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator. The cardinal purpose of these inter-twined initiatives was, and still is, to champion women’s financial inclusion through active participation in the initiation, development, and rolling out of financial technology products that are well tailored to serve women and everyone. And indeed, the HiPipo Women In FinTech initiative is exceptionally supporting efforts toward closing the Gender Gap in Access to Technology, Skills, and Usage of Digital Financial Services.

The impact of these initiatives is out for all to see. More than 100 women have been trained and equipped with the latest FinTech skills, and at least 10 products have been initiated and taken to the market by Women in FinTech participants, in addition to individual participants and teams getting seed capital from both the project and external contributors to further pursue their ideas.

This success is thanks to HiPipo’s thoughtful Women Inclusion efforts and the commitment of its partners: Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies. Even so, all this may have remained a good paper concept or a somewhat deferred dream had it not been for the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This story is set to continue this year with the Women in Fintech Hackathon and Summit finale slated to run from 10th to 16th September 2022 while the Incubator program will run from late October to the end of January 2023. This year’s edition will be bigger and better with the entry of CyberPLC Academy as a strategic implementation partner.

The 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon seeks to close the Gender Gap in Access to Technology, Skills, and Usage of Digital Financial Services. It will provide women innovators and students an opportunity to use digital financial technology to explore business concepts. The hackathon will introduce participants to useful tools and offer an introduction to technologies such as Mojaloop Open-Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative will cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance, and FinTech in general.

“Our ultimate objective is to help achieve a leveled playing field by guiding the African continent into fully maximizing its digital dividend and potential, with the entire populace equitably participating in the use, leverage, dissemination, innovation, adoption, and adaptation of secure digital financial services to improve their lives and livelihoods,” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted.

On-boarding East Africa participants.

The 2022 edition will kick off with a virtual East African round that will have participants from across the region taken through daily training and assessment for 5 days (29th August to 2nd September), with the top team from each country automatically qualifying for the grand finale to be held in Kampala.

Interested participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan will register for the virtual round between 17th and 26th August while Ugandan participants will submit their entries from 20th to 29th August.

The hackathon is open to women-led teams of 2 to 4 members, with each team having at least 67 percent female composition.

“We are excited about this year’s edition. The past two editions have been highly impactful with different participants being able to take their innovations to the market while others are in the process. The third edition is going to be bigger and better as we welcome East African participants. We are indebted to our partners, and supporters and commit that we shall not stop because financial inclusion is a right for everyone,” Kawooya noted.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate in the Women in FinTech summit where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. This will be in addition to automatically qualifying for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

So ladies; there you have it. Get ready to register, prepare to develop, learn and shine. More details will be shared in due course.

In case of any queries, reach out via socialweb@HiPipo.com

Speech by Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, the state minister for ICT at the 2022 FinTech Landscape Exhibition

Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, the state minister for ICT has challenged the youth to use technology to find solutions to pressing issues such as employment and poverty.

The minister made these remarks while giving her speech at the 2022 FinTech Landscape Exhibition held at Mestil Hotel. She was the guest of honour.

Below is her full speech.

I am so thankful and grateful for choosing me as your chief guest at this 3rd Fintech Landscape Exhibition 2022.

We are very happy to see that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has transformed the financial infrastructure not only in Uganda but worldwide. For example, Africa and other Emerging Markets have utilised ICT-based financial services to enable the delivery of innovative, inclusive, affordable and instant financial products to the poor and vulnerable groups.

Digital financial services have helped to complement physical banking infrastructure which has traditionally been used. This has enabled the establishment of closer relationships with customers and the creation of convenience tailored offerings. Customers have benefited from more personalised, secure and affordable financial services. In addition, the government of Uganda is developing universal financial systems that are vital to sustainable and inclusive growth.

Digital Financial Services (DFS) support sustainable and inclusive growth by facilitating the delivery of affordable and innovative financial products to poor and vulnerable groups. Additionally, Digital Financial Services facilitate the creation of efficient and effective payment infrastructures. The government is working to ensure that regulatory frameworks balance support for digital financial service innovation whilst managing systemic risk and compliance with Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) standards.

The digitization journey is a beautiful and longstanding one that has seen all of us transform as a nation from the times of wired telephones, the voice only enabled mobile devices to now micro hand banks that enable citizens to pay for bills, utilities, and other services in the comfort of their bedrooms, workstations or offices.

The Ministry of ICT and National guidance in partnership with other government agencies, donors, private investors and innovators have been pivotal at ensuring internet connectivity becomes for seamless, democratic, and more affordable every year. For instance, a gigabyte of data that costed an average of 60,000 Uganda shillings in 2011 now costs an average 5,000 Shillings and this is only going to get more affordable.

We applaud HiPipo for championing digital, Financial Technology (FinTech) innovation and instant and inclusive payments systems (IIPS) across Africa under the #IncludeEveryone Program in partnership with the Gates Foundation among other partners.

We clearly appreciate that HiPipo advocates for and supports the adoption of digital financial services (DFS) through advising and mobilising key financial inclusion stakeholders. For example, this year, HiPipo delivered the third season of #40Days40FinTechs event, which was organised in face-to-face locations in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania covering areas, such as Mojaloop, and offering guidance on Level One Project principles.

I am glad to officiate the culmination of season three of 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative here at the third FinTech Landscape Exhibition.

Thanks to the HiPipo Include Everyone initiative, guidance on Level One Project and its principles and Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems has been shared over the years and  there’s growing opportunities such as the rising understanding of stakeholders and users alike of the;

  1. Need for making use of Digital Financial Services to support the establishment of sustainable and inclusive growth by facilitating the delivery of affordable and innovative financial products to poor and vulnerable groups.
  2. FinTechs and their collaborators are making it easier and cheaper for customers to engage with the formal financial inclusion ecosystem.
  3. FinTechs are encouraging transactional account usage through intuitive mobile apps (with a few growing super apps) and USSD-based innovations thanks to the momentum this initiative is causing to the market.
  4. Digital Financial Service Providers and FinTechs are partnering to provide cheaper, timely credit by rethinking creditworthiness, and remodelling the traditional bureaucratic lending models.
  5. Thanks to the HiPipo Include Everyone Program, and the viral conversation on interoperability and collaboration, Digital Financial Service stakeholders are reducing credit and insurance costs for smallholders and other excluded groups. Things such as micro-insurance policies have been introduced.
  6. This exceptionally useful Include Everyone trend is helping push FinTechs and Banks to wave unexpected costs on loans and other financial services that low-income users used to incur to onboard onto formal financial rails.

On my behalf and on behalf of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, and the government of the Republic of Uganda, I wish to congratulate participants of season three of the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative and also take this opportunity to Thank HiPipo; the organisers of this program and their partners the Gates Foundation, Mojaloop Foundation, CyberPLC, Modusbox, Crosslake Technologies and #LevelOneProject for putting up such an exceptional event.

For GOD and My Country.

Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo

Minister OF STATE FOR ICT

Laina Finance is using FinTech to enable the purchase of electronic devices on credit

Our Reporter.

With the advancement in technology, there is always a need to upgrade from one smartphone to another, from one television set to another, from one camera to another, etc.

For some, such upgrades are necessary in order to meet their daily commitments such as work, family, and community responsibilities while for others, upgrading from one device to another is trendy and a show of class and social status.

For whatever reason, the cost of the latest devices is usually a turnoff for the majority. As such, they can’t hold the phone of their dreams because they can’t afford a single one-off payment.

Such scenarios are what Laina Finance is addressing in Tanzania. Through partnerships with mobile network operators (MNOs) and finance institutions, Laina Finance is enabling hundreds of Tanzanians to acquire their preferred devices on credit and pay later in installments until the total cost is cleared. Laina is a Finnish word that means a Loan in English.

Laina Finance is an integrated non-deposit-taking micro-finance service provider that extends payment plans for the purchases of goods and services by allowing customers to pay over a period of three to nine months. It offers micro-finance payment plans for electronic devices (smartphones and other home gadgets) and insurance policies.

The company has developed a digital financing platform that includes risk management, a credit decision engine, and a loan management system. This platform enables Laina Finance to make instant decisions on the issuance of micro-loans or purchase finance plans.

“There is a lack of credit-based payment options. In developed countries, there are credit cards that support credit purchases. Here, there are very few options. That is the space we are trying to address. We are addressing the issue of affordability and also supporting businesses to grow,” Tonny Missokia, the business development director at Laina Finance said, adding; 

“With the introduction of flexible payment options, we have statistics that show that the businesses we are working with have increased their sales and also eventually got profitable.”

Altogether, Laina Finance’s portfolio is over USD 400,000, with the company allowing instant and real-time transactions between both businesses and clients.

“We have issued out around 7000 payment plans currently for different consumers in different segments including government and non-government employees and mere mobile subscribers without bank accounts. The majority of our clients are unbanked – about 70 to 80 percent and the other segment is for salaried clients. About 24 to 27 percent of the users of this service are women. We have reached close to 400 business partners around the country,” Missokia said. 

Based in Tanzania, Laina Finance is participant number 47 in the 2022 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative organized by HiPipo in partnership with Level One project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Tech and supported by the Gates Foundation. It is also the final participant of this year’s edition.

Its good financial inclusion works are already getting international recognition with a continental award already in the bag.

“This year we have been lucky. We won the award for the best FinTech providing device financing in Africa during a tech event in France. It was quite an eye opener for us to learn that there is a big ecosystem to support FinTechs,” Missokia said. 

He added: “Even though here in Tanzania we are still at a very infant stage, such platforms motivate us. Such platforms include the 40 Days 40 Fintechs initiative that is traversing the East Africa region and giving FinTechs a chance to tell their story and also learn from one another. Thank you for coming up with such a movement that is giving African FinTechs a chance to be noticed.”

The #40Days40FinTechs platform is 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.

It offers participants useful tools and an introduction to the industry’s emerging technologies, such as Mojaloop Open Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance, and FinTech in general.

This year’s edition has covered physical locations in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

“It is exciting how this season has turned out. We conclude with Laina Finance, a company that is giving hundreds of Tanzanians a chance to purchase personal electronics and pay later. This is clearly one way of having more people join the digital economy as it allows upgrade from a feature phone to a smart device,” Innocent Kawooya the HiPipo CEO noted.

He added: “This year we received over 100 submissions from all over Africa and have been able to feature 47 participants based in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. All these have unique stories and are addressing real financial inclusion issues. We featured the biggest FinTechs and the most promising start-ups.”

The 2022 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative will culminate in the FinTech Landscape exhibition to be held on 12th August at Mestil Hotel. The FinTech Landscape exhibition will give participants a chance to physically meet, interact and appear in different panel discussions.

Remmo is using FinTech to digitize wedding contributions and fundraising causes

Our Reporter.

In the African culture, whenever a young man is going to marry his bride, it is taken as a collective responsibility for the community to make contributions towards the success of the celebrations. This is always done through wedding meetings where people converge and manually collect money, while others make pledges and fulfill them at the next meeting.

However, besides the hardship of attending physical meetings, stories are told of treasurers who have misappropriated these contributions and eventually the weddings turn from celebrations to disappointments.

In 2020, a group of tech enthusiasts in Tanzania decided to prevent these scenarios by introducing a mobile platform where people can automatically make pledges and contributions without attending a physical meeting or paying cash.

Named the Remmo App, someone (it may be the bride or groom or any of their trusted representatives) just goes to this platform and creates a pledge account. Then they are required to fill in some data, such as the type of ceremony they want to conduct (it may be a wedding, send-off, birthday party, etc) and then they receive a unique identity.

“When someone registers, they get a link which they can share on other platforms like WhatsApp. When the friends tap the link, they go to the pledges page and contribute to that cause. Those that pledge can pay in installments until they fulfill the pledge,” says Buliba Fadhili Magambo, the CEO Nderemo Company Ltd, the organization that runs the Remmo App.

The funds are collected at a central point and the person who opened the page can withdraw using mobile money or through a bank account.

“We have partnerships with mobile operators who facilitate people to pay using mobile money (M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Tigo Pesa etc) or they can pay using USSD or directly through the App from wherever they are. The money goes to our collections bank account and the person can withdraw it any time,” he adds.

Magambo says this platform is aimed at simplifying pledges and their fulfillment because sometimes people fail to contribute to social ceremonies just because they can’t make it to physical meetings.

The platform is still new on the market, having been launched at the end of 2021, but Magambo is optimistic people will adopt it with ease because of its advantages. Remmo removes the costs of soft copy-printing, distribution and validation of invitation cards; it eases management of pledges and contribution data and helps in time management by hosting virtual meetings.

Remmo is a women-centric product given that women are more involved in preparation of social ceremonies than men.

Magambo meanwhile says one of the biggest challenges they have faced is the reluctance of big FinTech players such as banks and telecoms to avail their API infrastructure to FinTech startups.

He is however very grateful to the 40 Days 40 FinTechs platform for reaching out to emerging FinTechs across East Africa to showcase their unique stories.

The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative is organized by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies with support from the Gates Foundation.

“This platform is good for FinTechs especially startups. It gives us the channel to air our creativity,” Magambo says.

Based in Tanzania, Remmo is the 46th participant in the third edition of #40Days40FinTechs initiative that has quickly grown into one of the world’s premier showcase events for the innovations that are enabling more people to join the digital economy space.

This year’s edition targets Digital Innovators and FinTechs around East Africa. The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative offers participants useful tools and an introduction to the industry’s emerging technologies, such as Mojaloop Open Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance and FinTech in general.

According to HiPipo CEO Innocent Kawooya, this year’s edition looks at cementing achievements of the previous editions – where over 60 FinTechs have been transformed – but also build on them to leverage digital financial inclusion in East Africa and beyond. “As HiPipo, our extensive effort and advocacy is partly for the intention of championing digital innovation and interoperable instant and inclusive payment systems (IIPS) in Africa to a point where our innovators enjoy and achieve sound profit margins to help them keep designing and deploying affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor,” Kawooya said.