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 Innovators tipped on how to succeed in a male dominated FinTech Industry

Our Reporter.

Over the years, the financial technology industry has been male-dominated. However, a lot of effort has in the recent years been geared towards changing this, some of which is already bearing fruits.

According to Princess Shamirah Kimbugwe, the Pivot Payments founder and managing director, while gender imbalance is still a challenge, the industry has over the years matured and now prioritizes knowledge and skills.

“In comparison to other industries like banking, legal, and medicine; technology is more open, inclusive, and more welcoming. Half the time, people in technology don’t want to front their religion, tribe, race or gender,” Kimbugwe said.

She added: “Technology is about the leadership, the knowledge and skills you bring on to the table. The technology industry is about performance regardless of your gender. I have personally witnessed this transformation over the more than 14 years I have been in this industry.”

Kimbugwe revealed this while mentoring the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon participants. She further urged them to continue with the journeys ‘they have started because the FinTech industry is fast growing with a lot of opportunities.’

“The future of the FinTech industry is very bright. We are seeing more investment, interest from abroad, product diversity, and more homegrown products. That said, we must all agree that innovation has to work very closely with regulation,” she said.

Pivot Payments is a Bank of Uganda licensed financial technology company that is building a Pan African Neo Bank and serving export labourforce users who have typically been financially exploited or excluded. The company currently serves more than 250,000 customers and has processed more than two million transactions in less than five years.

Meanwhile, Day four of the 2022 #WomeninFinTech Hackathon activities included the 20 participating teams pitching their products, testing Mojaloop open source software, and presenting their minimum viable product (MVP) phase two. A product pitch is the process of presenting to and persuading potential investors to buy into the idea of investing in your product. 

According to Mastulah Sarah Nakisozi, the Jibu Team Leader, the Hackathon has so far been a great learning experience for her and all participants.

“As a student of computer science, my skills have improved through software development, and prototype creation using different platforms. I have also improved my communication and pitching skills,” she said.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th 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.

FinTech Group is providing digital solutions to over 200 Institutions in Africa

Our reporter.

FinTech Uganda Limited, a subsidiary of FinTech Group is one of the oldest financial technology companies in Africa with a variety of fully integrated models that assist over 240 financial institutions across Africa to manage payments and collections, asset financing, mortgage business, and insurance premium financing, among others.

Having opened shop back in 1993, FinTech Group has mastered the art of providing technology solutions to organizations in more than 20 African countries, including supporting and implementing financial and technology solutions to over 20 banks and institutions in Uganda alone.

According to Hazel Were, a Software Engineer and Business Development Executive at FinTech Group, their experience is unmatched in providing customized digital products and solutions specific to business needs.

One such product is LeasePAC; a web-based leasing management solution that incorporates the core asset finance management modules and interfaces to third-party systems. With over 15 different but fully integrated modules, LeasePAC assists financial institutions to manage asset financing, mortgage business, insurance premium financing, factoring and discounting, stocking plan, and deposits etc.

“LeasePAC allows you to have automated collections and also eases the tracking of payments with an inbuilt accounting module,” she says.

She adds that they also have another key product named Kapilink; an end-to-end, cloud-based platform that builds an ecosystem of financiers, large corporates, and MSMEs to facilitate Supply Chain Financing and Collections in one place. It supports various working capital solutions such as invoice discounting, factoring and, dynamic discounting.

As a way of ensuring that people at bottom of the pyramid have equal access to financial services, FinTech Uganda distributes point-of-sale (POS) terminals to different financial institutions who later then re-distribute the same to low-level kind of customers.

According to Priscilla Kemigisha, the Projects Team Leader at Fintech Group, the company is implementing financial inclusion best practices such as real-time transactions, same-day settlements, and tiered KYC among others.

 “As FinTech Uganda, we have systems that are able to give our customers real-time notifications. For example, the traders in URA, when they get to make payments for their goods, they are able to get real-time notifications that payments are received and it enables them clear their goods in time. We have systems that handle mobile banking, and internet banking as well,” Kemigisha says.

Kemigisha further notes that Uganda and Africa at large are headed for a fully digitized economy because automation is the way to go. She however says there is a need to address the challenge of user retention and user experiences.

“We should find solutions to the issue of user experience so that we can retain and gain more customers,” she says.

She also cites a challenge of data security and inability to adhere to government regulations but calls on FinTechs to make sure that they go through what the policies say and engage legal teams to ensure compliance.

40-Days 40-FinTechs

FinTech Uganda is participant number 38 in this year’s 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative organized by HiPipo. The platform seeks to showcase financial technology companies that are changing lives, especially for people at the bottom of the pyramid.

“We appreciate the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative for enabling collaboration and networking for all tech enthusiasts. As a woman in tech, I appreciate the women inclusion aspect, especially in the Hackathons,” Hazel Were says.

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

According to HiPipo CEO, Innocent Kawooya, FinTech Uganda is among the ‘legends of the game’ and their participation is crucial for emerging FinTechs to pick some lessons.

“This initiative provides a blend of the old and the new. FinTech Uganda has worked with some of the biggest financial institutions in this country. Startups have a lot to learn from them,” Kawooya said.

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.

The platform aptly provides a setting for the various players and stakeholders involved in digital and financial technology to exhibit their products & services and also share their ideas on how more people, especially those unserved and underserved by the present financial systems, can be brought into the fold. It also 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.

JUMO World is extending digital loans to more than 2.5 million Ugandans

Our Reporter.

With the worsening economic situation in the country, on top of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, most Ugandans have resorted to seeking short-term loans from friends and family to make ends meet.

But this is an unsustainable scenario because even those friends are struggling too, trying hard to survive with the little they have.

And that is where JUMO World comes in, to facilitate digital quick loans and mitigate the financial burden one would impose on their immediate circle.

Since 2017, JUMO World has been acting as an integrator for Uganda’s top telecoms Airtel and MTN to provide soft loans and saving platforms for Ugandans. To date, more than 2.6 million subscribers have benefitted from Airtel Uganda’s Wewole and MTN’s MoSente platforms.

On the 9th Day of the 2022 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative, Season 3, we speak to Wilfred Wabwire, the JUMO World Country Manager for Uganda. Below is what he has to say.

QN: What is JUMO and what do you do?

ANS: JUMO is the market-leading banking as a service platform, enabling real-time access to funds at the lowest possible operating cost. Integrating into JUMO’s platform enables our partners to offer loans, savings and a wide range of financial choices to a new group of customers.

QN: How is your Wewole Product in partnership with Airtel Money performing? How did COVID-19 affect it?

ANS: JUMO has been offering Wewole loans in partnership with Airtel Uganda since 2017. The product is available on Airtel Money by dialing *185#, select option 8 for Wewole and follow the prompts. Covid-19 impacted people’s lives in ways previously unimagined. In response to the pandemic, JUMO World Uganda, implemented several initiatives to minimize the impact of covid-19 on borrowers including waiving the late payment fee given the situation at that time.

In terms of performance, Wewole Loan product has been used by over 2.5 million unique customers since its inception. This year to date, we have disbursed loans worth UGX 32 billion.  In April 2022, we opened-up the Wewole product to new eligible Airtel money customers.  Customers can borrow between as UGX 3,000 – UGX 1,000,00 and Customers with good repayment behavior gradually qualify for incrementally larger amounts.

QN: You recently launched MoSente with MTN Mobile Money. Congratulations! Tell us more about MoSente. What it is, how it works and everything else your clients ought to know.

ANS: MoSente is a convenient way for MTN MoMo customers to access credit services. Customers can borrow from as low as UGX 3, 000 and can chose either 14 days or 30 days to repay back the loan depending on their preferred loan term. To access Mosente loans, a customer simply dials *165*5*5# and follow the prompts. Money is instantly deposited in the customers MoMo wallet. To qualify for higher loan amounts, customers need to repay their MoSente loans on time, every time and keep using MTN MoMo account.

QN: What has been the impact of your credit products to the people of Uganda since you launched? How much cumulative credit have you given out on both Wewole and MoSente? How many borrowers are on both platforms? Etc.

ANS: JUMO World Uganda has collectively served about 2.65 million unique customers on both MoSente and Wewole since inception. This year to date, we have disbursed loans worth UGX 55 billion. A borrower shared with us that he “no longer looks for someone to borrow money from because they are using our service”. Another one said that he ‘used the first JUMO loan to pay school fees; he used the next loan for farming, and harvested much which helped him greatly to improve his house hold income”. These are some of the examples of the real positive impact our loans are having on the people of Uganda.

QN: What is JUMO doing to enhance Women Financial Inclusion? How are you supporting start-ups and informal businesses?

ANS: One third of JUMO borrowers are Women.  For every ten borrowers on the JUMO Platform, six are MSMEs. One of our female borrowers, shared with us that “her life had improved with JUMO loans, by harvesting more on her farm and being able to pay her workers.”

Eligible Customers who are either starting up or in informal businesses can access MoSente Loan on MTN MoMo menu or Wewole loan on Airtel Money Menu. Customers simply need to frequently use their Mobile money wallets and register for the services.

JUMO through our Wewole Agent loan also offers access to unsecured Credit facilities to Airtel Money Agents to enable them to manage their float and serve their customers. Agents can borrow between UGX 10,000 and UGX 1, 600, 000 and repay back in 30 days.

QN: As a big player in FINTECH, is JUMO implementing Level One Project Principles such as Tiered KYC, Accessibility on Low-Quality Devices, Same Day Settlement and Real-Time Payments?

ANS: JUMO loans can be accessed on any type of mobile phone including feature phones and on qualifying and applying for a loan, customers get the funds instantly. Similarly, when a customer settles their loan, the transaction is processed in real-time 24/7 and the loan is cleared there and then.

QN: In your opinion, what is the state of Uganda’s FinTech industry?

ANS: The number of Fintechs in Uganda has been steadily growing from a handful to approximately 70 to-date. Events such as 40Days40FinTechs and Fintech conferences have enabled FinTechs to be seen and heard. Regulatory developments such as the National Payments Systems Act, Data Protection Act amongst others have further helped to streamline and formalize the industry. However, there is still opportunity to attract more funding, customer advocacy, and diversifying into more sectors including RegTech, Buy now Pay later, Savings and Budgeting solutions.

QN: Knowing the issues facing the FINTECH Industry, what role does the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative play in shaping the industry?

ANS: The 40Days40FinTechs initiate has given Fintechs a platform to showcase how their solutions are transforming livelihoods as well as the contribution of FinTech towards economic development. 40Days40Fintechs is also creating the much-needed awareness in the industry and ultimately driving usage/utilization of the innovations by the end-users as well as attracting funding/investment in the FinTech space.

40-Days 40-FinTechs

Now in its third edition, #40Days40FinTechs has quickly grown into one of the world’s premier showcase events for the innovations that are enabling ever more people to join the digital economy space.

That is surely going to remain the case, in large part due to the inspiration and collaboration that our partners Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies generate, but mostly because of the continuing generous support of the Gates Foundation.

Digital Innovators and FinTechs around East Africa should be more eager to embrace 40 Days 40 FinTechs as Season three covers physical destinations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

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 & Services and also share their ideas on how more of us, especially those unserved and underserved by the present financial systems, can be brought into the fold.

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.

HiPipo CEO Innocent Kawooya appreciated Jumo as one of the top FinTechs in the country changing millions of lives.

“It is very promising to hear that Jumo has disbursed over Shs 50bn in soft loans to both individuals and businesses. It shows an improving trend of use of digital financial services in the country,” he said.

Kawooya added that this year’s edition will cement the 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,” he said.

Ticteq is using FINTECH to reduce Tickets’ purchase hustle and commotion

Our Reporter.

For those that have attended events in Uganda, you are familiar with the hustle and bustle involved in buying entry tickets. This includes long queues, higher prices than originally advertised and fraudsters selling fake tickets among other issues.

But all this will soon be history; if event organizers and revelers can incorporate technology in the ticketing journey.

Already on the market is a solution that brings together event organizers and party-goers on a single online platform called Ticteq.

Ticteq is an online ticketing company that deals in events ticketing and crowd funding. So far, the platform has sold over ten thousand (10,000) tickets, has sixty thousand (60,000) subscribers and has digitally transacted in excess of sixty million shillings (UGX 60m).

According to George Katuramu, the Ticteq Director, the solution has allowed event organizers to shift from the slow, costly and inconveniencing manual process to a digital one that allows them to register and upload their events on the Ticteq platform for potential customers to purchase tickets.

Using the platform, event organisers can contact people who have bought tickets, and customers can also get refunds in case they are unable to attend.

“This is a complete solution for someone who wants to organize a successful event, without worrying about tickets, fake notes, coins or being cheated at the entrance,” Katuramu says, adding that one simply visits the Ticteq website to buy a ticket using either MTN Mobile Money, Airtel Money or a credit card. The money is automatically remitted to the event organizer’s mobile or bank account.

He further explains that even though the long COVID-19 lockdown set them back, the platform is fast picking up given that it gives events stakeholders a variety of advantages including safety and settling transactions in real time.

“We were affected by COVID-19 because all events were cancelled. But since we resumed events, we are picking up from where we had stopped. We have already had a few successful events and there is hope and growth.”

Away from ticketing, Ticteq is also offering a crowd-funding product that allows people to share their causes with the public, and raise funds to address their pressing needs.

The causes supported by this platform, according to Katuramu, can range from education to medical to social, among others.

“With our portal, you can always know who donated, the total number of people who donated and the total amount donated and you can withdraw the money to your mobile money account or a bank account at any time. When a person makes a donation, the benefactor automatically receives the money instantly at no cost,” he says.

Although the product would salvage many people who we usually see on social media platforms conversing for financial support, Katuramu notes that most Ugandans are yet to appreciate the power of crowd funding.

“Most Ugandans think that crowd funding is for people who need organ transplant or surgery which is not true; it is for everyone. You may need tuition to complete your education or need money to travel, you can raise it through crowd funding,” he says.

“Simply share your story, giving details of what you need to do and how you want to do it. The people who will like your story and get touched to contribute towards the cause; they will do so,” he explains.

Ticteq is the sixth participant of the 2022 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative.

40-Days 40-FinTechs

Now in its third edition, #40Days40FinTechs has quickly grown into one of the world’s premier showcase events for the innovations that are enabling ever more people to join the digital economy space. That is surely going to remain the case, in large part due to the inspiration and collaboration that our partners Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies generate, but mostly because of the continuing generous support of the Gates Foundation.

Digital Innovators and FinTechs around East Africa should be more eager to embrace 40 Days 40 FinTechs as Season three covers physical destinations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

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 & Services and also share their ideas on how more of us, especially those unserved and underserved by the present financial systems, can be brought into the fold.

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 will cement 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.

Peleyta is using FINTECH to enable less fortunate Ugandans access quality healthcare

Our Reporter.  

Majority of Ugandans are just one medical emergency and hospital admission away from financial ruin and untold disaster. This is because accessing quality healthcare is very expensive and a preserve of a few.

Even though the government, with support from development partners, has invested massively in healthcare, the cost of medication remains very high for the uninsured.

It is this predicament that inspired a group of young Ugandans to come up with a digital platform that can enable ordinarily Ugandans save money for health emergencies.

Named Peleyta Health, this digital platform is a flexible, affordable and convenient FinTech helping low-income earners prepare for and afford quality healthcare anywhere at all times through a digital healthcare micro savings and lending.  

“We derive our name Peleyta from the English word Pay Later; meaning that if you request for a medical loan from Peleyta, we have it extended to you, get treated and pay later at your convenience. We believe that no one should struggle financially to receive healthcare,” Douglas Smith, the Peleyta Co-Founder, said.

He added: “When you look at insurance penetration in Uganda, it stands at 1 percent, leaving over 43 million Ugandans uninsured. At Peleyta Health, we enable our users to save as low as UGX 500 cumulatively deducted and reserved for health care. All this is done through mobile money. This fund can be used to offset their medical bills or buy medicine at registered healthcare facilities and pharmacies. And in case these funds are not sufficient, they can request for a micro loan and we do a top up for them.”

To start this journey, the team behind Peleyta Health was challenged and motivated by an unfortunate viral story of a one Anita Mushieimana, who walked to Kitwe Health Centre IV (Ntungamo district) to give birth, upon reaching at the health centre, she delivered at the gate because she failed to pay UGX 50,000 to let her into the delivery Ward.

“After some time designing this platform, we launched early this year and have so far cleared medical bills of more than 150 subscribers. We also have more than 20 health facilities registered on our platform. We started from Ibanda district and are progressing well in western Uganda. We plan to expand to more healthcare facilities across Uganda.”  

To get started, you download the Peleyta APP or visit their website and register. Only registered members are guaranteed to access Peleyta services within the shortest time possible since their KYC and due diligence in general was earlier done during registration stage.

Registered members instantly have a savings account with Peleyta Health created; an account they keep servicing either daily, weekly, or monthly starting with as low as UGX 500. These savings attract interests at the end of the month. Savers will access their savings to clear their medical fares anytime.

Peleyta Health is the 5th participant of the 2022 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative.  

40-Days 40-FinTechs

Now in its third edition, #40Days40FinTechs has quickly grown into one of the world’s premier showcase events for the innovations that are enabling ever more people to join the digital economy space. That is surely going to remain the case, in large part due to the inspiration and collaboration that our partners; Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies generate, but mostly because of the continuing, generous support of the Gates Foundation.

Digital Innovators and FinTechs around East Africa should be more eager to embrace 40 Days 40 FinTechs as Season three will cover physical destinations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

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 & Services and also share their ideas on how more of us, especially those unserved and underserved by the present financial systems, can be brought into the fold.

The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative offers participants useful tools and an introduction to 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 will cement 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.

Money Sent is aiding borderless money transfers

Our Reporter.

Have you ever been with an account that has money but are unable to access it? Put differently, has someone ever called you with an emergency that needs money? You may even have the money but are unable to send it to this person because of the absence of a transfer system?

A few years ago, a Ugandan was faced with such a problem (had money but was unable to send it to his friend who had an emergency), and got frustrated. But from the frustration, something good was born. Together with his peers, he developed Money Sent – a mobile app that allows both individuals and companies to connect conveniently in order to send, receive and coordinate efforts involving money.

“Together with my team, we developed an application that allows people to send and receive money. The reason why I created Money Sent was because one time ago, when I wanted to send money to my friend in America and wanted to do MoneyGram online; I signed up successfully at MoneyGram online but unfortunately I couldn’t send money to another person using MoneyGram online because I was a Ugandan. So, I was like Uganda needs something international; a solution that anyone can use to send and receive money regardless of their nationality. I thought of something that would be cheaper and convenient for everyone,” said James Mukasa, the Money Sent Founder and CEO, adding;

“It has been more than a year since we started and we have been growing well. The reason why we are called Money Sent is that it is in the past. The moment you click send; money has already been sent. It is instantaneous and secure. We are serving more than 3,000 customers right now. We have 497 agents around the country. We have done more than UGX 1 billion in transactions.”

Money Sent is bridging the gap between the banked and unbanked as no bank account is necessary to send or receive money using this system. The Application is built with online banking level security, meaning that the security of the application, transactions, data, and information of clients is guaranteed. It relies on principles that govern remittances worldwide and is compliant with AML (Anti-Money Laundering) standards. The Money Sent system is built on strong security standards, and prevents criminals from using the system for their selfish gains and nefarious interests.

This online payment system addresses not only the challenges of the fees charged, delays and tediousness of remittance processes, but also promotes targeted investment.

But even with the platform picking up well, Mr. Mukasa nonetheless decries the high charges levied by the telecoms which make business very hard for other stakeholders.

“Most of the unbanked people use MTN and Airtel. When our customers are adding more on Money Sent, the telecoms charge two percent or more yet the client expects to get the money as they have deposited it yet Money Sent has received lower thanks to these charges. This is a very big challenge. There should be togetherness in everything we do because Uganda is too big for only MTN and Airtel,” Mukasa explained.

Money Sent is the fourth participant in this year’s 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative.

40-Days 40-FinTechs

Now in its third edition, #40Days40FinTechs has quickly grown into one of the world’s premier showcase events for the innovations that are enabling ever more people to join the digital economy space. That is surely going to remain the case, in large part due to the inspiration and collaboration that our partners; Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies generate, but mostly because of the continuing generous support of the Gates Foundation.

Digital Innovators and FinTechs around East Africa should be more eager to embrace 40 Days 40 FinTechs as Season three will cover physical destinations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

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 & Services and also share their ideas on how more of us, especially those unserved and underserved by the present financial systems, can be brought into the fold.

The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative offers participants useful tools and an introduction to 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 will cement 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.

HiPipo awarded Best Financial Inclusion Organisation in East Africa- FinTech Awards 2022

We are proud to announce that HiPipo has been awarded the Best Financial Inclusion Organization in East Africa by FinTech Awards 2022 hosted by Wealth & Finance International.

Wealth and Finance identifies organisations that are deserving of recognition for the works they perform, giving the aforementioned organisations a boost to their profiles, and enlarging their professional networks. Theirs is an esteemed platform, and offers fantastic opportunities for HiPipo to enhance and improve its initiatives while impacting millions of lives and livelihoods.

They thus recognise organisations committed to advancing financial inclusion, gender equality and financial equity as core foundation principles for ensuring that we together build a world that is inclusive for everyone, not less. And it is for that reason that the jury chose HiPipo.

On behalf of the fantastic HiPipo team, Innocent Kawooya expressed his appreciation for the accolade. ‘I find it pleasing that the efforts of the HiPipo team are being recognised,’ he said, ‘this award was only given to HiPipo because I work with an incredible team’. He added, ‘It should also never be forgotten that we have been blessed with extraordinarily supportive partners. What we have done and achieved would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of the Gates Foundation, and the technical input of Modusbox, Crosslake Technologies, Ideation Corner, the Mojaloop Foundation, MET Images, NG Films, and Decent Africa among others. This accolade is for all of us, and will spur us at HiPipo onwards to do even more’. Together we shall continue to grow.

HiPipo continues plays a vital role in advocating for the creation of a sound, secure, competitive, and universal financial system that is essential for sustainable and inclusive growth.

2022 has so far been another fruitful and progressive year for HiPipo. With Innocent Kawooya at the helm, the organisation once again made significant inroads in its advocacy for the adoption and dissemination of financial technology (FinTech), specifically as an avenue to increase Financial Inclusion amongst the underserved and unserved.

In this vein, HiPipo successfully carried out all its Financial Inclusion and FinTech initiatives, including the 40 Days 40 FinTechs & FinTech Landscape Exhibition, the Women-in-FinTech Hackathon & Summit, the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit and the Digital Impact Awards Africa. And added to this was the Women-in-FinTech Incubator. ‘The Incubator is HiPipo maintaining a strong commitment to empowering women in the digital technology space’, Innocent commented, adding, ‘they must be prioritised for the knowledge and tools to build successful tech initiatives, for what they do shall ultimately serve communities better’.

There was also a landmark moment in HiPipo’s entertainment programs, as the 10th HiPipo Music Awards were successfully held at Mestil Hotel on the 10th of December, 2021, further cementing those honours as one of the most auspicious and longest running on the continent.

We say thank you, and promise that there is more to come going forward.

Our ultimate hope is to guarantee that Africa reaps dividends from its young population, starting now and ultimately in the future.

Commencement Of The We Will Win Initiative

HiPipo and the Ideation Corner, with great pleasure, announce the start of the We Will Win initiative, a project that is set to make extraordinary inroads into the development and growth of Uganda’s film industry.

The We Will Win initiative is the brainchild of and a collaboration between a number of like-minded influential players in the finance and entertainment industry. Together, we are The Consortium, and include HiPipo itself, The Ideation Corner, NG Films, MET Images, Koncepts & Sakyas, and Decent Africa.

Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO, is serving as the President, Technical Services, and Damali Ssali, the Ideation Corner Founder, is serving as President, Financial Services: they are the powerhouse duo spearheading the project.

We Will Win is a revolutionary and multi-pronged approach to steer to audiences and markets alike a high volume of quality films, all conceptualised, directed, and produced in Uganda, and all telling our stories our way. We Will Win is to offer technical and financial support at all levels of these productions, from the script to the shoot to the editing room, and then go even further to secure market for these visual stories.

This approach should see Uganda’s film industry move forward in leaps and bounds, not only by improving quality both in front of and behind the camera, but also by introducing Ugandan film to vast new interest and markets, both internally and externally, thus letting the industry emerge as the creative and empowering force it doubtless has the potential to be. HiPipo will call on its extensive experience in the same, having been the first Ugandan enterprise to produce and then place a local production onto an international streaming platform and the Ideation Corner will leverage its vast experience in social impact funding.

Be it action, drama, comedy or horror, be it mind-bending science-fiction or slapstick animation, experimental film or mythological fantasy, Uganda is a place of countless stories yet to be told and multitudes of voices ready to unfold and enthrall the world. Through our music and culture, we have shown we can hold the world’s attention. We Will Win is the springboard on which to make this vast creative leap forward, going even further in our storytelling and our entertaining. Yes, the time has come for us to stop looking for versions of our stories in those already told by others, but to finally go all out and tell our very own, and in our own way.

The wider picture of the We Will Win initiative speaks to how the creative industries are critical to the Sustainable Development agenda. They are the bedrock of innovation, and are an important factor in the ever evolving services sector. They support entrepreneurship and contribute to job creation, cultural diversity and gender diversity. As such the United National General Assembly declared 2021 the International Year of the Creative Economy of Sustainable Development.

#WeWillWin #IdeationCorner!

#LevelOneProject: 2021 #WomenInFinTech Hackathon concludes Day Two with Call for Value Addition.

Day Two of the #WomenInFinTech #LevelOneProject Hackathon was successfully concluded with discussions centred on how participants can improve their projects in order to serve their target audiences better.

Day two mentor, Doreen Lukandwa, the Beyonic/MFS Africa vice president (global enterprises) and winner of the 2020 Women in FinTech Award urged participants to use latest technologies such as Mojaloop Open Source Software in order to add value to their products as this will give them a better entry in to the financial technology ecosystem.

 “Be intentional about your projects. Give your products value and be confident in what you are doing,” she said, noting that developers must also be price sensitive as this is one of the key factors that determine a good innovation.

“When you are selling your product, introduce yourself in a manner that the mass market will understand. This gives your innovation identity and simplifies the value of the product because not everyone you are trying to engage knows the technical terminologies,” she said.

The week-long Hackathon, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday, October 15th, 2021 where the three top teams will be announced and get to share USD5,000 in prizes in addition to being part of a 90-day Business Incubator Program.

The 2021 #LevelOneProject #WomenInFinTech Hackathon has 17 women led teams and over 70 participants altogether. The teams are coming up with financial inclusion solutions that address their community needs, aided by Level One Project principles and latest technologies.

Empowering Innovators

HiPipo is proud to remain one of the continent’s premier advocates for the creation, dissemination and adoption of digital financial services, and we remain highly enthusiastic to provide the ways and means for our innovators to fully develop solutions that will collectively lead millions of our people to better lives and improved livelihoods.

The inaugural Women in FinTech initiative in 2020 exceeded expectations and left no doubt that women are ready to play a starring role in the digital financial services space and can fill the product gap the sector currently contends with.

All the 15 participating teams in 2020 presented excellent ideas, and HiPipo is more than pleased to reveal that it supported three (3) of them to grow into startups, each with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s ready for the market, which was a success to an extent that they went on to take part in the recently-concluded 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative.