Away from its negative consequences, the COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opener to individuals and businesses. It brought the role and overall importance of digital financial services (DFS) at the forefront.
Further, the pandemic opened opportunities for financial technology companies (fintechs) to come up with innovative solutions that have since transformed the way people make and receive payments. Among fintechs benefiting from this wave is Silicon Savannah Limited, a technology company whose Silicon Pay solution is easing payments for several businesses.
According to the Silicon Pay chief executive officer, Patrick Settuba, the firm offers a fully integrated suite of payments products including collections, bulk payments, utilities, and bank transfers through its application programming interface (API). For about three years in business, the company has over 900 retained clients and 15,000 active merchants and users. This includes about 30 per cent women users. Silicon Pay is also supporting about 500 women SACCOs on matters collections and pay outs.
“COVID-19 affected businesses but it paved way for the growth of digital payments as businesses moved online because they could not do physical meet-ups and collections. More people got to know about the online services that we offer and they tried them out,” he says.
To stay on top of their game, Settuba says Silicon Pay integrated new products and services to meet its clients’ evolving financial needs. For instance, it integrated mobile wallets to cater for customers who receive money in different currencies. It also forged partnerships with key service providers such as e-commerce platforms, to provide more services to its clients.
To make it easy for businesses to onboard, Settuba says that the company uses the tiered Know-Your-Customer (KYC) principle, which also helps them guard against fraud.
“To understand who we are dealing with, we incorporated KYC standards to better understand the customer we are dealing with. We thus take extra steps by asking them to prove their identity, nature of business to make sure the source of a customer’s funds is legitimate,” Settuba notes.
He adds that their system enables users to monitor their funds on their dashboard in real time and can withdraw through mobile money instantly whenever they need it. Additionally, the platform enables users to transfer funds instantly to their preferred bank accounts on request and receive the funds in a few hours depending on the time the request is made.
Silicon Pay is among the firms taking part in the 2022 40-Days 40-Fintechs initiative and has been featured on Day 7.
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.