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#40days40fintechs: Beyonic is at the centre of facilitating a shift to a cashless Uganda

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By Our writer

While Uganda started efforts to boost a cashless economy over a decade ago, majority of Ugandans still prefer cash.

Available statistics indicate that about 99 percent of the economy is cash-based and only 1 percent is cashless.

However, over the years, several Financial Technology Companies (FinTechs) have heavily invested in helping Ugandans shift from a cash to a cashless economy.

Among them is Beyonic, one of the leading fintech integrators in Africa that aims to eliminate dependency on cash by helping businesses quickly set up and manage digital payments.

The software company entered the Uganda market at the end of 2005 but started operations at the beginning of 2006.

Seeking to answer the question of accountability for organizations and donor bodies, the software company thought of ways of further supporting companies better manage their finances – income and expenditures by setting up a mobile payments platform in 2012 thus unlocking clean, safe, transparent cashless management of project and enterprise budgets.

“There are challenges for use of cash by organizations. Beyonic came to help institutions reduce the use of cash in all their systems. We are here to support and promote a cashless efficient economy,” Ian Mubiru, the Beyonic Country Director said.

He added: “As the fintech space matured, the contrast between the simplicity promised by a digital ecosystem and the cost, complexity, and risk of cash payments became increasingly stark. Payments are hard; especially in emerging markets, and particularly in the last mile. Thus, Beyonic set out to make them easy.”

According to Mubiru, Beyonic is helping free its clients from non-core roles so as to focus on making their businesses and communities thrive.

Its solutions include access, data house and pricing services.

Under Beyonic access, it enables instructions to access over 26 telecoms from across nine countries in Africa. This means that once one connects to the Beyonic platform, they will have access to over 26 networks in the nine countries including Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, among others, from a single sign-on.

In 2018, Beyonic processed close to 10 million mobile money transactions across its system.

Beyonic was also selected as the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub successor entity, effective May 1, 2020, and it is responsible for all ongoing operational aspects of the IPN Hub including future growth.

The IPN Hub was developed by the GSMA in partnership with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and MasterCard Foundation, to provide a single point of integration between mobile money networks and PAYG service providers in Sub-Saharan Africa, accelerating reliable access to utility services at the last mile.

Following the successful piloting and scaling of the IPN Hub, the GSMA elected to transition it to an entity that would continue to scale it sustainability and after a rigorous selection process, it was awarded to Beyonic.

The Data House solution on the other hand is used to store data that can be used for planning purposes by their different clients.

Mubiru said that a lot of data is out there but it is not well organised, thus Beyonic helps companies store and make sense of such data.

Under the pricing services, Mubiru said: “Payments and pricing continues to change over time. At the beginning of our journey, we were just supporting organizations but with time we found out that there was need to support fintechs and other players.”

“We had already developed a lot of application program interfaces (APIs) so we decided to open them up for anyone that needed to use them. We made sure that our APIs integration is as short as possible,” he said.

While others take three months to integrate, Mubiru said they ensured that theirs takes less than a month.

He said their APIs are being used by multiple partners including fintechs, e-commerce players, among others.

While they currently operate in nine countries, Mubiru said the plan is to cover over 20 countries by 2023.

Majority of its clients are women, mostly in agriculture. It is also working with a number of Saccos that offer loans to farmers.

Beyonic is among the firms taking part in the 40-days-40-FinTech initiative, organised by HiPipo under its Include EveryOne programme, in partnership with Crosslake Tech, ModusBox and Mojaloop.

The initiative seeks to enable FinTechs to innovate solutions that facilitate cross-network financial transactions at minimal risks to enhance access to financial services.

The initiative will see the participating 40 FinTechs acquire interoperable development skills to improve access to financial services, using the Mojaloop open source software.

Mubiru applauded HiPipo for the 40-days-40-fintechs initiative, saying the discussion of interoperability with Mojaloop is timely, as the market needs as much solutions as possible.

The HiPipo CEO – Innocent Kawooya said that Beyonic has played a great financial inclusion role in the markets where it operates.

“We are glad that the Beyonic products and services are impacting thousands of people at the last mile. It fits well in the 40-days- 40-fintechs initiative because theirs is a prime story that is transforming the financial sector,” Kawooya said.

He added: “Going forward, as stakeholders we must collaborate and together develop products and services that serve our people. Alone, we may fail, but as a group, we shall overcome all road blocks and collectively serve our people.”

In addition to the 40-days-40-fintechs initiative, HiPipo is also organizing a Fintechs Landscape Exhibition in mid July 2020.

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Celebrity Gossip

Sheebah names Ghetto Kids’ Patricia as Holic Pads brand ambassador

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By BigEyeUg Team

Young dance group, The Ghetto Kids’ Patricia Nabakooza has bagged a juicy gig as brand ambassador for singer Sheebah Karungi’s ‘Holic Pads’.

The good news crowning the young talented choreographer was shared on Wednesday afternoon by Sheebah herself.

The ‘Team No Sleep’ singer says there was no way she could miss-out working with Patricia bearing the fact that she has an outstanding work ethic and passion.

True Leaders Don’t Just Create Followers. They Create More Leaders. Meet Our Holic Pads Ambassador Patricia Sitya Loss 💜 I Love Working With This Young Queen, Her Work Ethic & Passion Is Everything!,” Sheebah wrote.

Patricia has also kick-started her new job in high gear with words endorsing the use of Holic pads by the girl-child during the menstrual days.

Every Girl, No Matter Where She Lives Deserves To Feel Comfortable During Her Red days. Have you used @holicpads Yet? What’s Your Experience?” stated Patricia.

Holic Pads are manufactured and sold under the ‘Nakyuka’ singer’s company, Sheebah Establishments.

Sheebah launched Holic pads earlier this year at Pearl of Africa Hotel witnessed by influential women in Uganda including; Barbie Kyagulanyi, Queen of Toro Best Kemigisha, Miss Uganda’s Brenda Nanyonjo, former Miss Uganda Brenda Abenakyo and many others.

At the event, Sheebah said she had been inspired by her past struggles to get pads to launch the business.

See more photos here;

Congratulations Patricia!

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Local Business

Cab driver wins big in MoMo Nyabo promo, to invest in fish business

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Ayebale Ismail who won Ugx 4.2 million in MoMo Nyabo promo is going to invest his cash prize in Fish business.

Ayebale Ismail who won Ugx 4.2 million in MoMo Nyabo promo is going to invest his cash prize in Fish business.

By Our Reporter

Through its promotion dubbed MoMo Nyabo Together, MTN Uganda is giving out up to Ugx 5,000,000 shillings to two winners every weekday in a bid to support Ugandans as they rebuild from the financial devastations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the recent lucky winners is 34-year-old Ismail Ayebale, an airport taxi driver walked away with Ugx 4,200,000 shillings. The airport cab driver who has been out of business since the closure of the airport was overjoyed to learn that he had been chosen as a lucky winner in the on-going MTN MoMoNyabo Together promotion.

Due to his Covid 19-induced unemployment, Ayebale became a fish vendor to support his family. The young man that lives next to Lake Victoria in Entebbe buys fish from various fishermen and later on dresses and sells it to people in Kampala at a profit, to make ends meet for his family.

“Life has not been the same, the money I earn now is nothing compared to what I would make before the COVID pandemic,” Ayebale said as he narrated how tough the times have been for the past five months.

The MTN Marketing Coordinator for Central Region, Jimmy Ssempuuma congratulated Ayebale while handing over his cheque of Ugx 4,200,000 shillings. He empahises MTN’s commitment to supporting its customers though such promotions.

Ayebale chose to share the money he won with his mother Margret Nyakaisiki. An excited Nyakaisiki over a phone conversation ululated as she vehemently thanked MTN Uganda for giving back to her son who in turn shared with her.

Ayebale noted that he had always heard about the MoMoNyabo campaign but always thought it was a hoax since he had never won. He however confirmed in the presence of his family that having been named a lucky winner, he is now a strong believer of the MoMoNyabo Together promotion.

To take part in the promotion that was launched last month, MTN customers simply use the MyMTN app or dial *165# to buy data or airtime as well as paying for many other services using Mobile Money.



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Local Business

MTN MoMo: Your One-stop Payment Point

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By Our Reporter 

In March 2009, MTN became the first telecom operator in Uganda to launch a mobile financial service that would revolutionize the country’s financial fabric. More than a decade later, the service has evolved into a one-stop financial transaction point that is championing financial inclusion across the spectrum as it transforms the country into a cashless economy.

From the most basic feature of sending and receiving money, to performing simple tasks such as buying airtime and data in the comfort of your home or paying bills and school fees, you can now transact across the borders as well as pay taxes to the Uganda Revenue Authority, make Kampala City Council Authority Payments and make donations and so many other payments on your phone using MTN MoMo.

According to Stephen Mutana, the General Manager Mobile Financial Services at MTN Uganda, paying for goods and services is easy, safe and convenient when you keep some money on MTN MoMo.

He added that, “the experience of using MTN MoMo has been made even better with the MyMTN app.”

The MyMTN app is available and can be downloaded from both android and iOS app stores.

To ease the payment for goods and services, MTN Uganda launched MoMoPay, a digital payment platform that allows customers to pay for goods and services directly from their Mobile Money accounts, free of charge without having to withdraw it first.

Caroline Nakato, an ardent user of the MoMoPay service says that the payment method has simplified her life.

“I don’t have to stress with going to the bank to withdraw cash and carrying it around for shopping or paying for certain services. All I have to do is transfer it to my MoMo account and off I go. It saves me time yet it is safe secure and always available. Even when I lost my phone, my PIN number keeps my money safe,” says Nakato.

MTN MoMoPay is available in several supermarkets, shops, pharmacies, hospitals and all MTN Service Centers in towns across the country, meaning that even when one travels upcountry, they can still access the service.

Online Shopping with MTN MoMo

Another exciting innovation for people who love online shopping is perhaps, the MTN MoMocard. MTN in partnership with Mastercard offers customers the ability to make online payments using a virtual card known as the MTN MoMocard. The payments are made from the customer’s MTN MoMo account.

To enjoy this service, simply dial *165*70# and select option 1 (Create MTN
MoMocard). You will be prompted to enter your MTN MoMo PIN. The MTN MoMocard details are sent to the customer via SMS message. It costs UGX 1,000 shillings only to create the MTN MoMocard for a transaction.



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Local Business

Airtel Uganda opens online shop

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Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar addresses guests during a business breakfast held recently

Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar

By Our Reporter

Airtel Uganda has launched an online shop on its website that will enable customers conveniently, quickly and safely order for devices.

The platform that is now live, provides customers a wide range of devices to include; the 4G Pocket WIFI/MIFI, WIFI Indoor Router, a pair of Broadband Outdoor and Indoor Unit and My First 4G Smartphone.

Commenting on the launch, the Airtel Uganda Managing Director V.G. Somasekhar said; “We are excited to launch this platform that will provide Airtel customers with an easy, quick and safe way to purchase our products. We strongly believe in putting our customer at the centre of everything we do. With this objective in mind, we continue to introduce digital innovations and make improvements to our processes that have put our customers in greater control of their overall telecoms experience.”

With the Airtel Online Shop, all the customer needs is internet. Through this platform, customers will be able to connect with the Airtel Broadband team which will follow up on their orders and then supply the devices they have ordered for.

“During such crucial times, it is vital for us to continuously think about our customers’ health and safety. As part of our post Covid-19 strategy, all the products will be delivered with all safety precautions like sanitation of packages and cashless payment,” the General Manager-Broadband, Brenden Kachenje said.

To make a purchase, customers will have to visit the Airtel Uganda website and navigate to the Broadband tab from where they will choose their preferred device and click the Order Now button. They will then have to fill in contact details to complete their order.



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