As the clamour for the mobile money transfer increases, another entrant has thrown a spanner into the works.
Swedish based Okapi Finance which has more than 100,000 subscribers in Kenya is set to upset the mobile money sector with appetising offers through its SWAP services.
The ambitious firm’s plan is reaching 145 million subscribers in Africa in the next 10 years.
To spice their offerings, Okapi Finance is allowing up to five transactions a day free of charge. In this arrangement, customers can transfer a maximum of 20,000 shillings per transaction and with the exorbitant charges by other service providers, this offer may not go unnoticed.
Among the services Okapi customers can enjoy on the platform include paying insurance premiums or filing claims from insurers registered with the firm.
As of July 1 this year, Safaricom increased transaction charges for all mobile money transfers after the 2 per cent excise duty imposed by the Treasury in this year’s budget.
Okapi says its mission is to bank the unbanked by actively participating in financial inclusion.
“Okapi’s services increase accessibility for financial services. We believe that everyone should be able to access financial services regardless of where they live and their status,” a statement on the company’s site says.
It adds: “Transparency, security, and compliance with financial regulations are key for our operations and we believe in building the Okapi network through the partnership with financial institutions and other existing structures. Our goal is to be the pan-African fintech solution.”
With the cashless economy catching on in many parts of Africa, established telcos offering mobile money services are continually facing stiff competition from innovative entrants like Okapi.
The tide seems to be turning where even the once unaffordable financial institutions are turning to mobile money transfers to reach the once-shunned low-income earners.
Already, multinationals such as IBM and MasterCard are already in Kenya seeking to have a piece of the pie of the cashless platforms.
Currently, Okapi’s money transfer service is only available domestically but plans for international transfers are in the works.
Those interested in joining the platform can do so online via the app or an agent and the services they will enjoy include SWAP, SWAP Pay, SWAP Me, deposits and withdraws and insurance management.
Corporate customers can enjoy disbursement of funds, payments collections with a value proposition of low costs and real-time reports among other benefits.