By Our Reporter
Launched in 2013, EzeeMoney is a technology company dealing in both financial and non-financial services that target people at the bottom of the pyramid.
On the financial side, EzeeMoney runs an agent-based model where they give out point-of-sale terminals to agents to facilitate bill payments, bill collections and other mobile financial services. On the non-financial service side, EzeeMoney provides insurance tracking with Jubilee insurance that powers over 300, 000 cards in about 500 hospitals.
The company boasts of over 3000 agents across the country, handles about 2 million transactions and over UGX 30 billion transactions value per month.
EzeeMoney is the 17th participant in season three of the annual 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative.
Our team had a chat with Flavia Eleanor Kasenge, the EzeeMoney Chief Operations Officer.
Here is what she had to say:
On top of agent banking and insurance tracking, what else does EzeeMoney do?
Flavia: We are also aggregators. We do third-party aggregation. We get people on board; anyone who does not have a platform and they want to start a digital financial system, we are able to give this aggregation so that they can take on services like bill collection, and bill payments. Our agents earn a commission through charging a customer.
Tell us about your smart card that helps churches to facilitate collections!
Flavia: Ohh yes. That’s our auto collections service. We built a mobile application where this service can be run. So, a client is given the auto collection card. This card is mainly used by Saccos and faith-based organisations. For instance, if you are collecting money for offertory on Sunday or tithe or your first fruit, we schedule and personalize the card whereby your offerings can be automatically deducted daily or weekly or monthly. We just do a schedule. This card is linked to your mobile money wallet and whenever the scheduled time comes, the money is deducted automatically and disbursed to the intended beneficiary.
How is your market penetration in terms of figures?
Flavia: Our customer is the agent. So, we have over 3,000 agents and our volume is above two million transactions and UGX 30 billion in transactions value per month.
The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative is organized with a view of including everyone, especially women, youth and PWDs. How is your gender rating?
Flavia: EzeeMoney mainly targets women at the bottom of the pyramid. We want them to enjoy digital financing. Most of our customers and employees are women. We believe that when women are in the business, things grow. More than 80 percent of our agents are women. We want women to come out of their shells and compete favorably with men.
How did the outbreak of Covid-19 affect your operations?
Flavia: Covid-19 ushered in a new way of working. Most businesses that could not adopt the digital way had to unfortunately close shop. So, Covid has opened up the FinTech space and innovation has increased; and the fact that we are regulated now by Bank of Uganda, people have become comfortable to use FinTechs. On our side, our revenue dropped by 40 percent during COVID-19 as people struggled to convert from traditional to digital. Nonetheless, we are now in recovery and seeing great things happening. We are going back to where we were before COVID-19.
What are the major challenges you face as EzeeMoney?
Flavia: The biggest challenge is the lack of awareness for people to appreciate digital financing. We must sensitize people. This is something we have to do daily. Once we do that consistently, people will appreciate it. We also have to be patient so that people at the bottom of the pyramid get on the same page with us. We will then be able to penetrate the market. Within a year or two, you won’t see paper money. People are slowly learning to shop using digital means. Digital orders and deliveries are increasing. We just need to sensitize people.
What is your take on the 40Days40FinTechs initiative?
Flavia: The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative is a very good platform for all of us. HiPipo has come up with a way for FinTechs to know each other. Because of you, we are able to know what others are doing and we can link up together. We know what to collaborate and compete on. These are things that we should not give up on. Ultimately, we have to look at ourselves as partners not competitors.
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.
It is organized by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by the Gates Foundation.
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 is cementing the achievements of the previous editions – where over 60 FinTechs have been transformed – but also building on them to leverage digital financial inclusion in East Africa and beyond.
“40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative is bringing together DFSPs and stakeholders (including regulators and development partners) to drive discussions on building instant and inclusive payment systems that will solve the most emerging challenges that limit low-income users from onboarding onto formal financial platforms,” Kawooya said, adding; “Thanks to initiatives like 40 Days 40 FinTechs and Level One Project among others, DFSPs, and FinTech stakeholders across Africa will soon gain access to fully functional IIPS regulatory sandboxes to prototype, build and test innovative digital products while evaluating Mojaloop technology with the aim of solving data/infrastructure localization government regulations and directives.”