Jan 7, 2013

4 Innovative & exciting mobile payments Start-ups you should not ignore in 2013


M-PESA has revolutionized p2p (person-to-person) payments in Kenya. But the best still lies ahead. M-PESA's contribution to business, economic development and a means of making social impact in Kenya will continue to grow in innovative and exciting ways in 2013.


Most of this advancement will be contributed by Start-ups that are riding on M-PESA rails. When these start-ups scale their service, Kenya's payment space will change forever.

1. M-KOPA
M-KOPA is extending credit to low-income earners to buy solar-power systems that are otherwise out of their financial reach. Using embedded Safaricom enabled sim cards, M-Kopa Solar allows a customer to enjoy the use of a d.light solar home system, while paying daily instalments of Kshs. 40 via M-Pesa for a period of one year after which they own the system when they complete payment. 


M-KOPA plans to bring better lighting at lower cost to millions of homes over the coming years.

2. Kopo Kopo
Kopo Kopo Inc. has created a world-class platform to enable small and medium businesses accept mobile payments and build relationships with their customers. Kopo Kopo’s platform enables businesses to aggregate and manage transaction data that supports M-PESA, including matching it to customer accounts or importing it into their systems.


Kopo Kopo is looking to bring mobile payments to tens of thousands of SMEs in Kenya.

3. Kiva Zip
Kiva Zip is a project by Kiva.org that enables person-to-person (p2p) microlending in Kenya.  Kiva Zip is using M-PESA to disburse funds and manage repayments. 


Kiva Zip aims to provide underbanked and unbanked micro-entrepreneurs with access to crowd-funded zero interest loans with no collateral, to invest in their business. The ultimate goal of Kiva Zip is to create a global village bank by allowing lenders to send money directly to borrowers via mobile phones.


Changamka Microhealth uses a pre-paid smart card that is linked to M-PESA to help women steadily save money used to pay for quality antenatal, maternity, and postnatal services at participating facilities.

Changamka is looking to deepen access to alternative medical cover to the millions of Kenyans who are excluded from medical insurance.