African mobile money users have a big problem.
“Each country has between three and five different mobile money services. If I on Airtel, I can’t accept mobile money payments from MTN. If I am in Uganda, I can’t accept mobile payments from Kenya. The system is broken down by telecom provider and country boundaries.”
Ntende Kenneth, alongside co-founder John Kigonya, came up with a solution. Africa’s mobile operators are slowly but surely moving towards interoperability, but the pair’s startup – DusuPay – has beaten them all to it.
Launched last year, and funded by private investors, the startup provides infrastructure that allows global businesses to make and accept mobile payments across Africa.
Being able to do so is crucial for businesses operating in one or more African countries.
“Mobile money has surpassed banking as a mode of payment in most African countries,” said Kenneth.
“Considering this is the way people have opted to pay, it is making more and more sense for international businesses to tap into it, rather than forcing them to pay using cards.”
DusuPay is focused on removing the bottlenecks faced by firms in accepting mobile money payments, by integrating different services from different countries. Companies using the DusuPay platform can accept payments from various countries and operators, opening up wider markets and making more services accessible to more consumers.
The startup has also integrated other modes of payment, including bitcoin, credit and debit cards and PayPal, meaning firms are able to offer customers a myriad of different options. Only the merchant need have a DusuPay account.
Fixing this problem in a simple manner has allowed the startup to take off. Having initially launched in Uganda, DusuPay is now active across Africa, in countries including Tanzania, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Nigeria and Zambia. It has also expanded to the Philippines and India.
Kenneth said the company is in the process of raising capital to allow it to expand further, with DusuPay making revenues by charging its merchant customers a subscription fee.
“We are already processing payments for over 500 businesses, including companies like HollywoodBets.com, which is using us to collect payments and pay out to Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon directly to local mobile money wallets,” he said.
“We intend to raise more money to enable us scale to all African countries and other developing markets so that when it comes to making and accepting payments from local modes of payments in the developing world, most payments will be powered by DusuPay.”