Zambian fintech startup Mangwee has launched its payments platform, which allows users to easily make domestic money transfers and will soon move into international remittances.
Launched in May after being issued with a designation licence by the Central Bank of Zambia, Mangwee provides a range of services including online payment gateways, bill payments, and mobile money services.
The early-stage startup will also soon allow digital termination of international money transfers and cross-border remittances after finalising strategic partnerships with other companies operating in different African countries.
Co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) Bwalya Kampamba said Mangwee – which was formed as a company last year – was operating in a country where over 40 per cent of Zambians were excluded from the formal financial sector.
“Mangwee was developed for the unbanked to provide them with a quality payment system that is secure and affordable,” he said.
Zambia already has a number of players in the payments space, including Zoona, Airtel Money and MTN Money, but Kampamba said they had their limitations.
“Today, mobile money transfer services are growing at a faster rate, but not in a way we believe to be the most convenient for users in the long term. Most money transfer services are difficult to use and expensive,” he said.
Mangwee promotes the use of user-to-user transfers, which it hopes will increase the adoption of mobile money in Zambia. The startup is currently self-funded, but is seeking investment to finance its expansion, which includes growing its agent network and user base.
“We are very happy with the response received so far from the general public. In less than three months, we have registered over 1,500 users on the platform, recruited 36 agents who are operating countrywide, and our social media following has attracted over 2,000 users in just a few months,” Kampamba said.
Mangwee charges a fee for each transaction processed on its system.
“Agents earn a commissions for every transaction they successfully process on our platform. We are not generating much revenue at the moment as users are still making enquiries and trying to develop confidence and trust in our service. Most contacts we have had with clients are enquiries about the service and charges,” said Kampamba.
The startup is confident it will see uptake, however, and though currently only active in Zambia for now it has further expansion in mind.
“We have plans to expand to other territories in Africa during the first quarter of 2019. Targeted markets include West Africa and Southern and Eastern Africa,” Kampamba said.