Digital Finance is Africa’s opportunity to leap into the future – Xente


By Our writer.

Africa has been urged to take advantage of the current growth in digital finance to leap into the future.

According to the Xente Tech Limited chief executive officer, Allan Rwakatungu, adopting digital payments will allow faster financial inclusion and trade, an opportunity that the continent should take advantage of.

He notes that people’s adoption of digital payment methods and cross-border payments are on increase, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This, he says, has created an opportunity for financial Technology companies (FinTechs) and the African continent to leap into the future.

Xente Tech Limited is a mobile financial services and e-commerce platform that offers an all-in-one business account that helps business owners and finance teams manage expenses, make payments to team members, suppliers and to collect payments.

Key among its solutions are disbursements – sending mobile money, airtime or data groups of people and payment collections – collecting money from mobile money, Visa or MasterCard, on behalf of businesses.

Rwakatungu adds that the firm is also in the process of launching two other solutions including an Online Payments solution that will enable businesses make online payments with virtual Visa cards and an Expense Management solution that will enable businesses make payments for expenses such as fuel, meals, per diem and other expenses using cards.

This, Rwakatungu explains, will help drive Uganda towards a cashless economy.

“A lot of businesses today manage their expenses manually using cash or cheques. This means that when one needs money for everyday expenses, they have to walk to their accounts department. But now when people are working remotely, that is not possible anymore.

“However, this solution will help businesses continue to do everyday business payments during this pandemic and a lot of businesses are using our solution to pay staff, suppliers and other stakeholders during this pandemic from home,” Rwakatungu says.

While Xente has a number of clients including Jumia, M-Kopa and UAP, among others, Rwakatungu says that about 70% of the FinTech’s clients are women, who he says have been facilitated to work more efficiently.

40 Days 40 FinTechs

Xente Tech is among the 40 financial technology companies participating in the second edition of the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox and Mojaloop Foundation, and sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

The initiative which provides a platform for FinTechs and stakeholders in the digital and financial technology space to exhibit their products and share ideas, seeks to boost the African FinTech ecosystem to enable innovators enjoy sustainable profitability to help them design and deploy affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor.

 “Xente has participated in 40-DayS 40 FinTechs initiative because we believe in partnership and collaboration to move the FinTech industry forward,” Rwakatungu says.

For better service provision, Rwakatungu says that Xente implements LevelOneProject principles that put forward guidance for real time movement and settlement of transactions, which is important especially for people at the bottom of the pyramid.

“We put emphasis on things like progressive Know-Your-Customer (KYC), instant payments, same day settlements and ensuring that our customer care is responsive. To us, these principles give us a competitive advantage.”

Rwakatungu alludes that people are increasingly adopting digital payment methods and cross-border payments, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created an opportunity for FinTechs and the African continent to leap into the future.

He adds that adopting digital payments will allow faster financial inclusion and faster trade.

Solutions lined up

The HiPipo chief executive officer Innocent Kawooya also alludes that the second edition of the 40-Days 40 FinTechs will showcase the best of the multitudes of solutions and products in the digital space.

These will include discussions on and showcases of transformative technologies in the spheres like RoboAdvisor, payments, RegTech, InsurTech, lending, crowd funding and Neobanking, among others.

“Also in the showcase will be cryptocurrencies, Interledger, blockchain, digicash, lucre, cross-border payments, remittances, retirement schemes and new ways of operating bonds,” Kawooya notes, adding that more digital innovation will come in regards to Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

Kawooya also alludes that FinTech in Africa offers attractive opportunities, especially for attractive startups.

“Investors are rightfully picking interest in the various startups that are offering a plethora of services, ranging from payments and lending, remittances, cross-border transfers and neobanks.

“Each of these services solves unique sets of challenges. For example; with cross-border payments comes the opportunity to erase the outrageous rates and bureaucratic bottlenecks that stymie transactions and thus trade among African countries,” Kawooya says.

According to Kawooya, the 40-Days 40 FinTechs initiative seeks to give exposure to the best emerging and transformative innovators of Africa.

“We able to implement this project successfully due to the generous support of the Gates Foundation through the LevelOneProject Initiative. 

The second edition of the #40Days40FinTechs project is expected to end on August 26, 2021.