Archives for posts with tag: Jide Akindele

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New mobile payment product M-Iflo launched to minimize risks as it is of great concern in the African markets.

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MMIT in partnership with Bango, a leader in mobile payments, has officially launched a product called M-Iflo to revolutionize the security of mobile payment environment in Sub-Sahara Africa. The M-Iflo product provides a safe payment solution that enables online transactions for digital content, which will unlock many opportunities in the world of mobile payments for Africa.

Africa is rapidly becoming a mobile hot spot with many consumers’ displaying their natural ability to quickly adapt to new technologies introduced to the market. The product is tailored to the African market by directly addressing the concerns surrounding the safety of payments and reducing the risks of transactions, which remains a barrier to doing business for new entrants into African markets. As a result of merchants’ fears regarding the technological and political risks factors, Africa has in many ways been limited or excluded from many of the break through technologies within the areas of mobile commerce and mobile billing. Jide Akindele, CEO of MMIT commented on these issues explaining, “unfortunately corruption remains a substantial risk within the mobile money industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. This has resulted in a reluctance from the world’s app stores and mobile brands to engage the African market.”

M-Iflo essentially is an intermediary between mobile merchants and mobile wallet providers. The product acts as a payment verification portal that provides a secure way for mobile content providers to reach African markets. This enables consumers of mobile wallets to select their wallet provider as a form of payment at the check out page of the transacting website. M-Iflo additionally allows those without mobile wallets to buy content from major app stores by using a top up card that can be purchased at retail outlets. Upon purchase of the top up card, codes are provided for the customer to enter upon checkout of a merchant site to complete the transaction online.

M-Iflo minimizes associated risks with online transactions and allows merchants to be paid up front, thus creating a work around to the common complexities of conducting business in Africa. This addresses app stores and merchant concerns of payments being held up in one country based on bureaucracy, fraud, or changes in regulation. Bango CEO Ray Anderson said: “There’s a smartphone boom in Africa and a frustrated demand for digital content. App stores and other merchants have been waiting for the reassurance of M-Iflo, which limits the risk of doing business in Africa, and has been designed to suit the ‘cash up front’ instincts of the African market.”

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M-Iflo has already integrated with major mobile wallet providers in Africa, including Mobipay in Kenya, Stanbic IBTC Mobile Money in Nigeria, and is working to add more to the list of partners. Jide Akindele, CEO of MMIT stated, “Merchants in the western market are yearning for a suitable payment process platform that minimizes their risk in the African market. We believe that our M-Iflo platform gives our clients that capability to do so. We look forward to opening up access to content store owners that are looking at the African market via Bango and MMIT’s Mobile money payment processing platform.”

MMIT is looking forward to this summer as the product officially launches in Nigeria with Stanbic within the coming weeks followed by Kenya’s launch later this summer.


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Stanbic IBTC MobileMoney partners with MMIT; provides payment options for international online shopping

25 October 2013 Lagos, Nigeria – Stanbic IBTC Bank and Mobile Money Info Tech Limited, MMIT, have partnered to bring international online shopping payment options to Nigerian consumers.  Stanbic’s MobileMoney platform will be the first mobile money operator in Nigeria that offers the service of allowing consumers who do not have a credit card to pay for goods through their mobile money wallets when shopping on international app sites.

Customers who operate Stanbic IBTC Bank’s *909# MobileMoney wallets will be able to shop on international app sites such as Amazon, the Android store, Playstation, and other gaming sites. They will be given the option of making card less payments through their mobile money wallets; with this option any customer with a smart phone will be able to make purchases on these online sites regardless of where they reside in Nigeria.

Thabo Makoko, Head of E-Business at Stanbic IBTC Bank, described the partnership as another step towards financial inclusion for individuals who are usually not able to shop online because of the lack of credit and credit cards. “Mobile payments have taken a new turn in Nigeria and the days of being inconvenienced or excluded from participating in the digital economy as a result of ones inability to produce credit or debit card details for online payments are over.

“We want to provide more opportunities for the under banked in every part of Nigeria – especially the small business owners; we want to be known as the financial service partner that opens doors for our customers; empowering them to grow their businesses and lives. Removing the barriers to participating in the digital economy, the online shopping process for small business owners, youths, and the under banked will greatly reduce barriers to success in acquiring tools to improve lives”.

Jide Akindele, chief executive officer of MMIT, also commented on the partnership. “We are excited about our partnership with Stanbic IBTC Bank. We see this as a great opportunity for Stanbic IBTC mobile money subscribers who will be able to make more financial decisions.

“This partnership will make Stanbic IBTC mobile money account holders the first in Nigeria to enjoy the option of making payments on foreign online stores.”

Stanbic IBTC Bank intends to reduce the gap in access to financial services between the fully banked and under banked through the use of mobile money in every part of Nigeria. With our MobileMoney wallet the bank is getting closer to achieving this objective.

About Stanbic IBTC

Stanbic IBTC Bank is a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group, to which Stanbic IBTC Holdings belongs, is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 18 key sub-Saharan countries and other emerging markets; Standard Bank has been in operation for 150 years and is focused on building first-class on-the-ground banks in chosen countries in Africa and connecting other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other.

For more information visit http://www.stanbicibtcbank.com

 About MMIT

Mobile Media Info Tech Limited (MMIT) is a mobile software development company with a mission to revolutionize money transfer capabilities, mobile banking, and mobile payment processes. MMIT creates and distributes proprietary mobile technology platforms to augment ways in which mobile and web users can make financial transactions for personal and emergency purposes.

 For more information visit: www.mmitonline.com

The African consumer market is regarded as the Next Investment Frontier with a population of a billion plus people.  In 2012 Africa was home to 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the World and was the second fastest growing region of the World next to Asia.  With this growth has come prosperity and rising incomes.  Sub-Sahara Africa currently has a GDP, Gross Domestic Product, of $1.263 trillion as of 2011 according to the World Bank, and that number is expected to grow to $2.6 trillion by the year 2020.

The continent has also seen a steady annual growth of GDP of 4.5% over the last decade, much higher than the developed World during that same time.  It is also estimated that close to 128 million households across the continent will have increased discretionary income and that consumer spending will increase to $1.4 trillion by 2020.  Discretionary income is defined as $5,000 or more per year and where 50% of spending is on non-food items.

Businesses are trying to capture the rising middle classes in Africa.  Euromonitor estimates that there are over 313 million middle class consumers in Africa and that this group is growing.Image

The population is also expected to double by 2050, and is urbanizing rapidly with an expanding working age population.  Sub-Saharan Africa also has a large youth population with 62 percent of its citizens under the age of 25.  These youth consumers are digitally savvy and brand conscious.  They desire quality brand name products and are sophisticated in their knowledge of these products.  Technology is at the forefront for this age demographic and their technology of choice is the mobile phone.

According to a McKinsey & Company African Consumer Insights Survey, 25% of all urban consumers, which is a market of nearly 80 million people, access the internet daily from their mobile phones.

Nigeria is one of the hotspots for mobile and I spoke with Jide Akindele, CEO of MMIT a mobile payment processor based in Lagos on the role of mobile in Nigeria for the West African consumer.  “Our company operates in the Mobile Money space and we are seeing tremendous growth in this area.  Mobile money is shaping up to be something interesting for West African consumers.  Mobile money aggregators are trying to find a niche market that can latch on to these consumers and have a presence in this growing industry.  One mobile money company in Nigeria that has done a great job with this is Paga.  From the beginning Paga put a lot of emphasis on making sure the name Paga was a household name that everyone in Nigeria could recognize, speak about and use has an example when describing the industry. This has been a major plus for Paga and this business model is a wave which all the other mobile money aggregators are trying to replicate.”

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Growth is not only country specific but is regional specific.  East Africa has one of the strongest regional trade blocks on the continent, in EAC, and Kenya has become the IT hub of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mobile has also played its role in this part of the World.  I spoke with Denis Bogere, a native of Jinja, Uganda and a graduate of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass-Boston.   “How much would you like to pay? It may seem to be simple logic but that phrase implies that a Ugandan consumer cannot be put in one singularity. Ugandan consumers have diverse needs along the lines of affordability. There are three prime consumers in Uganda: the poor, middle class, and rich and their consumer habits are affected by aspects such as income. However, regardless of their differences in lifestyle, ability and purchasing power of goods and services these consumers share a common thread which is their affinity for mobile technology. The mobile phone has not only become the basis for communication and connectivity, but also for money transfers for daily purchases.  This can partly explain the explosive use of advertising platforms via the mobile.  The growth potential that mobile technology offers the key to unlocking the mind of a Ugandan consumer which may as well help in understanding the future of the mobile industry and its growth potential.”

In this article I have looked at the growth of Africa, the rising middle class, the youth consumer, and the importance mobile technology plays on the continent.  This a 2-part series and I will next look at the obstacles still facing Sub-Sahara Africa and what the continent can do to ensure continued and sustainable growth.

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MMIT is happy to announce our partnership with FETS in providing mobile content payment for Facebook, BlackBerry App World, EA Sports and others in Nigeria.  This partnership will solidify MMIT in the Nigerian mobile banking and payment space and takes us one step closer to our official product launch in November 2012!

FETS MD Dare Owolabi and MMIT Ceo Jide Akindele signing partnership papers

Check out FETS at http://www.fets.com.ng/index.html

AB: Today I am speaking with Jide Akindele, CEO and founder of MMIT, Mobile Info Tech Limited.  MMIT is a software development company based in Lagos, Nigeria and Boston, MA.   MMIT’s primary focus is the mobile banking industry and MMIT is currently creating a proprietary mobile platform that allows customers to use their mobile phones for personal use such as gaming and social networking, financial use specifically for money transfers and banking, and the purchasing of products and items via the scratch card concept.   Before we get into the meat of the interview I thought I would ask Jide why he chose the mobile banking industry, and why more specifically West Africa and Nigeria?

Jide: My moment of clarity took place on a trip back from Nigeria to the US.  I tried to make a payment for a product in the United States with my Visa Card from Africa and I noticed that it rejected my payment. I thought about individuals in Africa who wouldn’t be able to obtain a credit or debit card to make payments online, so I decided something needed to be done to simplify the payment process for the African market, but that also worked within the existing local payment infrastructure. I then decided to partner up with different content owners in the United States, Europe, and Asia to target Africans for E-Commerce and M-Commerce payment via our proprietary payment gateway.

AB: Could you tell us a little bit about your company and your product and services?

Jide: We have three proprietary products called M-Content, M-Diaspora, and M-Merchant. Each product caters to specifically to African individuals either in Africa or abroad.  Our M-Content focuses solely on Social networking, gaming and interactive sites. This platform will allow a consumer to be able to top up their Skype account, pay for games on Facebook (we call it Facebook Wallet), pay for content at the Apple Store, Android Store, Blackberry App world store, pay for access to EA Sports online console gaming, etc.  Our M-Diaspora software is MMIT’s international mobile money transfer platform, through which money is sent and received globally on transaction requests from any MMIT M-Wallet user world-wide. This is similar to any other cross-border transfer but the our platform allows you to instruct payment from one country to another country from the comfort of your mobile phone or computer-regardless of where you are located and it will get delivered to the recipient through an improved systematized delivery arrangement that epitomizes security, comfort and minimal transaction charges.  Our M-Merchant is a software platform that allows consumers to purchase items online via the scratch card concept. In the African market consumers are known for not having the capability to go online to order goods or pay for services based on the fact that they don’t qualify for a credit card and their computers do not receive recognition from the IP address that the consumer is browsing. MMIT will tie in with merchants such as Gap, Banana Republic, Target, and Wal-Mart to use our M-Merchant platform so consumers in Nigeria can now pay for goods abroad and have it shipped to them in Nigeria. Since this will be a pre-paid business we will create a pool account that allows the merchants access to the payments made by consumers in Nigeria. This will allow the low-end consumer who doesn’t have a credit card to shop online via the scratch card concept.

AB: Could you describe some of the difficulties you face working in an emerging market that you don’t face working in a mature market such as the US or Europe?

Jide: The difficulties I have faced in working in an emerging market are the timeliness factor of projects and the usual change of management when dealing with clients. Unlike the US and Europe it is never a smooth process when it comes to keeping to timelines and there is a constant change in the management of your emerging World clients.

AB: What in your opinion are opportunities that exist in the emerging world that are not available in more traditional market settings?

Jide: Opportunities in the emerging market are huge.  Unlike the traditional market setting the small guys are competing against the giants of the game and you need something with a lot of fire power to really make a mark. What I have seen is the simplicity of a product really makes a difference in the emerging market and to the emerging market consumer. What we have done here at MMIT is take the traditional way of providing payment and simplified it to suit the emerging market’s needs. Simplicity is what works in the emerging World and that’s what I feel really doesn’t exist in the traditional market.

AB: What are the current trends and where do you see the mobile market, but also your company MMIT, being in the next 5 years?

Jide: Well the current trends in the market are content creation, what content can you provide that will draw the consumer to your product.  That is a major trend and it will become a huge thing in the future.  As far as MMIT, I see us being a major player in bringing international content to the emerging market based around our various products.  In the next 5 years we see ourselves being a major payment processor in the African and emerging market scene.

Thank you to Jide for taking time from his busy schedule to meet with me and I hope you enjoyed the insight Mr. Akindele has provided.  You can learn more about MMIT and its products at http://www.mmitonline.com and also check out the link for a recent article on their partnership with Bango, http://www.punchng.com/business/technology/mmit-bango-introduce-virtual-wallet-for-online-transactions/.  Jide can also be reached at jide.a@mmitonline.com.