Mobipay revolutionises cellphone industry
Innovative Namibian company Mobipay, recipient of Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) finance, is simplifying and improving life for Namibians and their communities by developing transaction systems for mobile devices. The dream of establishing Mobipay was born when partners in Aantu Investments, Amos Shiyuka, Claus Deckenbrock, Sedrick van Turah and Dee Sauls, saw similar mobile payment concepts in other African countries, which prompted them to begin discussions to start a company in the same line.
“After seeing the concept in other African countries we came to the realisation that, if cellphones are so powerful on the continent and the world, today, we could turn it into a tool that can do almost anything. We saw an opportunity for the cellphone to be more than just a receiving and calling device, but a multitasking tool, which can carry out other functions,” says executive director, Shiyuka.
According to Shiyuka, they decided that, as most people own cellphones, they would ‘convert that tool into a wallet’. This means that people no longer have to carry cash, but can access virtual money on their mobile Mobipay accounts, allowing them to make various transactions at the touch of a button.
The partners researched the concept by going as far as Kenya, Tanzania and countries in West Africa to study the models being used there, with a view of modifying these models to fit Namibian needs and the local market.
Shiyuka says: “Initially we thought the target market would be pre-dominantly young professionals and SMEs. However, we realised that this product is for everyone who owns a cellphone. Children can buy airtime, their parents can transfer money to them, people can purchase or pay for electricity, transfer money to their families and friends and do other bill payments from their phones.”
People can transfer funds from their bank accounts to their Mobipay account or they can deposit money at any Mobipay agent, which will go onto their phone. It is like a debit account that allows all kinds of transactions such as paying bills, transferring money and purchasing at retail shops by swiping with their cellphone,” he explains.
The company has grown dramatically since its establishment, in 2010. Mobipay has branches in the Erongo, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, Khomas and Oshana regions, which Shiyuka describes as the most populated regions in the country.