Bango, mobile payments firm powering payment for Facebook, Google Play, Firefox Marketplace, EA Sports and BlackBerry World and MMIT, an African based mobile payment software developer have together launched M-Iflọ, an online billing mechanism and verification portal for digital wallets.
M-Iflọ is designed to fit the cash-exchange culture of Africa and offer reassurance to app stores and digital merchants and give millions of Africans the ability to make mobile payments for apps, games and other smartphone content in Kenya and Nigeria, and soon in Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia.
According to Bango CEO Ray Anderson, “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-Iflọ, which limits the risk of doing business in Africa, and has been designed to suit the ‘cash up front’ instincts of the African market.”
Integrated with mobile wallet providers such as Mobipay in Kenya, Stanbic IBTC Mobile Money in Nigeria, M-Iflọ will act as a payment verification portal for mobile content providers to reach the African market. It allows consumers with a mobile wallet account in Africa to pick their wallet provider as a payment option at the checkout page of a content site. The wallet holder enters their mobile wallet number for account verification and obtains the content.M-Iflọ acts as an intermediary between mobile merchants and mobile wallet providers.
“Merchants in the western market are yearning for a suitable payment process platform that minimizes their risk in the African market,” said Jide Akindele, CEO of MMIT. “We believe that our M-Iflọ 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.”
M-Iflọ is expected to minimize risks and allows merchants to be paid up front, neatly sidestepping the complexity of doing business in Africa. The result is that app stores and other merchants no longer need to fear that payment will be held up in another country based on bureaucracy, fraud or changes in regulation, thus furthering Africa’s mobile commerce growth.