In a bid to serve merchants from across the world, Kopo Kopo, a software company that allows merchants to accept mobile money payments, has set its sights beyond its roots in East Africa and is ready to help telcos, banks and third-party payment providers with building an active merchant payment network. To walk the talk, the firm has rebranded its logo and revamped its site.
In an exclusive interview with TechMoran, Ben Lyon of Kopo Kopo said that 2014 is the year of partnering with payment providers to build and manage merchant networks.
“After receiving inquiries from across the world, we are now ready to help merchants from anywhere in the world to accept mobile money payments. We are launching a white-label service for telcos, mobile money operators, banks and other financial institutions just as we have done in Kenya.”
Kopo Kopo will retain its Kenyan office but will begin the process of assigning solutions teams to clients anywhere in the world to deploy the service. Ben says a partnership approach will allow them to improve speed to market in new regions.
“Launching in every country means creating new infrastructure which is time consuming. Instead, we will deploy our platform with our partners and train their teams with the necessary skills they need to execute”, he says.
Kopo Kopo will focus on offering training as a service to its international clients such as mobile operators as it’s cheaper and will accelerate them to get up and running. The firm will also agree on a software-as-a-service model with its clients and as well give them CRM, analytics, business intelligence, and help the clients to do mass rollouts by directing them on user engagement and education and customer acquisition.
“We want to help telcos, banks and merchants to set up mobile money payments systems in a snap, so all they have to do is set up a user acquisition strategy instead of wasting time on the technology. We will offer a software solution plus training to drive user acquisition. This way we can both accelerate time to market and focus on building a profitable merchant network out of the gate,” Lyon told TechMoran.
In Kenya, Kopo Kopo’s partnership with Safaricom, the country’s leading telco and mobile money operator, has seen it power over 12,500 merchants to accept mobile money as a payment option. Kopo Kopo has also worked with Vodacom and Tigo in Tanzania to allow merchants to accept mobile money payments.
Recently, Kopo Kopo and Safaricom introduced online mobile money payments and soon after that, it entered a partnership with 3G Direct Pay, to power payments for tour agencies and airlines.
It’s this same model that Kopo Kopo expects to work beyond East Africa to power its clients from as far as South America to accept mobile money, offline and online. Their expansion will help them reach out to telcos that are running mobile money and want to include retail transactions instead of just mobile money transfer. The expansion is also a sign of growth and may be a chance for Kopo Kopo’s services to be available to clients out of Africa where mobile money is still virgin.