Johan Meyer on Wallettec’s expansion into Kenya

smb-pos-on-a-tabletJohan Meyer, CEO and Founder of Wallettec, a PaaS (Payment as a Service) platform enables a retailer to accept any type of mobile transaction or currency type at their Point Of Sale. Through a single integration, retailers can enable consumers to transact at their Point Of Sale using only their mobile phones.

Wallettec is currently operating in Kenya, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. It aims to expand to Asia by the end of 2016. It is able to process every digital wallet available including M-Pesa, Airtel, Kopo-Kopo and Bitcoin. Some of the companies that have intergrated  with Wallettec in Kenya include Eko Biashara, Bluelinx and Rash-infotech.

Johan Meyer is a seasoned entrepreneur, innovator, inventor and software developer with a vast experience in mobile and banking industry having started in the banking and financial service industry at Merrill Lynch, Bank of England, Standard Bank and First National Bank. He has participated in large mobile solutions for MTV, Sony, Aljazeera, Blinko and various mobile banking systems in Africa and the USA. He holds a Cambridge University Diploma in Information Technology and Sun Certification.

He is also a conference speaker, a mobile industry thought leader and occasionally writes on mobile money for major different newspapers.

TechMoran met  him and this is what he told us on Wallettec’s expansion to Kenya and the contribution it hopes to make to the mobile industry in your country.

What is Wallettec and what does it do?

Wallettec is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that integrates any banking system or digital currency into any payment platform, allowing consumers to pay using their digital currency or bank account by passing all major card networks. 

This means Wallettec enables you, the customer, to pay at any integrated Point of Sale, E-Commerce website or any commerce platform using your mobile mobile money account. The merchant will NEVER know what payment method you used or any of your personal information, making it the most secure payment method around.

In which markets is Wallettec present?

Wallettec is currently operating in Canada, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, DRC, Uganda, Namibia and South Africa. Although we operate in these countries we deliver different services in different countries. To give you an idea;

  • In Canada Wallettec is mostly working with companies offering international remittance between Canada and Africa.
  • In Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and the DRC we work with local merchants and banks to do Mobile Money to Bank payments. This allows a merchant to accept payments from ANY mobile money account directly into his bank account without the need to have any mobile money account.
  • In Namibia and South Africa we do mobile money and mobile payments integrations between the providers and the POS systems, E-Commecre and M-Commerce websites.
  • In Kenya, Ghana, Uganda we work with local banks and mobile money providers to enable users to effortlessly transfer money from any bank account into any mobile money account.

How big is the problem Wallettec is solving?

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I can bore you with figures of how big the mobile money markets are in the world or the number of daily transactions processed in the different countries but people already know these figures. Wallettec’s aim is not only to make the acceptance of payments easier but to solve the huge security risks surrounding payments.

Banks, financial institutions even mobile phone companies are spending millions of dollars on developing secure ways to transmit payment information between the merchant and the payment processors. And still they are being hacked, financial information is still compromised and customers are forced to share payment information with merchants.

Wallettec’s solution solves this. With our solution NO payment information is EVER transmitted between the merchant and the payment processor. Neither the merchant nor Wallettec will EVER know who the customer is or what payment process the customer used. The only way to secure payment information is never to share it and Wallettec made that possible.

Although Wallettec can be seen as a payments aggregator the Wallettec payment process is a convenient and secure way of accepting payments benefitting the merchant, customer and payments provider.

Why Kenya and why at this time?

Kenya was one of the first African countries we approached. The reason behind this was simple; Kenya is the world leader in Mobile Money and Mobile Payments. Although we started negotiations with key players in Kenya in 2015 we waited till now to go public because we wanted to solve a bigger problem and we can confidently say that we have done just that. We can now offer the Kenyan market a truly unique payment acceptance product.

What’s Wallettec’s vision for Kenya or mobile money in general?

Wallettec is working on ways to improve the way merchants accept payments via mobile money. Looking at Mobile Money in Africa you will notice that the amount of providers are increasing, more and more Mobile Money providers are being born and the users are flooded with options. Wallettec’s vision for Mobile Money is to become the provider that will combine the product. Yes, I know that there will always be different providers and competition is good but our aim is to enable users to transact between different providers as easily as they do within the same system. For example, an M-Pesa customer must be able to send money to an Airtel customer as easily as sending money to a different M-Pesa customer. My vision is that Mobile Money will become the main source of financial inclusion not only in Kenya but all over Africa and the rest of the world. Ambitious I know but doable.  

Does Walletec already have clients here and what’s its business model?

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Yes. We are working with local companies like MVenrd, Eko Biashara, EasyPOS, Impala Pay and a few smaller providers and merchants in the Kenyan market. Wallettec business model is charging the merchant a percentage fee per transaction. 

What do merchants gain as Wallettec’s customers?

 

Allow me to answer this by using an example. Currently a merchant who would like to accept payment from Airtel Money, MTN Mobile Money and M-Pesa needs to have an account with each of them. Each of these providers has different fee structures, different cash-out restrictions which makes it very difficult for the merchants. This results to merchants choosing a single provider and ignoring the others. 

Wallettec solve this problem. We allow any merchant to accept payments for all of the above mentioned mobile money providers directly into the merchant’s bank account for a single fee. All the merchant needs is a bank account. On top of that we enable a merchant to provide services like remittance, selling of prepaid services and cash in and cash out abilities between all the listed mobile money providers. 

Making the acceptance of payments easier and saving the merchants money in transaction costs and accounting costs is a true saving for the merchants.

Where else do you plan to launch Wallettec after Kenya?

One of the countries we are really keen on is Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is currently sitting with a huge cash problem and by implementing Wallettec’s solution in that country we can help people by giving them a way to trade without cash. Wallettec can enable each and every person to use the money in their bank account without the need to withdraw the cash or converting it into any other digital format or using the traditional card networks. Making transacting more affordable and a lot easier and keeping all the money in the country. We will also be exploring Botswana, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

What are Wallettec’s biggest challenges?

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Wallettec faced different challenges in different countries, but our biggest challenge is the credit card companies. As a company we are competing with some of the biggest companies in the world, VISA and Mastercard. Even though that’s one of our biggest challenges it’s also one of our biggest advantages.

Any plans to add more features or offerings on Wallettec?

As any business Wallettec is continuously growing and evolving. We are continuously looking at ways to work with providers and payment systems to add new features to our platform and making payments faster, simpler and more secure for all the parties involved. Unfortunately I cannot tell you what we are working on but to give you a hint our next big future will change the way products like SnapScan, Zapper even Apple Pay operate.

What makes Wallettec different?

Wallettec is focused on not changing the way our potential clients and customers do their business.

Our focus is to provide them with a solution that seamlessly adapts to their current POS system, and in the process allow them to increase their bottom line revenues and provide their customers with new and exciting ways to pay for their services. With our solutions being agnostic, we offer a way for wallet companies and 3rd party payment companies to give their customers a way to use their product and services at any POS terminal.

As a wallet integration company Wallettec is the best solution to your biggest problem: The ability for your consumers to use their mobile money at the Point of Sale. This is the point where they undeniably need/want to spend their money. Wallettec will enable you to turn your POS Terminals into a mobile payment terminal and enable consumers to use their money to pay you at no risk. With Wallettec, your buyers can now send, receive and even spend money at your POS terminal.

 

 

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