“mKey Keyboard app is not trying to be another WeChat,” said Finserve’s Managing Director, Jack Ngare, “but blends the social and financial into an integrated lifestyle providing unparalleled convenience.” mKey helps users not to switch between apps to perform everyday functions like reading news, paying for goods and services, sharing emojis or even applying for a loan.
Unlike WeChat which is a multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app, mKey is a Keyboard app with a mobile wallet simply connecting users to their favorite apps such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and their banks and mobile money wallets and news platforms. mKey doesnt want to replace one’s M-PESA or Instagram or YouTube, it aims at bringing all this services into one place and as well helping users connect with vendors and shops or financial institutions online.
With mKey, a user can send and receive money, transfer cash between various banks and mobile wallets such as T-Kash, M-PESA and Airtel Money and as well open a group account where up to 10 members can make group payments and transactions. The app also has a reward system to motivate users to actively use it. In mKey, a user can buy airtime, transfer of funds and get a loan.
On the other hand, WeChat’s first version was a text platform, then later added voice messages shorter than 60 seconds and later added ‘Shake’ and ‘Message in a Bottle’ to allow users to become friends with strangers. WeChat added social platform Moments to enable users to share their daily lives with WeChat friends then added WeChat Official Accounts, WeChat Pay, an emoji store and a game centre, moment feature for sharing of short videos, a fitness tracker, group texting and calling, events, anonymous texting, gifts, stickers, uploading videos, call forwarding, free calls, make phone calls, and integration with other apps such for cab hailing, restaurants among others.
mKey only links you to your money, your social networks, your news sources as well as cool new emojis to share with your friends as you wait for your mKey loan to be approved.
The mkey Keyboard app is more than a digital wallet where users need to load it with money to spend it. mKey allows users to deposit, save and borrow apart from spending. Users can deposit money using Equitel Mobile, Eazzy Banking, M-PESA, Equity Agents and many more to come. With money deposited, a user can send to the bank, send to a mobile number, send to a social media contact, pay bills, buy airtime, buy goods, get a loan or withdraw the cash.It just makes perfect sense that users have to send money to whatever bank to use it. Unlike other apps where users still have to send money to M-PESA to use it.
mKey aims to break the dependence on M-PESA, a mobile wallet which has its own limitations. Because it can be linked to one’s bank account, a user can avoid depositing cash from M-Pesa or through M-PESA but straight from Equity Bank to mKey. mKey aims to remove M-PESA wallet in your financial transactions. M-PESA has been Kenya’s great linkage between banks and merchants. mKey aims to make this shift from M-PESA TO BANK or Bank through M-PESA to other merchants or apps possible by allowing a user to spend directly from the bank or an agent. Being an Equity Group product, other banks might take longer before they are added to the platform.
For those who want to know, a mobile wallet is a digital version of your wallet that stores payment details such as virtual credit or debit cards to make payments on the go, send or receive money from other users. mKey is not build on M-PESA, its a different ecosystem on its own and aims to break the dependency on M-PESA which is becoming expensive for banks. Every other bank is trying to break the monotony of M-PESA by developing apps that allow their users to access and use funds and loans directly from the bank minus going through M-PESA.
mKey allows groups of 10 people or less to open a project based account where they will set goals and save or contribute towards them. It can be a wedding group or a building society or a holiday adventure plan. This was influenced by the fact that Kenya is the home of Harambee-pulling together where investment groups have brought together hundreds of people to save and invest together. Equity Group, the parent firm of Finserve Africa which developed this app is itself a former building society. The Group Account feature therefore makes sense no only for Kenyans but for East Africans where the community investment groups have become popular with the day. For youth who just go out and have fun, they can split the bill inside the mKey.
WeChat has the bill feature where users can split but has no group investment model which is the emphasis of mKey which also comes with ability to buy airtime, buy goods, pay bills, send money via social media and even save. One will be able to load money to the wallet via Mpesa or Equity agents. Other than just saving and spending, you will also be able to access loans from between Ksh. 300 and Ksh. 1 Million.
Yetumoji is one of the best features loved by most users in the app. International emoji apps like Bitmoji don’t take in consideration local buzzwords, memes and expressions but Yetumoji gives local users the local feel and they can easily identify with the emojis. Yetumoji will help mKey users stick around in the app and chat with their friends and in the process send them money. Yetumoji is like finding an ice cold Coke soda fridge in a busy library. Banks are trying to be human, Yetumoji is the human element in the banking app allowing users to get their banking activity, get loans, connect with friends and share jokes and memes as they go by their daily activities.
The app being in beta will have some issues but mKey is being updated day by day for bug fixes. Even Steve Jobs didn’t launch a perfect computer when he began but polished day by day. Perfection is the enemy of innovation. Give your feedback below and let us know what you think!