Cellulant, the pan-African payments firm has been quietly building a payments super app to bring bill payments, remittances, lending, group investments, food and gas orders in one app in its eight markets across Africa.
The firm has now announced a major rebrand of its consumer brand Mula to Tingg- a unified platform that will offer all that comprehensive list of digital financial services we listed above; making it Africa’s first payments super app.
According to the rebrand communication from their official LinkedIn account, Tingg is their new and unifying brand identity that will deliver on the promise of a robust single payments platform for Africa’s marketplace, layered to cater for different value chains. The new brand combines all the best features that made Mula- a bills payment platform great, and what the original mark -Cellulant- stands for, whilst simultaneously moving the brand forward.
Cellulant’s dream of a Single Consumer Brand Across Africa
When Cellulant founders Ken Njoroge and Bolaji Akinboro wrote the company’s mission on a serviette 17 years ago, they envisioned building a single platform, a consumer product with a unifying promise across Africa that would signify their uniqueness, dependability, innovative agility and most of all, the pride of building practical technology-based solutions for everyday Africans, wherever they are.
4 years ago, Cellulant launched Mula, an innovative payments service that changed how consumers managed and paid their bills. Finally, one no longer needed to remember all those pay bills and account numbers or when the utility bills were due. With Mula, you could pay all your utility bills, purchase airtime, all within one service that managed all your payments, send you reminders and even enabled you to link all your payment methods such as mobile money debit/credit card or even to your bank directly.
A lot has changed in those 4 years in the payments landscape across Africa with customers and businesses alike looking for integrated ways of accessing services. Tingg promises to address these challenges by providing an amalgamated platform that overcomes regional barriers and provides a seamless payment experience for businesses and customers across Africa.
Tingg delivering economic inclusion in Nigeria
In Nigeria, Tingg has been operating very successfully as a fully-fledged comprehensive digital financial services product. Its genesis was the implementation of the GES project in which Cellulant developed a mobile e-wallet to facilitate the transfer of mobile money to farmers as subsidies from the Nigerian Government. The GES project went to become one of the largest and most impactful Agritech solutions in Africa.
Cellulant in Nigeria has been rolling out the Tingg Pay, Tingg Neighborhood Bankers Service (Tingg NBS) and Tingg Marketplace- innovative mobile-powered financial services that provide solutions to three market segments; Consumers, corporates & governments and traders. Businesses, banks, and government agencies are leveraging on the Tingg marketplace solution to perform the last mile payment for farmers and the unbanked in the rural areas.
Tingg has since become the new way of banking for many in the rural Northern parts of Nigeria without access to formal banking services and to urban dwellers, an easier, safer and faster way the making payments to collect digital payments, send and receive money at a low cost, using various channels as well as a marketplace for traders to grow their business through easy access to financial services, markets, and extra revenues.
What is Tingg and how different is it from Mula
Unlike Mula which has become synonymous with bill payments, Tingg is a more layered digital payment & commerce platform that will cater for different consumer and business segments in sectors such as banking, eCommerce, hospitality, food, travel, logistics and Agriculture enabling to access to financial services anywhere across Africa.
Tingg has a comprehensive list of services for consumers and businesses. Depending on which country consumers can use the Tingg service either via mobile app, web, POS or from a Tingg banking agent to carry out P2P money transfers, group payments, shopping online, group investments, lending and link all mobile money, debit/credit cards and banks with ease from their mobile phones.
We spoke to Divine Muragijimana, the Cellulant Chief of Brand on why they rebranded and consolidated their brands-
“Fundamentally, when you think about our vision of connecting everyone to everything, it boils down to providing an inclusive platform where commerce takes place seamlessly. Technology is making payments easier, faster and cheaper thus putting the focus on the exchange of goods and services and adding value to the end-consumer. This is what Tingg offers for individuals and businesses who are looking for a simplified, personalized one-stop-shop for their lifestyle needs,” she explained.
She also shared some insights on the importance of solving the challenge of fragmentation that fintechs, banks, and mobile operators across the continent continue to grapple with.
“ No matter how you look at the future in Africa, it is centered around using mobile technology to solve everyday challenges. According to worldbank 66% of adults in sub saharan Africa have no bank account. The impact and role of mobile continues to bridge this gap and payments as a service continues to move from being a mere in person exchange of value to being a highly accessible autonomous enabler of all sorts of services. Basically, today, everyone has the potential to be a merchant where buyers are becoming sellers and sellers vice versa. Payment gateway providers such as Cellulant make it possible for such interactions to happen.”
The race to become Africa’s super app
By launching Tingg in 8 African markets, Cellulant’s digital payment infrastructure will connect consumers and businesses to over 120 banks, 40 mobile network operators in one inclusive network allowing for interoperability that has eluded numerous players in the African payments space. This sets Tingg on the path to accelerate Africa’s digital transformation by connecting consumers and businesses to a simple, fast, secure and more superior financial services experience.