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Home Startups Stax brings offline digital payments to Africa’s individuals & merchants who have no internet access

Stax brings offline digital payments to Africa’s individuals & merchants who have no internet access

by Sam Wakoba
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 Stax built by Hover Developer Services, is a consumer-focused fintech app built for the African market to power offline and online payments for individuals and small businesses, without the need for an internet or data connection.

Stax works offline and allows users to move money anywhere and at any time without worrying about data or internet connection. The platform also allows users to move money from multiple accounts. Users can send and request money, buy airtime and pay bills and monitor their transaction history across all their accounts and check their balance.

According to Ben Lyon, CEO Hover, “The nature of our technology allows us to support any service that is available via USSD, which means Stax has the potential to support virtually every mobile banking and wallet service in Africa.”

Stax links financial accounts – traditional bank, digital banks and mobile money accounts – on a single app. The app is built on USSD and is able to integrate any bank (traditional, digital or mobile money) account with a USSD function and for users, interfacing with USSD is fully automated.

Stax users never have to dial a code and the platform works across Africa allowing users to transact from anywhere within Africa without the need of an internet connection or mobile data.

According to the team, Stax is currently active in 15 countries in Africa and plans to expand to 50+ by 2022. Stax is currently available in beta on Android.

Lyon, a founder ad former CEO of Kenya’s Kopo Kopo launched Hover, an Android SDK to enable developers to embed mobile money into their apps. The USSD API for Android enables developers to programmatically navigate multi-step USSD menus in the background of their applications. Before Stax, Hover has been used to build super-apps, bundle buying apps, streamline in-app payments, and more.

Speaking to TechMoran earlier Lyon said, “Using Hover, developers can now automate USSD-based mobile financial services (e.g. Airtel Money, MTN Mobile Money, etc.) without having to integrate with mobile network operators. Because USSD uses the voice channel and is not dependent on mobile data, which means we’ve identified a way to deliver lightweight data to users that have no mobile data balance, have mobile data turned off, or are in low-bandwidth (e.g. 2G) coverage areas.”

Based on his previous experience as co-founder & CEO of KopoKopo in Kenya, Lyon found that it takes too long to integrate with every mobile banking and/or mobile money service on a one-by-one basis. If a user wanted to launch a service across East Africa, for example, he or she might need to integrate with 10+ mobile money providers, which could take 12-18 months each. Hover ended that problem for developers and now Stax is solving another major issue for merchants and consumers who have no access to an internet connection.

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