In these challenging times especially in the period of COVID-19 and its effect on the economy, the role that innovators can play in solving real economic challenges identified in affected communities can’t be underestimated.
This development led to the SADC innovation challenge which was designed to discover and incubate startups with solutions around financial inclusion in the SADC region.
Sponsored by Finmark Trust and curated By HYBR Group, the challenge hosted a virtual demo day that saw three ventures from Botswana and Tanzania showcase their digital solutions.
One of the startups from Botswana, MoneyChaps provides peer-to-peer lending services that offer higher value for receivers while increasing ROI.
Through its mobile-based data-driven platform, MoneyChaps offers financial tools to individuals, businesses and groups.
We caught up with Thabiso Mabaka, Founder and CEO of the Botswana based startup, who took us through how MoneyChaps is redefining in Botswana
Thabiso said that the first time he learnt about fintech, he fell in love with the idea of using technology for financial inclusion.
His first idea was a group savings wallet to transform the traditional group savings into formal financial service that can change people’s lives for the better.
His idea evolved into an all-in-one money management application where people can manage all their finances whether business, personal or groups.
As he continued building his business model, peer to peer lending platform came out as the best inclusive alternative from traditional financial service providers.
An overview of MoneyChaps
The fintech startup provides credit and Investment services for end consumers. MoneyChaps serve those that are willing to borrow and those that are willing to lend.
On the borrowers’ side, the startup provides short-term payday salary advances to salaried employees while on the lender’s side the startup gives individuals opportunities to invest in all loans advanced in our platform and earn interest in return.
With its solution, MoneyChaps is pursuing an indirect revenue model where it prioritizes pushing numbers on the app and getting value from the increased activity and data that can effectively be monetized.
According to Thabiso, microfinance was tipped to be the best way to provide more inclusive services.
“However, we are seeing the total opposite as microlenders charge high-interest rates to compensate for their high risk and high operating costs. There is a need for an alternative with cheaper credit and high return investments.”
MoneyChaps product and services include:
- Business Tools – Invoicing, Estimate, Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, Inventory
- Group Tools – Goal-based savings, Peer to Peer savings, Rotating Savings
- Personal Tools – Financial Education, Budgeting
MoneyChaps is targetting:
- Low to Medium Income (LMI) in urban and peri-urban settlements.
- MSMEs according to MoneyChaps, most MSMEs fail due to poor cash flow management practices. Therefore they need proper education, training, proper record maintenance to accumulate data for credit purposes and other value-added services.
- Savings Group through its digitization, the efficiency and effectiveness of these groups can be enhanced so that they are more impactful in people’s lives.
- Youth and informal employees – this segment of the market needs to be educated so that they understand basic financial products and are empowered to make better financial decisions
The MoneyChaps apps have two types of accounts, which are the basic and premium accounts.
The basic account gives access to free basic tools. Users will need to go through a minimal KYC to access the basic account but as users progress, they can move to the Premium account.
The basic differs from the premium account because the latter needs more information and authentication to secure users data.
According to Thabiso, the startup streamlines its lending process and reduces the risk of defaults so that its interest rates are two times lower than the average charged by other micro-lenders.
“Unlike other micro-lenders we also allow individuals to invest in our loans and earn interest. Investing in loans gives people an opportunity to diversity from traditional Investment instruments like stocks and bonds.”
MoneyChaps is all about empowering people and providing inclusive financial services for freedom and growth.
Our services are not just limited to lending and Investment, we also educate people and give them the necessary tools so that they are able to actively manage their finances in the best possible way.
With the startup users have the advantage of:
- Tiered KYC to allow for less tech savvy users to sign up
- User friendly content to allow self usage
- Interactive and hands on Financial Education
- Voluntary Credit scoring
- No Subscription required
- Covers different aspects of finance
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