Financial institutions and traditional modes of savings have offered users the platform to save their money over the years, however, despite these numbers, there appears to be little access to digital financial services.
Getting to save your money in a dedicated financial platform that also guarantees growth in the value of your money is what can bring about the required financial freedom.
Koa Technology is changing the savings model on the African continent for more financial freedom, Alexis Roman, Co-founder and CEO of Koa Technology explains how the Kenyan-based financial services platform is executing this process.
Koa started over a year ago when Alexis and Delila Kidanu, Co-founder and COO started looking closely at the savings space across Sub-Saharan Africa.
While growing up in Nairobi, Delila had observed that despite M-Pesa’sgreat milestone, Kenyans still had challenges accessing digital financial services which according to Delila had to be fair, transparent and straightforward.
This led the duo to dig deeper into the savings space and understand how the industry worked today and how they could provide value across the value chain.
Speaking to thousands of users in the country, the duo found out that 70-80% of people relied on Informal Saving Groups and Cooperatives to save and access financial products.
Realizing this, the duo felt like this was an opportunity for them to simplify the process and this happened even before they thought of building their MVP.
How Koa Works
Koa is focused on function for its users as its essence is to enable them save their money while earning returns up to 10% per annum.
“We took a one-dimensional process and transformed it by adding gamification elements and tapping into some core concepts of behavioural economics.”, Alexis said
Users download Koa on their smartphone and in less than 2 minutes can start saving towards their goals.
“With a straightforward and intuitive product, our users are able to save towards their goals and most importantly for what matters to them.”, Alexis added
Basically, Koa allows users:
- Set personal saving goals that matter to them. Helping them save for an upcoming trip or save up for a big purchase
- Help users break down their goals by sending them daily, weekly or monthly reminders to deposit into them.
- Allow users to track the progress of their goal over time and help them get back on track if they happen to stumble.
According to the founders, Koa’s main objective is to make users reach their financial goals.
Alexis explained that Koa was built first and foremost with users in mind.
“We spent a significant amount of time – speaking to users, listening to users and testing with our early users.
We’ve focused on building a product that suits their needs, by doing so we’re able to help them best approach their saving targets.
We’ve decided to take a goal-based approach where users can save for a specific event or item.”, Alexis noted
This according to Alexis, was crucial to the founders as countless academic research has shown that being able to visualize your target allows you to reach it faster and with more consistency.
Speaking about what Koa is doing differently from other related platforms in terms of savings and investment.
Alexis said that across the East African region, there’s being a lack of wealth management and digital financial services solutions while most players have focused solely in the digital lending space and that’s created a massive gap for consumers looking to access financial services that work for them.
Explaining further, Alexis mentioned that, one of the main differences between Koa and other players is its focus on the end user.
“Our focus on ensuring we help users achieve their goal. We’ve embedded gamification into the core of our application which helps users save money consistently.”
Alexis added that Koa also has a B2B strategy that the duo have been working on and they will make it public soon.
“We have a whole lot planned and we’ve only scratched the surface. We kicked off this journey wanting to digitize the savings process across Kenya and have slowly come to realize that there are tens of other problems we’ll need to solve on our journey”
“We see savings as the cornerstone of financial services. It’s an enabler for people and allows them to achieve a whole lot more because of the foundation savings bring.”, Alexis concluded
Featured Image: Delila Kidanu, Co-founder and COO (left), Alexis Roman, Co-founder and CEO (Right)
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