Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Multiple Donation Channels for Contextual Fundraising

CEO of World Remit recently announced that close to 50% of all remittances into Africa are in the form of airtime (or credit) to mobile phones. Airtime is a popular form of remittance especially because  as a storage of e-value it is generally several factors cheaper to transmit AND spend than cash (over mobile network).

Airtime remittances must be contextualized. They are one of many channels that family members separated internationally are using to help each other. Cash remittances over formal remittance providers (World Remit, Western Union, Banks) amount to approximately half a trillion dollars per year. Cash and in kind donations that are cannot be tracked are yet another channel.

At M-Changa we provide a platform for contextual mobile phone based fundraising. M-Changa’s ultimate goal is to give individuals and organizations the most efficient and affordable fundraising experience. Naturally, having multiple channels to allow participation is a key feature for M-Changa’s contextual fundraisers. Removing barriers to participation allows for context to be maintained and the true interactive nature of fundraising to be achieved.

Therefore, recent Interesting developments in the crypto currency space such as  Bitrefill and allowing for airtime purchases to be made through Bitcoin, are of great interest to us. M-Changa plans to announce cryptocurrency integration with BitPesa in May 2015!

Kyai Mullei

Friday, 27 March 2015

M-Changa will be presenting at Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa 2015 ! You are entitled to a 20% discount off the standard rate! Register for your pass here*. Simply follow the link, enter the promotional code SP20 into the box, and click Validate to apply the discount to your booking

Are you ready to disrupt the African payments market?

We would like to invite you to join a regional gathering of mobile money and digital payments executives. Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa 2015 will return for its 7th year as the continent’s most exciting sector gathering.

Senior representatives from Fiserv, Diamond Trust Bank, Orange Kenya, Microsave, African Leadership Network, Microfinance Opportunities, Grameen Foundation, Wirecard, Uganda Communications Commission, FNB eWallet Solutions, Care International, Airtel, Ericsson, Nedbank Ltd, Soulstice Consulting, Telepin, Oberthur, Broadband Gurus Network, InterMedia and UN World Food Programme will lead discussions on key regional issues including the place for NFC in Africa; interoperability between competitors to achieve scale and sustainability; cryptocurrency; best practice in cross-border remittances; financial inclusion and what the African payments landscape look like in 2015. Make sure you are a part of the conversation.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

M-Changa Partner MasterCard reports on Progressive Approaches to Financial Inclusion

The social fabric of any society is preserved and enhanced when individuals in the society have access to a social safety net. This net can be created in numerous way one of which is giving individuals access to affordable finance and financial tools. Financial inclusion and the use of technology to enhance inclusion is a major priority of the Kenyan government as demonstrated by its ICT policies over the last decade.

In Kenya, Harambee, the practice of reciprocal gifting via fundraising, is one manner in which individuals in society overcome financial life shocks, by relying of family and friends in times of need. With insurance penetration rates at only 3.4%, Harambee is therefore a significant activity in Kenya especially when it comes to medical emergencies. Platforms like M-Changa allow for broader access to financial inclusion through technologies that simplify and reduce the costs of fundraising / harambee.

Our partner MasterCard released a recent study: A ProgressiveApproach to Financial Inclusion showing that while Kenya is a regional and continental leader in the adoption of e-payment technologies, there big gaps in the education of Kenyans vis a vis the more sophisticated financial tools available to them that ride on e-payment infrastructure. To drive the adoption of “second generation” financial products is one of the key mandates of MasterCard in the region.

We are happy to be a partner of MasterCard in this regional initiative.

Kyai Mullei

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Cards and Payments 2015

The last two days at the Cards and Payments 2015 in Johannesburg was a great event to attend and even better to get a chance to speak to (and with) key players in the Africa payments environment. Social Payments was a big theme in the event, and it was predicted that the next wave of new and exciting developments in the payment industry will be social.

M-Changa had the unique opportunity to show how social payments in Africa will develop very differently from markets like Asia and North America. Traditional pan-African cultures of reciprocal giving via social payments around life events, offers the perfect bedrock for a host of social payment products to be developed.  Fascinating potential hybrids of traditional social security and pension programs were envisaged – with big data of social payments over mobile being used for matching programs by governments. Indeed, M-Changa had a chat with the South African Social Security Agency about our product and its impact in Kenya in the last two years.

See the Twitter feed and conversations about the conference at #cardsafrica

Thursday, 5 March 2015

GSMA and What this Means, By: Kyai Mullei

As Dave mentioned previously, we started M-Changa to help enable Kenyans to raise funds faster and more efficiently.  We’re 18 months into that journey, and that’s why I’m excited about this particular blog post.

Today, in the State of the Industry: Mobile Financial Services for the Unbanked report,  GSM Association (GSMA) wrote about M-Changa’s contribution to the mobile philanthropy space. According to GSMA, and most industry experts agree, this industry-renowned report is the most comprehensive assessment of global mobile financial services targeting the unbanked.

This is significant for more than just the fact that an industry leader covered us. It shows that M-Changa is directly contributing to enriching the financial inclusion space for East Africans.  It demonstrates the relevance of the M-Changa product as one of the world's 100 leading mobile service innovations!  

Have questions or comments about the report?  Reach out to me or Rajan Trivedi and we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Join us for a Webinar By: Rajan Trivedi

Many of you may have heard about our research with FSD Kenya and the Gates Foundation.  Some of you may have heard about how M-Changa is creating the most transparent, data-driven fundraisers in Kenya.  But if you’re interested in learning more, I’ve got the treat for you! 

As part of our outreach and thought leadership, I'm excited to share with you that M-Changa will be hosting a webinar about the mobile philanthropy market in East Africa.  Hosted by NetHope and facilitated by Dr. Sibel Kusimba, we will go over our ground breaking research with FSDKenya and the Gates Foundation, our partnership strategy, and how we would like to work with your organization.  

Details are below:   When Thursday February 26, 2015 from 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM ET; Add to your calendar Where For details on attending, see webinar listing here


Professor Sibel Kusimba, Ph.D., Anthropologist in Residence, Department of Anthropology, American University Kyai Mullei, Chief Executive Officer, M Changa David Mark, Chief Technology Officer, M-Changa Rajan Trivedi, Director of Business Development and Research, M-Changa

Why did we start M-Changa? By Dave Mark

As the Chief Technology Officer of M-Changa, I get asked all the time, so what exactly is M-Changa and what are you solving?  So here’s a quick attempt to explaining our purpose, and what’s we’re addressing!
Initially, Kyai and I envisioned a loan application that let users borrow and repay money via SMS.  But we found a greater flaw in the market - East Africans wanted to send money to friends and family in need, but they did not want or need to be paid back!
For critical everyday life expenses such as weddings, education fees, funerals, medical bills, and community rehabilitation, East Africans were eager to simply donate funds, as they have been doing through traditional practices of “Changa” and “Harambee” for centuries.  What we found is that there is a unique philanthropy culture in Kenya, and no technology innovation existed for this market.
So today, M-Changa exists for three reasons:
·    Expand African Citizens’ access to the benefits of mobile technology
·    Integrate unique aspects of African culture with technological innovation
·    Enable transparency for everyday giving, through the digitization of traditional checks and balances
Have questions, have comments, or want to know more about the history of our technology?  Contact us here!