The process of transacting over monetary services could sometimes be difficult, irrespective of the fact that at least a hundred million Africans hold mobile money accounts. In Tanzania, making payment requires users to enter somewhere between 39-46 digits, a hard-enough task for anyone, let alone someone who may just be adjusting to mobile phone service.
However, mobile payment services have swept across the African continent in the past decade. Research has it that about 420 million Africans hold mobile money accounts, making the continent the leader in mobile money adoption by a wide margin.
In order to ensure a hassle-free money payment process for Africans, Benjamin Fernandes founded Nala in 2017, a simplified mobile money application that allows users to make faster, smarter and safer transactions without an internet connection.
According to the company, the Nala platform allows users to make payments to anyone on any device, and it only requires a one-time download to start transacting. Nala has an established influence in East Africa because it is quite smart and convenient, the company has taken all of the short codes from all of the transaction providers and created a router system that users can operate without having to memorize the different underlying coding.
Beginning life as a Stanford University student’s side-project, and moving to active research and operations in Tanzania in 2017, Nala’s progress accelerated quickly, it received funding from DFS Lab; won the Ecobank Fintech Challenge; took home the AppsAfrica Award for Disruptive Innovation; and was named winner of Seedstars Tanzania in December. As it stands, Nala boasts confidently of over 100,000 users in Tanzania and plans to expand to at least two other African countries in the course of 2019.
While mobile payments have already revolutionized financial transactions in Africa, by building a simpler interface, Nala seeks to take the revolution one step further.