Mobile Banking Solution for Sub Saharran Africa

GEORGE & GARRY - PANAFRICA BANK PROJECT.pptxCheck out our final slide deck here: Pan African Bank Presentation

We assumed the roles of intrapraneurs within an existing African communications company called Safaricom in order to bring a new product offering to market.

Below is an outline of our project which also relfects our jouney of learning.

Business Opportunity:

Increase financial access to the unbanked population in Sub-Saharan African.

Our Decision Body:

Board of Directors, CEO, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer, Program Coordinator

Project Team:


  • Garry Johnson:
    • Pursuing an M.S. in Entrepreneurship & Design (Class of 2018)



  • George Munyua:
    • Former IT Infrastructure Architect at Equitel
    • BSc Entrepreneurship & Technology Innovation (Class of 2019), University of Delaware

The Problem:

Traditional banks are still struggling to reach the unbanked across Africa. A staggering 66% of Sub-Saharan Africans do not have a bank account.

Major obstacle to Financial inclusion:

Physical proximity – lack of infrastructure, high cost of insurance & security to set up physical branches.

Affordability – low income households cannot afford the costs associated with formal banking.

Traveling to urban areas is costly for many rural customers.

World Bank research shows that an estimated 2 billion working-age adults globally—more than half of the total adult population—have no access to the types of formal financial services delivered by regulated financial institutions that wealthier people rely on.

The high cost of building and operating brick-and-mortar bank branches has been a major obstacle for extending financial services to the poor. Physical bank branches are expensive to maintain in far-flung communities, while traveling to urban areas is costly for many rural customers

Project Plan:

Phase 1- Mobile Banking

Competitive Landscape & Market

Competitors: PesaLink & Equitel

M-Pesa currently controls 85% of person-person money transfer valued at over $7B

Business Model

Penetrate Rural Africa with a low-cost business model – high volume, low or no charges. Using mobile banking we will be able to introduce a plethora of financial products and leverage modern technology like Blockchain, Cloud & Analytics.


Voice of the Customer

Our primary objective is to understand the customer’s’ unmet needs & current pain points in accessing formal financial services. Discover True Customer Sentiments & Hidden Ideas through:

  1. Ethnographic Research – Study of people in their own environment through the use of methods such as participant observation and face-to-face interviewing to understand the social and cultural context in Africa.
  2. Contextual Inquiry – user-centered design (UCD) research method, structured as a one-on-one interaction in which the researcher watches the user do their normal activities and discusses what they see with the user.
  3. One-on-one/Small group interviews with a range of customers including Small Medium Enterprises (SME) proprietors, Urban Youth, Rural communities
  4. ID Customer Priorities & Common Concerns (5 Minute Survey)
  5. Create Common Ground (Joint review of findings & Data Evaluation)
  6. Co-Create Customer Experience Action Plan (1-1 Solution Interviews)

The following were identified as key customer outcomers;  Better Customer experience accelerating their journey out of poverty:

Convenient, Affordable and Accessible financial services.

Microfinance products: Small Loans, Savings Products including budgeting for various household needs, Insurance, Bill Payments.

Digitize Payments – transportation, groceries, school fees etc.

Current Mobile Money Product Portfolio:

  • Send money through mobile
  • Prepaid recharge
  • Airtime Recharge
  • Deposit/Withdraw Money at agent locations

New Mobile Banking Product Portfolio:

  • Micro Savings – term deposits
  • Micro Credit Facilities – personal loans
  • Credit Scoring
  • Payment Remittance e.g. social payments
  • Bill Payment e.g water & electricity


Phase 1 Project Overview Needs:

  • Acquisition of a Banking License
  • Project Development Team – Developers, Project Managers, Business Analysts
  • Capital Cost – $1.8M to develop the mobile banking platform
  • Financial Literacy CSR Initiative – 0.2M
  • Total $1.5M

Project Timing


  • 12 months to launch


Key Achievements:

  • First Telco in Africa to acquire a banking license!
  • Mobile Banking Digital Platform
  • Mobile Wallet: Micro Savings
  • Micro Credit with credit scoring
  • Bill Payments: Water/Electricity
  • Payment Remittance

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative

The CSR initiatives are run through Foundation as an independent charitable trust established to invest in initiatives to improve the social and economic status of Kenyans.

Transforming lives & livelihoods:

Financial Literacy Program

Donor Charity Partnership

Partnership with samsung to provide access low-cost phones to increase the number of customers who can use our services

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Women Micro-entrepreneurs

Youth Innovation hub

Diamond Challenge

Phase 2 – Financial Products

Product Portfolio expansion to enhance customer experience and financial services offerings:

  • Micro investing
  • Micro insurance (life, health, property)
  • Digital learning content (financial literacy, healthcare)


Investment Summary Budget

    • $1.25M for new technology – investment & insurance platform
    • $.25M for CSR initiatives in partnership with NGOs


  • Total $1.5M



Project Timing


  • 6 months to launch


Phase 3 –  Long term Business Plan

Portfolio expansion to include Payment Gateway for a Cashless Ecosystem:

  • Public transportation
  • Purchase goods & services
  • FinTech partnerships (Google Pay, Braintree, Ripple, Visa, Mastercard)

Investment Summary Budget

  • $1M for middleware platforms to integrate retail business partners
  • $0.5M for Fintech partnerships & licensing
  • Total $1.5M

Our Companies Social Impact Thus Far

  • Economic Empowerment – 1200 loans disbursed
  • Women in Leadership
  • 2000+ Job Created
  • 1800+ Enterprises created

Our Journey

  • Initially, we started by increasing our product offerings to include mobile banking. We learned a lot about the decision making process and what we were not including in our presentations that the decision body needed to hear i.e financials and timing.
  • Ultimately we also learned about considering the social context of the business environment. Mobile banking project success in Africa is about understanding the social context and challenges to access to formal banking. The CSR initiatives were impactful in providing financial literacy and changing the negative perception on banks.

What success will look like

  • Success to us looks like every individual on the continent of Africa having access to financial inclusion and an opportunity to develop themselves and their communities. Until we reach that point, we will continue striving to empower the people of Africa.
  • Financial inclusion is an outcome that benefits not only the individual, but also banks, other financial services providers and the economies of developing countries as a whole. Banks, as well as non-traditional financial service providers, have an important role to play alongside governments in re-building consumer trust – a key factor to improving financial inclusion.

Future expansion of product offerings

  • As we’ve already seen success and growth with our current offerings, we find that it’s necessary to continue innovating and incorporating new products/services that meet the needs of customers in an ever changing world.
  • The overarching vision is to develop a cashless ecosystem and integrate to global financial systems by partnering with consumer businesses e.g. in retail and public transportation and FinTech startups.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s