When Yoza App hit the market in January 2015, it received a lot of hype from both local and international media. You can check here, here and here as well as here! This was a brainchild of five young Ugandan entrepreneurs who were looking to see a change in how a regular Ugandan ordered for a "laundry lady".
The team is comprised of Solomon Kitumba, Nicholas Kamanzi, Isaac Kyuka, Hassan Nsubuga and Jeddy Genrwot.
However, 2 years down the road, I bumped into Nicholas Kamanzi leaving Valhalla bar located in Nakasero. He told us me that he was from "reconciling books with the bar regarding YozaPay." What is Yoza Pay?
It turns out a section of the team that brought YozaApp to the market have gone ahead to work on a new and exciting product. That is YozaPay. They are calling it a "very easy way for businesses to collect their payments."
The team, from YozaApp working on YozaPay, are Nicholas Kamanzi, Jeddy Genrwot and Isaac Kyuka (according to the YozaPay F6S profile).
When we contacted Nicholas prior to writing this article, he declined to give any comments and instead advised us to get back to them after some time or as he put it in a WhatsApp message;
Please allow us to get some traction. I have your [Malinz] number. I will let you know respectfully - Nicholas Kamanzi
However, we went ahead and contacted Siras Saava, a cashier at Valhalla who is in-charge of managing the YozaPay system. He was able to run us through how the app works.
What is actually interesting is that it's a B2C tool but only businesses download the app - customers don't. And this is a plus in an era where people are just fed up with having to download an app for almost everything.
We have used it for one and a half weeks. On average, we get 35-50 people using this service for a weekend - Siras
I mean, imagine having an App for food, laundry, events, shopping, hotel booking - and again paying for a beer? It sucks, doesn't it! So if you were fed up with Apps, you have a reason to rejoice!
Yoza Pay is a "three steps payment mode". All a business has to do is "input the customer's number, the amount they're to pay and a voucher number of their own choice." Once they press OK, it will then prompt the customer to input their mobile money pin code as a sign of acceptance. And as you've guessed, the payment will be done!
The business using YozaPay then waits for someone from YozaPay to come back with their revenue after an agreed period of time. It could be a week, two weeks or a month. To ensure there's no confusion or any misunderstandings, there's an inbuilt system that generates a statement for the business owner up-on request.
However, the YozaPay team needs to prepare a more detailed and comprehensive way to use while training businesses on how to use the app. This is because Siras wasn't sure of some of the elements of the app like generating a statement.
So far only MTN subscribers can use YozaPay but we're pretty sure it'll be rolled out to other operators like Airtel. But for now, who cares about the other operators when you have the market leader in your pocket?
We only know of Valhalla of their clients but we suspect the number to be around 3. Plus, we can confirm that the YozaPay team is likely to bring Jumia Food Uganda on board after a meeting they held with Ron Kawamara, MD of Jumia Food Uganda, together with the Jumia Group Uganda finance team. Of course getting Jumia food on-board will be a big plus for YozaPay.
The fintech climate in Africa has been growing at an exponential rate and YozaPay is the latest addition to hundreds of fintech startups across the continent. However, it is not only the number of startups that's growing, the funding too is.