#DEMOTop40 : SmartPesa Helps You Make Credit/Debit Card Transactions On Mobile

Following the success of mPesa, many innovative mobile payment solutions are making such transactions less hectic for all people across the continent. SmartPesa enables credit or debit card payments to be taken on a mobile phone, simple as that.

The SmartPesa platform allows a financial institution to quickly and cost-effectively add mobile POS (“mPOS”) to its merchant offerings without needing to modify its existing back-end payment infrastructure or current POS programme.  It has been designed from the ground-up to be secure, scalable and versatile whilst providing greater information to both the financial institution and its customers with its powerful and adaptable merchant platform.

The SmartPesa solution comprises four components:

  1. Transaction processing server than fully integrates with a financial institution’s existing back-end payment infrastructure
  2. Apps (Android, iOS or Windows) and the ability to integrate into existing Apps
  3. Card readers (wide range available and lowest cost)
  4. Merchant information platform

Internationally there is a transition from payments in cash to payments by card for reasons of convenience and security.  This is especially true in emerging markets where annual card growth and card payment growth is 21% and 10% respectively.  Only 38% of payments in emerging markets are in cash versus developed markets at 59%.

Financial institutions have understood this trend and are quickly looking to have mPOS to capture this growth.  Current growth in mPOS is 43% per annum and is expected to constitute almost half of all POS devices by 2019.

SmartPesa specialises in emerging markets, providing an end-to-end platform to quickly extend a financial institution’s POS offering to include mPOS.

SmartPesa is launching in Rwanda in conjunction with the national switch and will be able to accept payments for all banks in Rwanda.  The solution comprises App, server and merchant services.

Discussions are continuing with a number of financial institutions in Africa, SE Asia and South America.

Barry, Co-founder
Thorsten, Co-founder

Co-founders Barry Levett and Thorsten Neumann.  Android and Java developers

Development Stack
Technologies used in the SmartPesa solution include .Net, SQL Server, Amazon AWS/other virtual server environment (as required by clients), Android, iOS, Java (EMV kernel), SugarCRM, Thales payShield and Postillion PostBridge switch.
Also used in development: Freshdesk, WaveApps, Trello, dapulse, Bitbucket

Contact/Social Media/Job Openings
Email: info@smartpesa.com
Web: www.smartpesa.com
Twitter: @smartpesa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/transactiontechnologies
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106968534150408363578/videos
Looking for iOS developer

Introducing the DEMO Africa Top 40 Series

The rise in the number of tech startups in Africa is encouraging as it provides gainful employment for many young people across Africa while contributing to economic growth. One of the contributors to the development of the startup community in Africa is DEMO Africa. “DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of LIONS@frica and aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem. DEMO Africa is the place where the most innovative companies from African countries get a platform to launch their products and announce to Africa and the world what they have developed.”

In just two years of running, DEMO Africa Alumni have raised over US$ 8 million in funding. This is exciting and promising as it continues to gain more popularity and trust. This year’s DEMO Africa which will be held in Nigeria features 40 of Africa’s best startups some to launch, meet investors, etc.

In this regard, DevCongress News is introducing the DEMO Top 40 Series which will profile each of the 40 startups scheduled for DEMO Africa 2014 In Nigeria from September 22-26. We expect that this series helps the startups gain more exposure, as they find new customers across the continent, and worldwide. Previous stories about DEMO Africa on the blog can be found under the “demo africa” tag. Subscribe to keep abreast with news about these startups. You can also check the “demo africa top 40” series, also on Twitter and Facebook.

Join us as we find out more about Africa’s best startups right here!

Top 40 Startups For DEMO Africa 2014 Announced


DEMO Africa has released the names of the forty start-ups that have qualified to launch their product on the DEMO Africa stage in September 2014.Topping the list is Nigeria with a total of 14 start-ups qualifying followed by Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa and Ethiopia will each have two representatives while Tunisia, Benin, Cameroon, Uganda and Zimbabwe have earned their space at the DEMO Africa platform.

More than 400 hundred applications were received but only 242 had met the threshold for the adjudication. Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana recorded the highest number of entries.

Out of 12 categories for application, Communication attracted the highest number of applications with a total of 76 applications received, and it’s no wonder that this category will have the highest number of representation with 14 projects of the final forty being in this category. Finance and banking will also have a good representation of 8 out of 18 entries received. Other categories that will have high representation on the DEMO Africa stage include retail, health and education. Start-ups, however, shied away from Water & Sanitation, and Waste Management & Recycling. No entries were recorded for these two categories, an indication that stakeholder still have to work on entrepreneurs’ confidence to encourage homemade solutions across all sectors.

Commending the African entrepreneurs, the Nigeria Minister for Communication Technology, Honourable Mrs Omobola Johnson, stressed that; “This presents another opportunity for African tech startups. Africa may have missed out on the industrial revolution, but we surely will not in the ICT revolution. Through innovation, we will put Nigeria and Africa in general on the ICT map. Realizing the huge potential of the software industry, we have put in place a set of initiatives that will assist the tech startups to create successful businesses, which will directly create jobs and wealth.”

The DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare, acknowledged the efforts by all the participating start-ups and called upon the investors to support the work of these young entrepreneurs. ”We had really amazing entries this year, but unfortunately the DEMO Africa team can only accommodate forty for now. The high number of entries is inspiring. It only shows that entrepreneurs have risen above the fear of venturing into new waters to create new products. This in itself shows that confidence levels in Africa made solutions are steadily rising. I am confident that we will get to levels where we can generate solutions that can be applied globally.”

VC4Africa Founder, Ben White, observed that the standard of applications continues to rise each year with Victor Okigbo one of the DEMO Africa’s jurists supporting him by commenting that the judges task to shortlist the final forty was not easy.

The application for this year’s DEMO Africa opened in March 2014 closing in June. The applications were then fine combed by a panel comprising top minds in business and tech leaders from across Africa. The criterion for adjudication was the ability to link creativity, innovation, effectiveness and scalability.

The selected forty start-ups will have a chance to launch their products to an ecosystem of VCs, investors, tech acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the region and around the globe. They will also benefit from one and a half month coaching and mentorship program to be spearheaded by DEMO Africa and the US State Department. The Mentorship program will be coordinated by Dr. Susan Amat, CEO, VentureHive and will include both local and international mentors and coaches.

As has been witnessed in the previous events, the September event is expected to attract top notch African investors. Participants registration is already open on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-africa-2014-tickets-10936486325. The secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates which comprises: 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket, 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, Access to the companies’ financials, Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, Ticket to a special Investor Boomcamp as well as access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa. More information on this package can be found at http://vc4afri.ca/h6j8u

DEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between 22nd and 26th of September at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

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The 40 Startups are:

Shamba Technologies
MobileJobs (mjobs) powered by SOMTEC
Online Hisab
VOTO Mobile
SpellAfrica Initiative
Valuraha Group
Integrated Medics
The Pearl Dream Inc

For more information please contact:

Evelyne Wangui | Project and Communication Manager
Office:+254  20  404 1646
Mobile:+254  726 087 451
Email: evelyne.wangui@demo-africa.com

Mr. Yele Okeremi | Chairman, Nigerian Local Organising Committee

Mobile: +234 803 304 1049

Email: yele@thepfs.biz

Mbugua Njihia| DEMO Africa Event Director:Email:mbugua@demo-africa.com