Wayawaya is a digital platform that allows individuals to pay bills, send and withdraw money at ATMs cardlessly as well as pay using a code at points of sale in restaurants and shops.
“Wayawaya is basically a financial technology company that uses its capability to enable instant funds transfers and secure payments to provide digital banking services for people on the move, people in the diaspora and also travellers as a stand-alone app,” says founder Teddy Ogallo.
He says that his inspiration came from trying to reduce friction points in payment processes for individuals.
In existence since 2015, the company has over 65,000 individual users and moves revenues worth $4.2 million (Sh428 million) a year, of which the firm retains about three per cent. These revenues as well as the directors’ personal savings run the business.
As Wayawaya expanded, it sought to provide services to companies rather than just individuals. Mr Ogalla’s technology is aimed at giving individuals flexibility in interacting with their money and with businesses.
In fact, Wayawaya is the technology behind many businesses’ ability to interact with their clients in order to effect payments. Such clients include banks and ATM switch providers.
This means that individuals can message businesses on Facebook and Whatsapp in order to pay their bills and receive automatic responses that seem like they are from a real customer support personnel.
“We provide corporate business clients and developers application layers where they can add our unique capabilities to their existing applications or payment systems, we can give a business the capability to for example automatically handle customer inquiries on their Facebook page and at the same time accept payments,” says Mr Ogallo.
“We also use something we call machine learning which is able to automate a conversation with business’ clients as if they are talking to a real customer support staff, this then enables such business to offer targeted services and rapid resolution of customer inquiries,” he adds.
Mr Ogallo says that Wayawaya enables seamless integration into new markets.
“If you are a Kenyan company and you want to expand into Uganda or Zimbabwe rapidly, you can do so through our integrations with MTN Uganda and Ecocash Zimbabwe without set up costs.
“You want to sell your services to Uganda but most Ugandans don't have bank accounts so instead of starting a new integration which is not easy, you just go into Wayawaya and the same integration you have done for Kenya you just press MTN and it is activated,” says Mr Ogallo. Wayawaya’s team includes 14 people spread across Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and the US.