Swedish Money Transfer Firm to Stiffen Market Competition
Kenya’s shift to a cashless economy is attracting more players and has registered a new entrant in Okapi Finance. Okapi Finance is a Swedish based money transfer company targeting the unbanked population in Kenya.
Through the company’s swap service, customers will be able to transfer a maximum of 20,000 shillings per transaction with up to five times a day without charging any fee.
Subscribers will be able to access these services through registered agents, the Okapi website or through the mobile application which is on Android and IOS operating systems.
Visa cardholders will be able to register as Okapi Visa users and receive or send money on their visa cards. The company will further provide transaction history for its customers which they may use to apply for loans whenever they meet the necessary threshold.
Other than the ordinary transactions, Okapi subscribers will have the opportunity to purchase insurance from partner policy sellers, pay premiums and make claims. Once the claims have been approved, they will receive their benefits instantly on their Okapi accounts. The firm has also opened this platform to corporate organizations and can use it to pay employees’ salaries.
Okapi, which is focused on streamlining its distribution channels, is looking to tap into the gap regarding the cost of service in the money transfer market. Its money transfer services are currently only available for the local market, but it plans to open it for global transfers. Priding itself of 100,000 subscribers in Kenya, the firm targets to attract 145 million users in Africa over the next five years. It will look to succeed in leveraging on its low cost even as it introduces other benefits from the swap service.
Okapi Finance joins Safaricom’s M Pesa and other multinationals like MasterCard and IBM which are already participating actively in the market. M Pesa, which dominates the money transfer market, recently raised tariffs for using the service after the government proposed a 2% increase on the excise duty charged on service providers.