Startup Spotlight: Digital PayGo

Digital Paygo is a Fintech company that offers shared mobile merchant payment solutions, shared agent banking solutions, tailored digital payments and collective solutions to financial institutions, MNOs, and third-party service providers to drive digital payment ecosystem growth. The company aims to facilitate interoperability and eliminate barriers to financial inclusion whilst propagating distribution channels for business growth.

We caught up with Charity Mwanza, Chief Executive Officer of Digital PayGo, to share more information about the inspiration behind the company, its impact and future plans. Charity is also a business leader and technology enthusiast with over 22 years of experience in digital transformation, payments, systems implementation, business development, and strategic partnerships in the financial services industry. 

The inspiration behind Digital PayGo came from wanting to solve financial services challenges affecting the informal and mass segments of the market. 

“Identifying that cost and product relevance were real barriers to digital financial Inclusion, we were moved to want to make a difference and help solve the problem.”

The entrepreneurship journey requires hard work, determination, learning from failures and overcoming them. Digital PayGo has not been spared from the challenges that most entrepreneurs face before they launch a successful startup. Charity explains:

“As a startup, there are several challenges that we have encountered varying from a lack of opportunity to test-pilot innovations with a reputable partner to fine-tune our product for the market. We also experience challenges with the turnaround time involved to partner with more established DFS entities and providers. Further, limited understanding to navigate the regulatory frameworks to ensure products can successfully hit the market quickly is another challenge, We are also pressed for funds to test products with customers.”

Digital PayGo was one of the participants in the first cohort of the FinTech4U programme which we are running in partnership with UNCDF. After securing funds from private equity, the startup applied for the FinTech4U programme to build relationships with other startups who participated in the programme.

“ Participating in this programme was very strategic in that we believe in collaborations. The programme had 9 other FinTechs, this helped us learn from others while also sharing our lessons. We also knew that the programme was going to help us as a company to fine-tune our product and ensure that we understand all the dynamics of our products. At the end of the program, it enabled us to get our foot in the right doors.”

Charity adds on to say that participating in the FinTech4U programme helped the startup to see their products differently. They are now able to understand

the problems that customers face and design solutions that meet the needs of the customer. 

“The one on one interaction with regulators presented access to information that would have otherwise taken ages to obtain or comprehend. The reputational effect of this accelerator cannot be overstated as it had placed Digital PayGo on a pedestal as a trusted partner. The networking opportunity it provided also was key in exchanging ideas and signing on the right partners early. All in all, it was a wonderful learning curve that has made our platform better.”

The impact of Digital PayGo as a business can be seen through its earned role as a leading digital shared financial services provision in Zambia, bridging the gap between banks, mobile network operators, digital financial services and other FinTechs.

“We are a pioneering force in the FinTech industry in Zambia, Africa and the world over. We have taken the bold step of promoting interoperability between the major players in this industry. This way, we encourage financial inclusion by increasing the spread of distribution and giving businesses what they need- consumer access to digital financial services from their phone.”

As BongoHive, we are focused on making Zambia Africa’s next hotbed of innovation, by providing a range of startup and tech programmes, workshops and events.

Digital PayGo plans to expand its partnership base to grow the FinTech ecosystem. These range from government bodies to Discover Financial Services (DFS) providers in rural areas. The startup also plans to engage with other FinTechs as they cement their place as the go-to Shared Services Provider.

“I am excited and optimistic that the future is being driven by digital transactions. Digital Paygo is at the heart of that excitement in Zambia. We are anticipating a tomorrow where shared services and infrastructure from agent and merchant payments will be the norm. This platform will continue helping digital financial service providers provide cost-effective services, adopt suitable business models, channel out customer-centric and relevant products, and achieve maximum digital payment ecosystem growth.”

At BongoHive, we are focused on making Zambia Africa’s next hotbed of innovation by providing a range of startup and tech programmes, workshops and events.