Startup Spotlight- Ekamo Wallet

My name is Jerrix Nkhata, and I am the Co-Founder of Ekamo WalletEkamo is a payment system business that focuses on bridging the acceptance of digital payment from different wallets.

I initially studied to become a Science Laboratory Technologist. My vision was to work for 10 years in the private sector then start doing other things like running my own laboratory. I only worked for 6 years and opted to pursue entrepreneurship.

Many people are shocked that I find myself in a fintech space instead of the health space. I discovered that the dreams I kept on writing in my notepads were not limited to the laboratory only, but the lab was only a piece of the whole cake. 

In 2015, I wanted to send money to my sister who was in college at that time. She urgently needed money but by the time she called for help, it was late for me to rush to the nearest ATM to withdraw and deposit into her mobile account. I had to wait until the following morning to send her the money as it was in my bank account and she had no bank account. The following morning on my way to work, I started thinking about the future possibilities of how someone can electronically deposit money from one wallet to another without being charged. 

I realised this was achievable as it is happening physically and now we needed to make it digital and call it E-Deposit. That is how Ekamo Wallet came to be.

Our biggest challenge when setting up Ekamo Wallet was getting a licence. The process of getting a licence is a tedious one, but it is vital because the Central Bank’s focus is to ensure you have put all required documents and processes in place to safeguard customers’ money. Because of this and doing it for the first time, we had a lot of back and forth with the Bank of Zambia guiding us on what we needed to submit to get the licence. Our biggest drawback now is marketing and brand awareness. Many people have been scammed by pyramid schemes, and so they are sceptical about using a new payment system.

We have participated in two of BongoHive’s programmes. Discover (cohort 9) and Fintech4U (cohort 2). We won the Discover programme and we were one of the three $5000 grant recipients for the Fintech4U programme.

From the Discover programme, we learnt how to redefine our business to meet our customer needs. The Fintech4U programme provided us with mentorship, helped and taught us how best we can package our business to make it ready for the market. We also had the privilege to be exposed to other partners and regulators. The financial support gave us the extra push we needed to get started.
In less than a month, we have more than 6000 customers, 300 agents, and we have opened 35 business accounts. We have also established partnerships with MTN, Kazang,  us operators and others.

Our services are delivered using a USSD platform and by visiting our website. On both channels, you can send, receive or withdraw money, as well as pay bills. With Ekamo, we want to provide our users with the experience of financial freedom, and unlimited financial possibilities. 

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