Felix Cheruiyot: We Provide a Scalable and Secure Payments Infrastructure for Fintech Startups and Developers in Africa

October 8, 2022

We provide a scalable and secure payments infrastructure for Fintech startups and developers in Africa

Tell us about yourself?

I have been into the financial sectors working with local banks on the IT end. In my career and engagements I noticed how businesses and developers struggle to automate payments.

It is very difficult for them to do this through the banks because of lack of APIs and sufficient support. Fintech takes too long to connect to existing payment rails.

I saw there is a need for developers and businesses to have a single API that will enable them to manage digital wallets and create payments easily and securely.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

The biggest advice will be to start marketing early. Most of our product was ready by year one and we had customers already using it but we still thought we need to continue improving before we go aggressive on marketing and sales.

Although it is a good thing sometimes to grow silently and slowly so that you can properly offer a good support and experience to the current user, there was a need to popularize the product.

Most clients we meet are surprised that we have a good solution and they’ve never heard about it. As a startup founder one needs to balance building and marketing.

Marketing is equally important as building because that is how customers get to know about your product.

What problem does your business solve?

IntaSend provides payment infrastructure for startups, businesses, and developers to build secure and scalable fintech products faster. Initially, startups and developers who wanted to develop digital wallets spent up to six months while incurring huge costs.

IntaSend has simplified this process enabling startups and developers to create fintech products and go live in days and not months at a fraction of the cost.

IntaSend enables developers to create fintech products that can collect, disburse, and hold funds with a few lines of code.

IntaSend has aggregated payment collections through card and mobile money, disbursements to mobile money and banks, and digital wallet services to a single API hence eliminating the challenges of lack of interoperability of payment systems.

When businesses, startups, and freelancers sign up on IntaSend, they are able to accept mobile money and card payments online and disburse funds to M-Pesa and banks.

IntaSend also provides no code solutions like payment links which enables freelancers to invoice their customers and collect payments.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The biggest challenge developers and start-ups (Fintech) face is the time taken of about 6 months to develop secure and scalable fintech applications.

It is also expensive to develop these apps with costs ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 with the majority of the budget spent on digital wallet development, payments, security, and compliance.

IntaSend empowers developers and startups to create secure and scalable digital wallets which can accept and disburse payments and go live in a matter of days instead of months.

We do this by providing a single API for wallets and payments and tools i.e SDKs for different stacks so that they can build faster.

We also provide peace of mind since they don’t need to worry about security since IntaSend has implemented various cyber security measures including PCI DSS certification which is the global card payment security standard.

Start-ups and developers also benefit from our KYC tools which enable them to properly verify their customers while being AML (anti-money laundering) compliant.

There has been a great interest in our solution and we are currently serving over 1000 businesses and freelancers. More than 40,000 digital wallets have been created on the IntaSend platform.

What is your magic sauce?

Most of the current payment gateways do not provide support beyond payments.

If I was to do a financial inclusion product or FMCG startup, I’ll need to work with multiple providers to get this done. IntaSend provide a single API for – Secure Digital Wallet Infrastructure (Wallet as a Service) – Payments API (Accept and Disburse Payments) – KYC and AML Solution – Managed Security and Fraud Tools We have seen Fintech creating interesting products on top of our digital wallets services.

The early results are encouraging.

Here are some of the products developers have been building with our APIs. – Mobile loans solution – Insure-tech solutions for premium payments and disbursement solutions – Loyalty and incentives program – FMCG and retail merchants solution – Revenues collections and parking solution – Sports and betting solution – Remittance Apps

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our vision is to expand across Africa and have a single payment rail that will enable cross border payments on top of our digital wallets as a service infrastructure.

We see a very great opportunity with wallets, considering that mobile money is already popular in the region.

We seek to empower more business and developers to build better cashless and wallet products in the next 5 years.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge has always been regulations and compliance. For you to do wallet services, you need to have a PSP license.

This process takes too long and is very complex. Imagine going through this process in every market that we want to venture in – it can be tasking.

Our team is looking for ways we can manage this process well to ensure we are always compliant.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We want developers and Fintech to checkout our API and start building with it.

Here is the link for the API – https://developers.intasend.com If you are building a product that targets the Africa market, feel free to contact us at https://intasend.com/contact – Learn more about our product here – https://intasend.com/wallet-as-a-services/

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