Equity Group’s subsidiary company Finserve has launched an innovative app mKey that blends financial and social services into an integrated lifestyle.
Dubbed mKey, the app, which is Africa’s first keyboard application, allows users to apply for mobile loans, pay for goods and services, allows users to access local and international news.
Additionally, the app allows users to share content on social media, sending and receiving money as well as sharing emojis and paying bills. The emojis, which Finserve say are based on Kenyan flavor and pride, offer customized stickers and gifs made for kenyans by Kenyans. They include a Rastafari emoji, a ‘bora uhai’ emoji and ‘wakanda boys forever’ emoji.
mKey was conceptualized to reduce the friction of users who have to switch apps in order to perform lifestyle, financial or social functions on their smart handhelds. The app is therefore built based on the mentioned three pillars and has integrated basic keyboard features so that users can get onboard without any hassles.
Finserve Managing Director Jack Ngare says the app targets Kenyans of all walks of life who want to perform financial transactions without visiting a bank or even switching between apps.
“The app is targeting Kenya’s increasing digital population that is becoming savvier in enhancing their lifestyle through technology and who evidently want perform financial transactions seamlessly,” Ngare said.
The app is available for download on Google play store and developed to run on the Android 4.1 and above
Speaking at the launch, Finserve managing director Jack Ngare said:
“mKey has been created to be relevant to people’s social lives and support fun conversations on any social media platform. It is a revolutionary keyboard app with a wide catalogue of customised YetuMojis and GIFs that will be constantly updated to capture the pulse of trending conversations, celebrating our Kenya identity.”
The cloud-based Android app is currently available in Kenya and the fintech company plans to scale it to eight African countries by December 2019.
mKey offers a wide range of features which are centered on convenience, diversity, the Kenyan identity, and on driving revenue.
mKey solves the issues of unsociable social media, non-seamless keyboards, and boring financial services apps with the following features:
1. mKey Reward system
mKey has a similar feel to game apps such as Candy Crush where users receive rewards for crossing from one level to the other. With mKey, users will receive rewards such as airtime and cash back rewards to their mKey accounts. According to Ngare, this feature facilitates a savings culture.
2. mKey Seamless Keyboard
users can choose to use mKey’s keyboard as their default keyboard, a move that will help them to access mKey’s services such as loans from any app.
3. mKey Customised stickers, emojis, and GIFs
mKey comes with customised stickers, YetuMojis, and GIFs that Kenyans can relate with.
4. mKey Financial services
You can pay bills, send money to mobile wallets and social media platforms such as Whatsapp, fund your mKey account with M-Pesa, create a chama, and get loans from Sh300 to Sh1 million using mKey. Interest on mKey loans is charged on risk-based pricing, ranging from nine per cent to one per cent.
5. mKey e-Commerce platform
mKey provides an e-commerce platform where you can purchase phones, phone accessories, clothes, and shoes. Finserve has partnered with Kilimall to make this a reality.
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6. mKey News platform
mKey aggregates all your favourite news in one app.
mKey Future Plans
During the launch, Ngare revealed that Finserve is working with WorldRemit to rollout remittance services through Jenga API this month.
The fintech will launch the iOS version of the app in November and the mKey marketplace by the end of this week. The company will also introduce in January 2019 a feature where you can build your own emoji. Finserve is working with Google recognition towards this end.
The marketplace will offer developers, designers, and artists a place where they can build their own widgets and YetuMojis and monetise them.
“We have ambitions of taking mKey to all markets in Africa and we are open to integrating mKey to any financial institution in the continent to ensure that we offer the relevant financial services,” Ngare stated.
Video: Finserve launches mKey app combining financial, social and lifestyle services
Equity set to roll out cross-border mobile money via mKey
Equity Group will in November roll out a cross-border e-commerce money transfer and payments platform through its Finserve subsidiary.
Group chief executive James Mwangi said the platform, mKey, will ride on the bank’s regional network in Rwanda, Tanzania, DR Congo, Uganda and South Sudan.
“Going mobile will help us offer more products and services, reduce our operational costs as well as woo tech-savvy young populations to use mobile Internet to pay for utilities, transfer cash, buy goods and pay for services as well as borrow loans ranging from Sh300 to Sh1 million. Finserve has employed 18 people that support our 13 million clients,” Mr Mwangi said.
He said during the interview that the platform will be used to push all products to a global audience enhancing the uptake of loans, savings, forex trading, sale and buying of securities.
Finserve managing director Jack Ngare said mKey was a one-stop online platform that solved the multi-channel challenges mobile Internet users have navigating through mobile apps in search of services.
“We have 6,000 mobile apps on our platforms enabling you to conduct end-to-end transactions from one platform, mKey.
“Buy goods, pay for services, utilities, renew subscription, read news among others. You no longer need to download numerous apps that make mobile phones to hang or slow our internet speeds.
“mKey has integrated the apps with their payments’ platform where one loads money from their mobile wallets of participating banks,” he said.
Mr Ngare said diaspora remittances will also be embedded on the mKey portal in November 2018, with users allowed to create and customise their own facial characters.
Source: Business Daily