KAMPALA — While some people saw the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as a major setback, to Erasmus Okurut and his team at PayTota Uganda, it created an opportunity which they have grabbed with both hands.
Okurut, the PayTota Chief Executive Officer, says the pandemic and the lockdown that followed thereafter opened their eyes to the pain-points that existed in the market, especially in terms of purchase, payments and automation when it comes to on-boarding and same-day settlements.
The desire to create a solution to the pain-points saw the birth of PayTota Uganda Limited, a white label branded platform that is building Africa’s next generational platform to solve problems over mobile and the web, established last year.
According to Okurut, the firm seeks to deliver convenient and hassle-free purchase, payments and on-boarding services across markets where it operates.
In addition to Uganda, the firm is currently scaling its operations and already establishing offices in Tanzania and hope to set up shop in Ghana, Zambia and Kenya.
PayTota products target the real estate and the travel industry, specifically tours and travel players.
“We are building a platform and telling everyone interested to simply plug into our platform, have your own branding and be able to go into the market even the next day if the due diligence is duly completed,” Okurut explains.
He adds that they have established partnerships in Uganda and across its key target countries to ensure that they meet their promise of delivering seamless services.
“Our on-boarding platform is automated and as soon as you log in and give your details, your contract will be sent same day and it depends on how fast you will be, on your end but we ensure that it is seamless and fast,” Okurut says.
Additionally, Okurut explains that PayTota is in final stages of developing and launching an Expectant Mothers’ product that will be delivered in partnership with some financial institutions and insurers.
“This product will be targeting expectant mothers; right from the day you notice you are pregnant,” he says, adding that they are running a similar pilot in Ghana.
“We believe that with time, we will be able to ensure that every mother is happy when they are on-boarded onto PayTota.”
PayTota is among the firms taking part in the ongoing second edition of the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox and Mojaloop Foundation, and sponsored by the Gates Foundation.
Okurut applauded HiPipo for the project, saying that it has created awareness for Uganda’s FinTech industry.
“We are participating for the first time but I have confidence that PayTota will be sounding in someone’s ears and opportunities will be cracked from the platform provided,” he said.
Okurut also applauded Bank of Uganda for passing the National Payments Systems (NPS) Act, which he says will create confidence in Uganda’s FinTech industry and attract the much needed capital that has always been passing by to other markets like Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda, among others.
“We have been lagging behind in terms of attracting investments mainly because investors could not risk their money with FinTechs in a market without regulation; because they know the founders can disappear with no trace.”
The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer Innocent Kawooya also notes that FinTech in Africa offers attractive opportunities and investors are rightfully picking interest in the various startups that are offering a plethora of services.
He adds that the 40-Days 40-FinTech project seeks to boost the African FinTech ecosystem to enable innovators enjoy sustainable profitability to help them design and deploy affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor.