Coronavirus (COVID-19) proof and digital age, there are many brands that stand out from the crowd, off the beaten track. This is the case with “fintechs”. These are companies (sometimes start-ups) that operate in the field of technological and financial innovation, with an interest in online payment, cash, and even mobile money. In Africa, we can cite a few who made people talk about them during the decade: We Cash Up in Cameroon, M-PESA in Kenya, Simple Pay in Nigeria or PayDunya in Senegal. We are interested in the Paydunya platform, and in some key success factors of this African start-up.
PayDunya was created in 2015; an idea from Aziz Yerima, a young Beninese virtuoso who then recently graduated from the Multinational School of Telecommunications in Dakar, Senegal. Everything starts from the observation that in Africa, almost everyone (90%) owns a smartphone. The Yérima project is more precisely in line with the desire to support local traders in the sale of their consumer products, throughout the Senegalese territory first, and throughout the world thereafter. However, the startup is facing some difficulties related in particular to e-banking, because with a website, transactions are certainly done online, but they are also limited to an account, a bank card, or Paypal. Problem: the banking rate at that time is relatively low, and the majority of the local population has not yet become familiar with these uses.
On the other hand, when it comes to money transfer, another service works very well in this West African country, as in several African countries elsewhere. This is Mobile Money. Here then is one of the first success factors of the startup PayDunya.
The PayDunya Trilogy
The strength of PayDunya lies in its multi-potential and even multi-functional service, with a trilogy that revolves around the purchase and payment / deposit that takes place online, and the transfer of money (by mobile money); never two without three !
The first element of this trilogy is the API, a computer programming interface that enables money transfers through mobile money services, directly to a website or mobile application. Note also that the transaction costs seem accessible (4% on the website, 5% on social networks + 50 FCFA and 10% for sales of digital goods).
The second element is to create free “shops” on social networks like Facebook and WhatsApp and to make sales on ad sites, for merchants who cannot afford a website. A so-called “Click and Pay” solution emerges, because on both sides, you can buy and sell while connected, without having to go through a website.
Finally, the trilogy sees its epilogue with cash on delivery (PAL or PayDunya PAL) for physical products and goods. PayDunya then becomes a kind of African PayPal and better yet, users could perform monitoring actions for mass transactions.
Another key factor for PayDunya’s success: security. Just like with Freelance, the seller receives their payment after the customer has been delivered. The transaction is therefore temporarily blocked by the platform, awaiting the notification message, acknowledgment of receipt at said customer.
An offer adapted to the local market
The success story of PayDunya thus comes from the fact that it has been able to adapt its offer to the local context, taking into account the expectations of the market and of African companies, current and potential users of the platform. Despite its timid geographic expansion, since only present in 3 West African countries (including Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal), the figures speak for themselves: according to Finance Digitale, PayDunya would have carried out more than one million transactions in 2018; for a volume of more than 4 billion FCFA, with no less than 200 clients.
In summary, the success of PayDunya is due to its ability to create value, by having associated online purchase and payment with Mobile Money, via digital solutions such as Social Shopping and sales on ad sites. . PayDunya has especially understood the African market and contextualized its offers to the real expectations and needs of local businesses. The startup will, however, have to continue to fight hard to succeed despite the mistrust of local populations in carrying out financial transactions via digital technology. We wish them good luck!