The buzzwords have always been somewhere along the line of ‘Economic Inclusion powered by FinTech solutions.’ Okay given, the conventional means of sending and receiving money (traditional banks methods) excluded so many from the economy, especially the informal sector, which is the biggest sector especially in developing nations.
Then came FinTech solutions, innovative internet-based solutions that bridge that gap and included so many in the informal sector to participate in the economy with ease. With FinTech, one needs not to hold a bank account to transact. You only need digital wallets, from which money can be sent or received, and thus so many people who were left out before started participating in the economy full swing.
The limitations of most FinTech solutions
For all its glory, most FinTech solutions fail miserably when it comes to including people living with no internet access and/or internet enabled-devices. Such people form a significant number, especially in the developing nations.
Although mobile proliferation across African and other developing nations are quite high. A big percentage of those mobile devices are feature phones; which means they can neither access internet nor install FinTech apps.
The London-based digital money transfer services SimbaPay has now launched a new money remittance services that will purely operate via SMS. That means even people with no internet and using just a feature phone can now use SimbaPay to send or receive money.
This is a huge step for the company, as it now enters a bigger pool of users, both with smartphones plus internet access combined with those without smartphones and/or not internet access. The new SimbaPay SMS money remittance services went live yesterday, and now users from around the world can use the service on any device from anywhere via the good-old SMS.
The new SMS service is powered by artificial intelligence that has seen SimbaPay integrate a chatbot at the other end of the user.
“We’re thrilled at the prospect of the chatbot service resolving most customer inquiries instantly at any time of day or night. Another major objective we achieved with the chatbot service is that it also works without internet. This means customers with a mobile phone, even a basic phone without internet access, can access the SimbaPay chatbot using SMS.” – said Daniel Howard, the CTO at SimbaPay.
The SMS is Free
SimbaPay customers can now simply send an SMS and interact with the chatbot to effect the sending of money to a certain mobile number. It is interesting to note that sending SMS to the chatbot will be free; which means sending money via the new service will be cheaper compared to the previous method which could require one subscribing to mobile data.
The chatbot service is also available online via Facebook chatbot services. SimbaPay has established itself as a reliable money remittance service between Africa and Europe. The service was previously only available via the web and mobile apps for Android and iOS.