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Life gets easier with the click of a mouse: Muchemi

Danson Muchemi has been named by Forbes magazine as one of the most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa to watch in 2014.

The 30-year-old is the founder of WebTribe, an IT company that deals in online payment systems, web applications and network security through its online payment gateway, JamboPay.

The company has a presence in Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Netherlands.

JamboPay platform provides electronic payment for Uchumi Supermarkets, e-ticketing for Safaricom and electronic cash disbursement.

Users can pay via mobile money and credit cards among other channels.

“For instance, through Uchumi Live, shoppers can buy items from the comfort of their homes or offices and pick the shopping from their preferred branch or have it delivered,” said Muchemi.

So how did he get there?

After graduating from Kenyatta University with a degree in telecommunication and information technology, Muchemi worked for a Turkish group which deals in electronic payments and from which he drew his inspiration . 

Easier mode

“I realised that the Kenyan market lacked an easier mode where people can make payments from the comfort of their homes or offices,” added the chief executive. 

This explains why he quit his job in 2009 to found WebTribe using his savings.

“With the help of a friend, he developed the software, but it took him two years to get approval from the Central Bank of Kenya to pilot it. The delay was heart-breaking because the financial regulator thought that I was too young to guarantee success of the platform,” he said.

In the last one year, JamboPay has recorded a 67 per cent growth in the value of transactions and 80 per cent in the volume of transactions. 

They now have 750 merchants up from 300 while the number of staff has grown to 44 including 12 consultants.

WebTribe makes money by charging merchants a 3 or 3.5 per cent commission on each transaction. 

Last year, JamboPay won the Google Innovation Award in Financial Services while the year before, it won the East African Business Council Best Start ups award.

The IT firm has partnered with Nairobi Water in revenue collection.

“We will provide agency services and we plan to roll out over 300 agents by June this year,” he said. 

How to sign up

The electronic payment, he said, would help in ensuring accountability besides fighting water cartels in the city. 

To become an agent, an applicant will need to sign up on the JamboPay website, fill a form, get approved and be trained on the operations.

Once done JamboPay will issue kits and brand the outlet and request the agent to buy a float.

“The agents will have a device that will generate electronic invoices,” he said.

His aim is to bring convenience to Nairobians by helping them to pay school fees, shop online and beat queues when paying bills at the click of the mouse.

He is also in talks with Nairobi County government over the cash collection tender.