The word Popote is Swahili meaning ‘anywhere or at-large’. The company name in Kenya and it’s U.S counterpart reflect our aspirations as defined by our vision and mission statements.
To be the world’s leading provider of technology driven solutions that promote team collaboration, mobility and convenience.
To provide technology driven solutions that enable individuals, groups and organizations collaborate on and control important processes in a manner that eliminates the need to be physically present without impacting on productivity or team work. We promote work-life integration and our solutions create more time for the things that really matter in our customers lives.
The Company’s primary product is a payments, expense management & accounting solution called Popote Pay. We offer several other solutions both software and hardware which are all aligned to the company’s vision.
Mobile money was developed by Vodafone and popularized under the brand Mpesa by Safaricom, Kenya’s leading Mobile network operator(MNO). Today over 90% of the Kenyan adult population use Mpesa and organizations of every size across the country including SME’s, utility providers, corporations and government bodies accept payments made through it. Over 50% of Kenya’s GDP flows through Safaricom’s mpesa and it accounts for over 40% of global mobile money transactions, making Kenya the leading mobile money economy in the world by far.
In the course of Mpesa’s growth, the banking industry partnered with Safaricom to enable their customers move funds between their Mpesa wallets and Bank accounts. This caused a surge in uptake of mobile banking however it also drove Mpesa to greater dominance. To stem this, Kenyan Banks came together and financed development of a switch to enable instant transfers amongst bank accounts.
These investments in mobile money and banking infrastructure made Kenya an ideal place for Popote Pay to be first trialed. Today Popote Pay is a partner to Safaricom and a growing number of Banks. Its users can make payments to mobile wallets and bank account within Kenya and overseas, to e-commerce gateways and point of sale terminals, using a linked card and several other transaction types.
The problem Popote Pay solves affects businesses in both emerging and developed countries. In Kenya the majority of businesses are multi-banked and also use mpesa. Therefore, it made sense for Popote Pay to integrate with both ecosystems, to allow flows between them. Because conditions in other countries vary, Popote Pay is offered to financial institutions for integration with whichever payment rails are available.
Popote Pay is cloud based which enables simple deployment at a fraction of the cost and time required to build, test and deploy such a solution internally. It can also be installed on physical servers if need be. It’s important to note that Popote Pay does not require mobile money to function. It is operable with whichever fund transfer mechanisms are available in the particular country it is being deployed in, including bank transfer and card mechanisms. It can also be translated into any language.
Because of the advanced mobile and bank payments infrastructure, Kenya was the most ideal country in the world to deploy the solution direct to the consumer. However there are initiatives happening globally that will make for even better conditions than exist in Kenya and financial institutions that prepare early will have a first mover advantage in offering innovative products and services, such as ours, in their markets. Here are some examples of the enabling initiatives underway:
PSD2 (Revised Payment Service Directive) is a 2018 European Union directive that requires banks to provide third-party financial service providers with access to their customers’ accounts through open APIs (application program interfaces). This will enable 3rd parties to build financial services on top of banks’ data and infrastructure.
The directive has since been adopted for discussion in the U.S.A. The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) have opened a forum for feedback from the public as whether to lobby for it.
Faster Payments Service (FPS) is a UK banking initiative to reduce the payment times between different banks' customer accounts to a few seconds as an improvement the long-established BACS and CHAPS systems. FPS is focused on large numbers of smaller payments, subject to limits that depend on the individual banks.
Nine banks and one building society, accounting for about 95 percent of payments traffic, initially committed to use the service and as of May 2018 there were 21 direct participants.
Faster Payments Task Force, U.S.A is an initiative created in 2015 by the United States Federal Reserve. It's mission is to “identify and evaluate alternative approaches for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payments capabilities in the United States.”
Given the breadth and complexity of the U.S. market, with over 10,000 depository institutions and hundreds of non-bank payment providers, it is more challenging to implement improvements to the payments infrastructures in a coordinated way, which has caused the U.S to be left behind by other economies in this regard.