Ivy league graduates leave high flying careers in the US to help Africa move its money

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Ed Magema, Chipper Cash MD
Photo: Courtesy

Moving money across the border has proved to be a challenge, especially for the unbanked population of Africa. According to the World Bank, approximately 2.5 billion people are still unbanked. 66 percent of Sub-Saharan Africans are said to belong to this group.

However, with the high smartphone adoption and rise of mobile money use in sub-Saharan Africa, 16 percent of people in this region are now enjoying financial inclusion. Documentation, transport, and poverty are some of the challenges facing the traditional banking system in Africa.

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Statistics of the unbanked

High internet penetration and the availability of mobile money has presented many opportunities for young entrepreneurs. With the global trends leaning towards the growth of e-commerce, there is an increasing need to revolutionize the banking system in Africa. This is what has led to MPesa’s fast growth, reaching about 34.7 million customers globally in just over 10 years. Out of these, 22.62 million are based in Kenya. Despite spreading its wings across 10 countries outside Kenya, sending money across countries is not a piece of cake.

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Sending money across countries is not a piece of cake

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Chipper Cash has set itself apart as a company that helps users to “Send, receive & request money with no added charges.” They believe that you do not have to “lose money just to send money,” which is the company catchphrase.

“Chipper eliminates all charges that people currently incur when sending money across borders,” explains Ed, who goes on to cite this free use as one of the challenges the company has faced so far.

“This may surprise you, but we have seen some few people get shocked to hear there is a company ready to offer high quality, seamless services for free!.”

When asked what is in it for the team, Ed answers, “Legacy and a paradigm shift. We want to be known as a company that helped democratize financial services for every single person, including the banked and unbanked.”

You can visit the official Chipper website to learn more about the solution.

Though partnerships with local providers have enabled Safaricom to roll out mobile money services in Tanzania, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Mozambique, Egypt, Lesotho, Ghana, Albania and Romania, high transaction charges, bureaucracy, and multiple taxes hinder the movement of money across multiple countries. This is what inspired Ham Serunjogi  (Ugandan) and Maijid Moujaled (Ghanaian) to leave their well-paying jobs at Fortune 100 companies and grab the bull by its horns. The two teamed up with Kenyan-born Mathematician Ed Magema, a graduate of Harvard, who was at that time working as a strategy consultant to roll out Chipper cash in Africa.

Edwin, who graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Pure Mathematics in 2015, says that he decided to quit his job as a consultant because Chipper Cash offered the massive impact on people’s lives he had been looking for.

Ham was a Business Strategist while Maijid was a Software Engineer at Facebook. “When they approached me with the Chipper idea, I said why not’,” Ed, who is currently the Chipper Cash MD, tells Kenya Witness during an interview.

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You can download Chipper Cash app on the App Store

Chipper Cash has set itself apart as a company that helps users to “Send, receive & request money with no added charges.” They believe that you do not have to “lose money just to send money,” which is the company catchphrase.

“Chipper eliminates all charges that people currently incur when sending money across borders,” explains Ed, who goes on to cite this free use as one of the challenges the company has faced so far.

“This may surprise you, but we have seen some few people get shocked to hear there is a company ready to offer high quality, seamless services for free!.”

When asked what is in it for the team, Ed answers, “Legacy and a paradigm shift. We want to be known as a company that helped democratize financial services for every single person, including the banked and unbanked.”

You can visit the official Chipper website to learn more about the solution.

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