DreamOval’s m-money platform SlydePay partners with Stanbic Bank to roll out new ways of paying including cross-border and Bitcoin

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DreamOval has partnered with Stanbic Bank in Ghana to launch its latest m-money platform Slydepay. Rather than go the independent route doing it all itself, it chose a trusted financial partner. Russell Southwood spoke DreamOval’s Derrydean Dadzie about Slydepay and how thinks have developed since its launch in April 2015.

Dadzie describes Slydepay as “a mobile wallet that’s creating a new business dynamic….” And its website boosts it as “A simpler, more exciting way to manage your money.”

Although DreamOval has a team of 45 people, it’s a small company still so the collaboration with the bank was a good fit:” “We focus on the tech, they focus on the banking. It does the transactions. We’re not a financial institution.”
It takes away the risk and sets a good example for service development.”

So what does it actually do? Slydepay does the following: it can make payments (eg Vida e Caffe outlets, services and goods at shops). And for example, when make a transaction at Vida e Caffe at Junction Mall and you get your receipt on the screen of your phone:”It’s a demonstration of the cashless society we are driving.” It can do mobile top-up and bill payment.

The app is available on Android and iOS and you use a pin code to “Add Money” from several sources including Tigo Cash, MTN Money and several others. It allows you to check your transaction history showing money in and money out; store money for making payments. Once into your account, you can just tap once and get a balance.

You can pay for services in three ways: by scanning QR codes, using a payment code or with NFC. The next release will allow you to use Bitcoin.

It has acquired 15,000 customers since launch in 2015 without much having been spent on advertising. The average transaction is GHC65 (US$17.01). The majority of users make use of it to pay for airtime with the other main use being in-store payments. Over the next period, Dadzie says they will be focusing on growing the number of retail merchants.

So what’s the potential customer base? “The currently banked are 5 million and I thinks wecan reach a slice of the currently unbanked: the literate young particularly”. A reference benchmark would be MTN Mobile Money which currently has 2 million users. Another reference benchmark would be smartphones but there’s currently no reliable data for the market:”14 million data subscribers. You can project smartphone use from that as smartphone users are in the majority”.

Slydepay’s competitors are expressPay (a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation); mPower; and Zeepay (which recently received US$200,000 angel funding). “We’re the only one who didn’t raise money.” He wants to generate more value in the company before going that route.

“We need to reach around 50,000 users to go to first base and everything’s going right. At present we can be profitable. With more engagement, we can drive higher levels of transactions.” Speed of acquisition is just below 2,000 a month but the rate increasing.

So is their spend for marketing? “We’ve got something on the cards. As we’re aligned with Stanbic, we can leverage their infrastructure and network. Stanbic wants to see our end of the year position. I want to show and not tell”.

Dadzie believes that there is a willingness amongst Ghanaians to adopt the service but it has to have a well-designed interface:” You have to woo and attract them.
We have the best UI. It’s comparable to Apple Pay and their like”. Dazie showed me how it worked on his phone and it certainly is a much better designed UI than many I have seen.

So what what’s planned in the next 12 months?:”We’re going to add more services like Bitcoin functionality. We’re going to get more relationships with merchants. We’re going to start cross-border partnerships with other platforms like Paga Pay.”


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