Zim startup launches mobile money management desktop app, Capu
A local startup has launched a desktop based mobile money management tool called Capu (short for Cash Application: Universal). Universal in that the tool can be used to manage transactions of any mobile money service locally. The app, which is Windows based, so far allows users to manage their Textacash and EcoCash transactions more conveniently.
If you don’t use mobile money services yet – and you should, Mr Caveman – you’re probably wondering just what convenience Capu brings. Here’s the deal, mobile money services like EcoCash and Textacash (all ZimSwitch Shared Services based ones actually) use USSD menus, i.e. those annoying ‘enter 1 to do this, 2 to do that etc…” back and forth menus. Now if the network happens to act up while you’re going through the hoops, it’s back to square one. On a bad network day, you’ll just defer that transaction. It’s much worse if you’re an agent and there’s a queue of people all wanting to transact.
Capu takes all that pain away by providing an interface to do any mobile money transaction on a PC. The application basically does all the painful USSD back and forth on your behalf. And if a transaction fails for one reason or the other, all you have to do is click retry. Now since Capu is handling all these payments anyway, it can use all data generate to provide some insights into the transactions through reports, which can be very useful for agents and other types of business uses.
capu-screenUsers can also do bulk transactions, has a contacts manager so users don’t have to remember and enter phone numbers each time,
Capu uses a dongle (with a mobile money SIM inside) connected to a PC which poses a number of limits to the individual user as most of us have the line we use for mobile money transactions in our phones.
Capu founder Takura Kajengo told use this week that they have already signed up some EcoCash agents who are finding the application quite useful. Kajengo demoed the app to us recently and it was easy to see how this would take away lots of pain, for agents especially.
Kajengo says the application is available for free to individuals but that arrangements to pay are made with each business that approaches them for it.
While solving a simple and direct problem right now, Capu has an opportunity to evolve into a number of directions in terms of simplifying mobile money for business. What Kopokopo is today is an example. PesaPal even! One hopes our mobile operators and financial institutions are able to see the opportunity in such applications and entrepreneurs so they can help them integrate to their platforms officially so all security issues are taken care of as the product grows.