The future of aggregate payment service platforms in Cameroon.

Buma Wamo
4 min readNov 21, 2019

Digital market places are not new, they have been around since the dawn of e-commerce and serve as the single destination for the general public to access and purchase commodities and services via digital channels, thereby making it easy for the customer to access these services and increase consumer confidence.

None-the-less, the digital evolution is still at its baby stages in Africa and Cameroon in particular as access to digital services is still a major hurdle. There exist a dying need for the decentralization of digital services for easy, fast and secure access at any point in time with a trusted agent a few steps away from consumers. Maviance Cameroon Plc( a payment service provider and bill payment aggregator) being a concerned key player, is solving the problem of inaccessibility/proximity to services through its Smobilpay™ platform.

What is smobilpay™?

Giving an insight into Smobilpay, Dr.Nkwenti Azong-wara, the General Manager of Maviance Cameroon Plc said:

“ Smobilpay™ is a digital one-stop-shop, used by third-party agents ( such as Banks, Microfinances, Institutions, Supermarkets, Kiosks, and other businesses) to sell services such as Bill payment, Airtime, Pay-TV subscription, Mobile money top-up, and withdrawal,etc”.

On the Smobilpay platform, all these services are available via a secure, fast and easy-to-use single interface, giving the sales point agent the power to serve customers easily without having to use multiple devices nor having to deal with multiple sellers.

“The customer has easy access to all these services and can go to a trusted nearby agent and pay for these services in cash or via other means of payment” Dr. Nkwenti added with a fearless smile.

The Smobilpay platform explained schematically.

How it works.

The customer goes to any Smobilpay™ approved agent/collector (be it a shop, supermarket, petrol station, pharmacy, bank, microfinance, etc.) and pays the bill. The payment is instantly reconciled with the service provider as the Smobilpay platform is connected in real-time to all service providers. The bill collector gives the customer a printed electronic receipt, the customer also receives a notification via SMS and optionally via email. With no subscription needed, this simple, easy to use, secure and fast platform is bringing a positive change in the accessibility of services in the Cameroonian market.

A representation of how the Smobilpay platform operates with electricity bill payment.

Becoming a Smobilpay Partner is easy.

To begin, there are two types of partners with Smobilpay namely; Billers and Collectors/Agents.

Biller:

A Biller is a service provider who has a service to commercialize to the general public(examples of Billers are Eneo, Canal+, Camwater, MTN, Orange, Transportation companies, etc). These billers can easily distribute their services and products to the general public by making them available on the Smobilpay platform hence gaining instant access to the general public who can be served by over 2000 trained and certified Smobilpay agents.

Collectors/Agents:

Collectors or Agents are physical businesses who receive customers daily, requesting to purchase the goods or services they sell( Examples of collectors/agents are Banks, Supermarkets, Petrol stations, pharmacies, small shops, kiosks, etc). These businesses already have constant contact with customers and can be able to earn additional revenue by selling other products/services of billers to these customers. For example, a customer can now pay an electricity bill or pay for insurance services at a shop that sells handbags.

Becoming a collector/agent of Smobilpay is uncomplicated. With no IT skills needed, no new infrastructural investment, you can simply leverage your existing infrastructure (computer or Android phone, Internet, etc) to be able to access Smobilpay. The platform has been designed in a simple manner such that anyone can be trained to use it. All Smobilpay agents are well trained and certified to use the platform, and serve the customers of billers.

It is worth noting that; the Smobilpay application is not a direct customer application. It has been developed for Agents/collectors and Billers only.

Advantages of the Smobilpay Platform.

The Smobilpay platform remains advantageous not only to the billers, collectors but customers too.

Advantages for Billers:

· Billers get access to a huge network of agents (above 2000) to commercialize services.

· Increase in brand awareness, service quality and customer satisfaction as services are now available far and wide

· Security of funds. This means that Collectors and agents pay a collection deposit and can only collect funds (sell services) less than or equal to the deposit paid. Also, Maviance Cameroon Plc transfers all funds collected into the Biller’s account. Hence, billers can save costs and risks of transportation of funds from their agencies to the bank. In many cases, Maviance prepays for these services from the biller.

Advantages for Collectors/Agents.

· Collectors Earn additional revenue from selling these services of Billers.

· Increase foot traffic at owned sales points by welcoming customers of other service providers to your business, making personal point of sale more visible due to the availability of multiple services giving the collector an opportunity of selling other products to them.

Advantages for Customers

· Proximity and accessibility to sales points: Customers can now access services at their nearby shops and merchants. They don’t have to travel long distances and/or queue up to pay bills.

· One-Stop-Shop: Customers can now pay for multiple services at a single point, as they no longer have to move from one biller to the next to pay bills, hence saving time and costs.

Thank you for reading!

Should you be interested in becoming a biller or collector send a mail to (sales@cm.smobilpay.com).

--

--

Buma Wamo

Experienced Project Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.