Cross-Border Payment Disruption with Ham Serunjogi
Before the launch of M-Pesa, a Kenyan-founded mobile-phone money transfer service, sending money in much of Africa required trips to the bank. However, since then, mobile money transfers have exploded across the continent. Despite this, fees associated with cross-border payments are notoriously expensive, ranging between 10-20%. Chipper Cash is looking to disrupt this space, with fees of only 5%, and they are only just getting started. The Co-Founder of this startup, Ham Serunjogi, is today’s guest, and as someone who grew up in Uganda, he has a unique perspective on what this kind of solution means for the continent.
In this episode, Ham sheds light on the company and why he and Maijid Moujaled felt drawn to building the platform. Having both been educated in the U.S., they saw just how simple sending money could be, and they knew the African fintech space was ready for Chipper when they launched in 2018. We hear about how the company manages to keep their fees low, where they have invested their money, and why they believe that competition is so important in the space. We also touch on the pandemic, which accelerated the company’s growth, and why this time has only reinforced Chipper’s mission of providing a reliable, efficient product to its users.
Key Points From This Episode:
- What Chipper Cash does and the impetus for founding the company.
- How Ham and his co-founder, Maijid Moujaled, met and started working together.
- The difficulties Ham and Maijid faced in trying to get Chipper off the ground.
- Some of Chipper Cash’s numbers: user base, funds raised, and employees.
- The role of timing in a company’s success, particularly in Africa’s fragmented fintech landscape.
- Developments and investments that illustrate the big shifts in African fintech.
- The history of mobile money payments in Africa and what changed the game completely.
- Why cross-border transfer fees are so expensive in Africa and how Chipper has managed their low price point.
- The cross-border money sending ecosystem in Africa can accommodate so many players.
- How Chipper decides on its product rollouts and what else the company has in store.
- The crypto product Chipper currently offers and where Ham sees this going in Africa.