By Mark Kawalya
From the looks of things, MTN Uganda’s 2022 Hackathon competition had some commendable results. Through it, M-Pay, a web-based platform, was developed that offers a framework that will allow MTN Uganda subscribers to make bulk payments to different clients at the touch of a single button.
The application was developed by a team of former Makerere University computer science students, Michael Kalyango and Jerald Muhwezi, who placed third in the 2022 MoMo Hackathon.
The app derives its name from the phrase “mobile payment,” and the team received US$2000 at the end of the competition to execute the solution.
To utilise the application, users will need a device such as a smartphone, computer, or tablet that has been connected to the internet.
After the service has been commercialized, mobile money subscribers will go to a web portal, fund their mobile wallets, and then make multiple transactions.
According to Kalyango, a good example of the system at work is an organisation that needs to pay 10 employees daily. The M-Pay system can make the payment in a single transaction.
“We are eliminating the exercise of making 10 different transactions using MTN MoMo and replacing this with a single transaction. One simply uploads a list of beneficiaries, hits the pay button and all of them will receive their payments,” he says, adding that the initiative is intended to eliminate cash from the payment process.
The tech founder says a key difference from existing platforms is M-Pay’s flexibility to integrate with other key players. Organizations can have information directly synchronised with their accounting systems.
“If an organisation is on Quick Books, the synching will happen automatically with M-Pay so that the paying entity does not do the payment on one side and then do a posting on the other side on the accounting system,” Kalyango says.
The partners are working to engage key partners so that payments developed for non-mobile money platforms can reach groups like refugees with no documentation and, many times, phone access.
After emerging third, at the MTN MoMo Hackathon, Kalyango mentions that the firm’s next step is to implement the initiative so that it can go live in the shortest time possible.