Financial discipline can be a big challenge in a bid to save towards planned goals. For impulse buyers it is near impossible to save towards a target goal. However, mobile and web application, KoloPay has launched to enable financial discipline over a period of time towards achieving set goals at mouthwatering discounts. In an interview with Innovation Village, Co-Founder and CEO, Ayoola Ogunlowo tells us more about KOLOPAY and its amazing offers.
Can you tell us about KOLOPAY and what it has to offer?
KoloPay is a mobile and web application that enables target savings towards planned goals over a period of time and helps users achieve their targets at amazing and unbeatable discounts. Users’ goals could be cars, home appliances, vacation, professional exams, home furniture, etc. They enjoy discounts on these items as soon as they meet their savings targets. People can also save towards targets like rent, school fees, business, or just savings and they enjoy 6% interest as incentive on their savings.
KoloPay is a product of MYKOLO-TECH INNOVATIONS LIMITED and it started as MyKolo in September 2017, however we had to rebrand the product to better create a unique name that defines the purpose of the business. Kolo means saving box in Yoruba language and PAY represents the payment part where users use their savings to pay for their targets with a click of a button.
We started with a small team of two, myself (Co-Founder & CEO) and Ifeoluwa Popoola (Co-Founder and CTO) and we are gradually growing.
What motivated the setting up of KOLOPAY?
KoloPay started as a solution to a personal savings problem. I am a regular victim of impulse buying and unplanned spending which always disrupts my budgets on important targets I need to achieve. I needed a platform that will enable me lock my savings till the date it will be needed to execute my target. Also, I need the flexibility to top up my savings at any time and any day. So, bank deposit accounts wouldn’t solve my problem. So, I thought of creating and customizing a mobile application that will be rigid to enable discipline of savings and also flexible enough to help me make a transfer to the vendor or merchants that offer my targets on at due dates. The idea was to create a total cashless and seamless process. No need for access to ATM, no unnecessary transfers before due date, no USSD transfer… strictly for your planned targets. I shared the idea with a friend Ifeoluwa Popoola (now Co-Founder and CTO of KoloPay) who is a developer and also needed the solution to manage and monitor his savings. We started building sometime in March, carried out a pilot in August and started fully in September 2017.
What is unique about the services the platform has to offer?
KoloPay does not just provide users with a seamless and safe platform to save money but offers incentives in form of interest and discounts to people on goals they are saving towards. No platform at the moment creates a savings platform and offers deals and discounts to users.
How does KOLOPAY work?
KoloPay mobile App is available on Play Store and the web application is accessible through our website: www.kolopay.com
You can sign in using your phone number and a password. You create your targets by naming the goals you wish to save towards. Choose EasySave (to save any amount at anytime) or AUTOSAVE (to save either daily, weekly or monthly)Set your target budget using the open market price, set your due date (the date you wish to withdraw your savings or buy the item you are saving towards) and start saving. You can save from multiple bank accounts using details on your ATM cards or save just your bank account number (for selected banks for now). KoloPay is safe and secure to use. All transactions are encrypted.
Our ‘SHARE TARGET’ feature helps users crowd fund (through Facebook, WhatsApp, email, Instagram DM), etc from family and friends to meet their goals. These family and friends don’t need to have KoloPay account before contributing. So, for people that need support for wedding ceremonies or starting a business, this is a great way to raise funds.
What has the traction been like since its launch?
We are just a few hits away from 500 active savers. It has been amazing seeing the adoption and watching the numbers go up with ZERO marketing budget. Most users have been from referrals while we put up plans to start full marketing campaigns. A few users have redeemed the savings through targets they are saving towards. These targets range from washing machines, fridges, mixing machines, cookers, etc. We are currently negotiating about concluding good deals with our partner merchants for a few other users saving to buy cars and more home appliances whose due dates are close.
What were the challenges encountered building the platform and those since KOLOPAY launched?
Testing the best gateway solution for the platform was a major challenge which took us a while. Gaining people’s trust was also a challenge but we are gradually building the trust based on testimonies from existing users
Achievement(s) recorded since launch?
- KoloPay emerged 2nd runner up at the 2017 Ennovate Naija Contest organized by NIBSS.
- Made the semi-final list at the Humanique Global Challenge 2017 with start-ups from Russia, Indonesia, UK, Netherlands, and US.
- Made it into the Make-IT Accelerator program implemented by the German International Cooperation 2018.
What advice do you have for prospective entrepreneurs out there?
Execute with whatever you have. The business started the moment you conceived the idea. Get into action as fast as possible. Look out for people that can help. Chase after them. Don’t be scared to ask for help. Learn how to sell. No business without sales.
What are the future plans for KOLOPAY?
We intend to build the biggest FinTech company managing savings and e-commerce at the same time in Africa.