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From farmers to students, Zim fintech vows to include all

Tendai Mugovi, the founder of Cashlinq, a Zimbabwean fintech start-up. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn
Tendai Mugovi, the founder of Cashlinq, a Zimbabwean fintech start-up. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn

A Zimbabwean fintech start-up,  Cashlinq, is set on empowering entrepreneurs across Africa through its “easily accessible” banking platform. Cashlinq, says founder Tendai Mugovi, is best used as a full banking wallet solution.

Mugovi is the chief executive of Mugonat Systems, a software company. He says Cashlinq is built to meet international standards, but also the specific banking needs of Zimbabweans.

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An earlier report by the UN Capital Development Fund found that the number of bank accounts in Zimbabwe grew from just under 1.5 million in 2016 to nearly 8.5 million in 2020, including 5.2 million low-cost accounts.

The future of African banking is digital, says Mugovi, citing Fiserv research that “78% of people under the age of 40 would stay with their bank if it went all digital, compared to only 47% of people over 40.” This, as Africa has the youngest population in the world, with over 70% of sub-Saharan Africans being under the age of 40.

‘Cashlinq to benefit rich and poor’

Mugovi believes African countries have made significant progress in financial inclusion with mobile banking services such as Mpesa. However, he says regardless of the progress, the banking experience in most African countries still leaves a lot to be desired.

“Cashlinq uses a flexible pricing arrangement well within the reach of even start-ups,” he says. “It is suitable for a variety of business cases such as digital only banks, fintechs, mobile network operators, open banking and any non-financial institutions.”

Citing Cashlinq’s many benefits, Mugovi adds that mobile network operators can run second-generation mobile wallets through the platform. “Success stories such as Mpesa and Ecocash attest the significant opportunities available. Cashlinq was uniquely designed to provide great value to clients and to capture more value for the business in the process.”

Furthermore, well-established financial institutions that seek to reduce the licencing costs and to boost transaction-processing performance are also in Cashlinq’s target market. The platform can be used to host mobile wallets and so-called low-value current accounts for the likes of farmers, students and underaged children.

“This will lessen the load on main core systems thereby boosting transaction processing performance. Costs will be reduced as well on core banking software-licensing costs,” vows Mugovi.

Also, he says established banks seeking a solution to capture more value and satisfy clients through the various fintech’s will also benefit from Cashlinq.

“It allows the banks to start offering their own Banking as a service (BaaS) platforms that enable direct access for fintech’s and other businesses through APIs. Such an approach creates a competitive advantage for banks in in this new digital era where novel fintech start-ups emerge constantly.”

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