Oluwasanmi Akinmusure, Co-founder and COO of ImaliPay, reflects on how lessons from Nigeria and Kenya shaped the launch in South Africa
We’re excited to announce that ImaliPay has launched in South Africa this week with Stitch as our payments and open banking partner!
We’re now live in three markets – Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa – to enable gig economy workers across Africa to improve their financial security and shape their journey towards financial freedom. These three markets represent the 3 largest gig economies in Sub-Saharan Africa!
Hindsight is 20/20
Taking lessons from our operational markets in Kenya and Nigeria, we’ve launched in South Africa, bigger, bolder and better. Unlike in other markers, there is no chicken and egg dilemma for us in South Africa; we are entering the market with a robust ecosystem of marketplace vendors that will serve our customers nationwide. Whether gig workers are based in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban, they will be able to access our one stop shop financial services platform for their everyday gig work.
We’re launching with a few gig platforms and will expand this pool as we take root in the market. To ensure we continue to offer the best possible customer experience, we are working with Stitch as our payments partner in South Africa, enabling workers to seamlessly pay-in to ImaliPay via their bank accounts, with just one click. Our customers in South Africa will enjoy a far better customer experience – informed by key learnings from our pioneering markets, Nigeria and Kenya.
Kiaan Pillay, Co-Founder & CEO of Stitch, said , “We’re super excited to be working with the ImaliPay team as they launch in South Africa. At Stitch, our mission is to make it easier for innovative fintech companies like ImaliPay to build and scale across the continent, and we look forward to seeing the impact they’ll have on the financial health of South Africa’s gig workers.”
One size doesn’t fit all
We quickly learned that we could not offer cookie cutter experience in three markets; each market required highly curated, bespoke offerings. Working in these markets, we realized that one size doesn’t fit all, which proves especially true in the gig economy. The general problem we’re solving is the same for all our markets, but the customer needs and market nuances are significantly different. The challenges gig workers face in Nigeria differ from those of gig workers in Kenya and South Africa. Tailoring our service offerings to meet the different needs of our customers in the various markets has pushed us in a direction where we have adopted the most agile and innovative approach towards product development. As we launch, we’re excited to have Velisiwe (Business Development) and Tamsin (Head of Operations) on board to support the go to market efforts and operations to ensure we have productive and growing relationships.
Culture keeps the ‘engine’ running
We have a running joke about driving business at ImaliPay. The driving force behind our success is harnessed from our engine room (you have to join us to get the full joke). This driving force is our ImaliPay culture. Culture has taken on more importance than I expected, and I’ve come to appreciate the value of putting culture first. As we launch in South Africa, we will continue to be deliberate about our culture: We are passionate; we win as a team; we’re resilient, innovative and risk-taking; we work with urgency; we’re creative (and did I say passionate?) – and we’re extremely passionate.
The best part about all of this is that we’re just getting started.
Interested in learning more about ImaliPay?
Check out our website https://www.imalipay.com/ or drop us a note at email@example.com