Mobile Financial App SimbaPay Launches SMS-based Bot for Remittances

Paul Ndichu
Paul Ndichu - CEO, Interswitch EA

Paul Ndichu

Recent strides in fin-tech technology have spurred the deployment of multiple remittances and payment gateways. These financial services have leveraged the popularity of artificial intelligence and chatbots to expand their product portfolio, a route that SimbaPay, a London-based digital money transfer platform has taken in its latest partnership with Interswitch.

The collaboration, which went live earlier today, saw the launch of SimbaPay chatbot built with AI features to allow international money transfers via SMS. At the same time, the bot features access to 24/7 instant customer services to solve any issues for customers across Africa and Europe.

The choice to use an SMS-based bot was arrived at in a bid to encourage uptake for people without access to the Internet or smart handhelds.

“We’re thrilled at the prospect of the chatbot service resolving most customer inquiries instantly at any time of day or night,” said Daniel Howard, CTO for SimbaPay. “Another major objective we achieved with the chatbot service is that it also works without internet. This means customers with a mobile phone, even a basic phone without internet access, can access the SimbaPay chatbot using SMS”.

“Interswitch is proud to be associated with a company as innovative as SimbaPay which is continually looking to improve and expand its product offering. We will continue to collaborate in the development of products and services that contribute to the expansion of the fintech space,” added Paul Mwaura Ndichu, CEO Interswitch East Africa (K).

The inference of this development is that SimbaPay customers will be able to send money simply via SMS. The bot needs a phone number only as other details such as bank and mobile money details are automatically retrieved. What’s more, recipients can choose whether to receive funds via bank accounts or mobile-based financial products such as M-PESA.

Apart from a free SMS-based chatbot, additional features such as inquiries are replicated on social media channels that include a Facebook chatbot that addresses user queries.

Primarily, SimbaPay provides a platform to send money to people in Africa and Europe via compatible smartphone apps on Android and iOS. The collaboration with Interswitch precedes the latter’s contract with Telkom Kenya’s plan to launch payment gateways for T-Kash.