Outpacing African mobile payment platforms M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Bicig Mobile, Flooz de Moov and MobiCash, e-Doley Cash takes digital money a step forward by offering a mobile banking solution. In addition to mobile payment, e-Doley Cash provides users in Gabon with banking and trading options operated on a mobile phone.
“More than facilitating payment of goods via mobile phone, e-Doley Cash moves beyond contemporary technology used in Africa and hands users a bank in their pocket.” Ernest Tewelyo, founder and manager of Libreville-based e-Doley Cash, launched his start-up in 2012. While other services allow users to pay with their mobile phone, e-Doley Cash combines payment, banking and trading in one platform. Ernest: “With e-Doley Cash you take out an insurance on your phone, find the closest ATM in your area, and check your account’s balance. e-Doley Cash offers each and every of a bank’s front office services in an app.”
Paying a taxi ride
e-Doley Cash is a software system that can be installed on a feature phone by means of a chip; on a smartphone it can be downloaded as app. If the user device allows for it, e-Doley Cash supports Near Field Communication: a relatively new technology that facilitates payment without physical contact. The app was developed by Paris-based mobile banking developer Wonderbank. In addition, e-Doley Cash forged a partnership with BGFIBank, which operates in eleven central-African countries. This, however, does not mean e-Doley Cash is reserved for holders of a BGFI Bank account only. Ernest: “If you were to visit Gabon for holidays or a business trip, you can swiftly register online and charge your e-Doley Cash account using VISA or Mastercard. e-Doley Cash then lets you pay for your taxi ride, hotel stay, groceries and souvenirs in Gabon.”
At this stage of development, the types of payment made with e-Doley Cash are limited. “Our goal is to cover every payment segment”, says Ernest. “Our partnership with BGFIBank resulted in 5000 current e-Doley Cash users in Gabon. Although we are taking it step by step, we certainly welcome additional partners. As the majority of the African population is underbanked our partnerships with banks benefit banks’ clients by giving them their bank at their fingertips. e-Doley Cash helps banks put forward a much more inclusive offer, reaching out to rural populations which at the moment cannot leave their smallholdings for an entire day to deposit at a bank. e-Doley Cash democratises and simplifies access.”
As with any technological advancement, e-Doley Cash poses security concerns. What if a user loses their pin code or mobile phone? “Zero risk does not exist”, says Ernest. “At e-Doley Cash we revert to a user’s personal email address in case of emergency. If a pin code or mobile phone gets lost, via email a new pin code can be requested once the phone number has been recovered. At the end of the day, our goal is to deliver a top-notch product, whether in terms of security, user-friendliness or accessibility. And that journey for excellence has only just begun!”