When a peacock is lying down, one can hardly appreciate its beauty. But when it stands and its wings are fully spread, it reveals one of the most beautiful color patterns. The same applies to digital data. Because data is unstructured and is everywhere, very few people get to appreciate its significance.
It is for this reason that a Tanzanian data science consultancy firm called AfroPavo Analytics introduced a product called Tausi, to reveal the beauty of Data.
Tausi, which means Peacock in Swahili, is an intelligent credit-risk scoring engine that quantifies the creditworthiness of a consumer through formal and informal data to a consistent scoring system.
“We are a start-up and currently rolling out different solutions. The easiest entry to the market was through B2B because it is easier to deal with clients [already] in this market. Most of our impact has been by enabling other FinTechs and other financial service providers to actually provide services and we are doing this through our model of credit scoring,” says Derick Kazimoto, the co-founder and CEO of AfroPavo analytics, the company that owns Tausi.
Besides the B2B approach, Tausi also has the B2B2C approach whereby they create products and then partner with mobile network operators and banks to deploy them to the market, with the sole objective of increasing the financial inclusiveness of people.
Some of their products include micro and small consumer loans, E-Money overdrafts, mobile money and agent banking loans, and airtime loans among others.
“One of our clients is trying to become a tiered bank and we are consulting to form a system that will impact more than 8 million people. We are also in partnership with mobile operators and banks to deliver a product in the market that will impact women. It is a product that will promote saving among women,” Kazimoto says.
The State of FINTECH in Tanzania.
Based in Tanzania, Tausi by AfroPavo Analytics is the 45th participant in the third edition of the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative organized by HiPipo in partnership with Mojaloop, ModusBox, Level One Project, and Crosslake Tech and with support from the Gates Foundation to shine a light on emerging FinTechs in East Africa.
Kazimoto says Tanzania has a very promising FinTech industry because of the strength of the country’s mobile money operators like M-Pesa and Airtel Money.
He however points out the challenge of affordability given that the majority of the people in Tanzania can only afford feature phones, thus unable to access app-based products.
“When you have a product that is not based on USSD, you are in trouble. Everything you develop has to be based on USSD for success. The opportunity that comes with it is if you have a good enough innovation, you can get integrated with a mobile network operator as a young innovator whereby at the end of the day you don’t need to onboard one million people onto your product. You will use the data of the mobile operator.”
Kazimoto further thanked HiPipo for the 40 days 40 FinTechs initiative that enables startups to tell their stories and probably inspire others.
“When stories are told, it helps someone else. I am here today because someone else told their story. We tell our stories to inspire the younger generation to come up with better things. East Africa has very many talented people. Through collaboration, we can make this region better,” he notes.
Meanwhile, HiPipo CEO Innocent Kawooya applauded Tausi for championing data analytics, an area that has not been targeted by most FinTechs.
“As HiPipo, our extensive effort and advocacy is partly for the intention of championing digital innovation and interoperable instant and inclusive payment systems (IIPS) in Africa to a point where our innovators enjoy and achieve sound profit margins to help them keep designing and deploying affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor,” he said.
The #40Days40FinTechs initiative is run under HiPipo’s Include Everyone program that also encompasses other initiatives such as FinTech Landscape Exhibition, Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit & Incubator, and the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit and Digital Impact Awards Africa.
It offers participants useful tools and an introduction to the industry’s emerging technologies, such as Mojaloop Open Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance, and FinTech in general.