NALA, shortlisted for AppsAfrican Innovation Awards

16Oct 2018
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
NALA, shortlisted for AppsAfrican Innovation Awards

A local financial technology start-up, NALA has been shortlisted for the AppsAfrica Innovation Awards in two different categories whose finals will be held in Cape Town, South Africa later this year.

NALA founder and CEO, Benjamin Fernandes

NALA founder and CEO, Benjamin Fernandes, who is a Masters of Business Administration graduate at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, said the latest success is an important milestone to the company.

Fernandes who also previously worked for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the digital and financial services for the poor section, said NALA’s platform is an interface based application that simplifies mobile money transactions from the traditional USSD process.

“NALA is the first application in Africa to pioneer offline digital payments. NALA has six levels on encryption, making it the most secure mobile money application available in Tanzania,” Fernandes said.

Within just five months since its launch, NALA which also won the 2018 EcoBank Fintech Challenge, is the only Tanzania company to become a finalist for the 2018 AppsAfrica Innovation Awards.

“We are incredibly proud of our team, users and the service we have built together,” said the NAL founder and CEO noting that Africa has many digital financial services operating offline. “The more barriers to access we can remove, the more we can innovate to help people be in control of their financial lives,” the NALA CEO added.

NALA currently ranks number four for Top Free Finance Apps on the Google Playstore in Tanzania and can be downloaded free of charge.

According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) quarterly report from June 2018, over 20 million Tanzanians utilize mobile money services. With mobile money on the rise in Tanzania, transacting without a data (internet) connection will mean that more users will have access to financial services.

AppsAfrica was founded by Andrew Fassnidge with the belief that innovative solutions were being developed by Africans, but that these products and services needed to be shared across the continent.

NALA was announced a finalist last Friday after edging out 300 entries across Africa. The local fintech company is in two categories: Financial Technology and most Disruptive Innovation. AppsAfrica Award started in 2015.