Tingtel Pay Ltd looked at the problems around infrastructure, and the resulting lack of financial and social inclusivity in a digitally connected world and created a cross-network transaction exchange. Within the next wave of financial innovation, the Tingtel App was designed to address the need for an alternative money transfer solution in emerging markets. The particular focus of the app is on serving unbanked potential customers who are - according to The World Bank Findex Report - in the region of 1.7 billion globally and excluded from the more traditional financial ecosystems.
Tingtel knows that transacting with Airtime (aka Mobile Credit) across any network is part of the solution, as it utilizes existing infrastructure and service providers. Emerging markets have been using mobile money remittances for a long time, and GSMA identified Nigeria as one of Africa’s sleeping mobile money giants in the 2019 State of Industry report. First launching in Nigeria, where data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) in 2021 reported that more than half of the country’s adult citizens are unbanked. Tingtel has further identified a direct, addressable market of forty-five countries and 1.7 billion users globally, who would clearly benefit from joining the Tingtel’s financial network.
Airtime is easy to transfer within the same network and also across other networks, which was previously restricted. The Tingtel Airtime Arbitrage Platform (TAAP) was developed to address the problem of cross-network transfers. Billions of Naira (Nigerian national currency) are already being transferred daily between users on the same network. Tingtel believes that their Inter-Network Arbitrage solution will have the impact it was designed for; to finally give the unbanked communities the means to pay for goods and service providers, and receive remittances, irrespective of what network they are on. The Tingtel App allows users to transfer and share Airtime with friends and family without any limitations.
Within the communities that already use airtime, Tingtel overcomes two barriers – the inputting of long codes which lead to errors, as well as addressing privacy concerns where numbers previously had to be shared in any transaction. This is of particular concern in public settings, where there is the greatest need to transact with another user. Tingtel solves this issue whereby the customers do not have to share any private information with each other.
The Tingtel solution has been designed with privacy and security in mind, by acting as a third-party Airtime clearing house which enables Anonymous Airtime Transfer by utilizing the Tingtel ID and QR Code. This replaces the user’s phone number, making inter-network payments to vendors or merchants easy, without compromising privacy.
Tingtel’s solution creates an automatic peer-to-peer arbitrage and data exchange platform not unlike a digital wallet. The dominance of pre-paid mobile plans makes exchanging value an easily tradable commodity, with feature phones in Nigeria used mostly by unbanked customers. There is a continuous consumer demand for Airtime data within emerging markets, and whilst Airtime isn’t a currency, it is the only store of value for many unbanked. In fact, there’s no expiry date, so an Airtime purchase never loses its value. And the only requirement is an active SIM card.
Tingtel is offering a ‘release valve’, with its arbitrage platform, allowing users to transfer and trade their unspent airtime as working capital, network to network.
Tingtel’s seamless solution is cloud-based; their contactless transfers using QR codes are a low-cost and effective means of transfer. The app brings safety, security, assurance, and accountability to every Airtime transfer.