London, United Kingdom, March 25, 2021 – Tingtel Pay Ltd, the London-based technology inclusion start-up, launched its smartphone application for emerging markets in Nigeria last week. Within days of its launch, it accumulated over thirty (30) thousand app downloads and reached the number 4 spot on Google Play Store’s productivity section. It also managed well over 2,000 transactions on its first day of operations.
The launch of the app, and the large number of downloads and transactions within this period, show that there is a real need and demand for more inclusive alternatives, which can be achieved with the use of existing infrastructure and service providers to serve the banked, unbanked, and underbanked communities in emerging markets like Africa.
Tingtel’s solution is not to be a wallet, but rather an arbitrage platform allowing people to easily swap, buy and sell mobile airtime (aka mobile credit) of any mobile carrier, thereby offering the much needed ‘release valve’ to allow the unbanked and under-banked to easily transfer Airtime between themselves and others.
Airtime is not a currency and should not be considered as one, but it is considered to be a Store of Value in some communities, as it is needed all the time, available everywhere, does not lose value, and does not expire as long as it is on an active SIM card, and so can be traded easily and endlessly until it is consumed.
In fact, many communities already use Airtime between themselves, but it has two main barriers; the inputting of long USSD codes which are not error-proof, and the fact that the sender and receiver phone numbers are shared, which brings about privacy issues for Africans as much as it would for people in developed nations, especially in a public setting.
‘Use your phone, not your phone number’ – Tingtel’s brilliant privacy-driven Airtime solution allows people to send each other Airtime without knowing each other’s phone number and irrespective of what mobile network they are on. This is also available on feature phones, which still represent over 50% of all phones in Nigeria and incidentally are used mostly by unbanked communities. Some chat rooms already attest to the excellent results by Tingtel, especially the seamless nature of the solution, which is an appropriate way of describing what the App is targeted to achieve. The app aims to bring safety, security, assurance, and accountability to Airtime transfers.
Tingtel has very ambitious growth plans. After a very successful Seed investment round concluded within weeks of it reaching the market, a Series A investment round is now underway to launch its product in three other African countries and two South East Asian countries in 2021. Having identified a direct, addressable market of forty-five countries and two billion underserved potential users globally, Tingtel is certain that its first-mover opportunity is alleviating a certain, defined and now clearly proven need.