During the November 2022 African Fintech Summit in Cape Town South Africa, a number of Venture Capitalists who were in attendance to have insight into some of the advances in African financial technology indicated during various panel discussions on the need for local tech firms to create solutions that solved problems beyond boarders. One Zambian technology company has been living up to this aspiration and this week they made a major announcement on their regional expansion.
On 15th March 2023, Zambia’s largest fintech by size and transactions announced that it had once again broke barriers “by providing their integrated payment gateway for the Revenue Services in the Kingdom of Lesotho”.
Back in September 2022, Financial Insight covered the Founder of Probase, Roy Muyelu, at Zambia’s first ever ICT and Fintech Festival where he declared that “The Fintech landscape in Zambia had grown tremendously over the years, and the Fintech activities range from but not limited to; digital payment platforms, mobile money, system integration, alternative finance and financial management all with the aim of aiding their clients with financial technology” ( extract of Probase Founder and Payments Association Chairman during the opening ceremony for the ongoing festival which was attended by Minister of Technology Felix Mutati on 22 September 2022 at Lusaka’s Pamodzi Hotel). Fast forward to present day and the tech firm is living up to its expectations and now continues to reaffirm its position as a regional player.
According to their statement following the announcement of the Lesotho move, “the launch of the payment gateway will enhance efficiency, transparency and convenience in revenue collection processes in the Kingdom of Lesotho”.
This development puts Probase, analogous to the Zambian context, in the heart and pulse of the Lesotho tax and payment eco-system. “The e-payment and e-taxation platforms which are part of the Lesotho Tax Modernization Project (LTMP) also mark yet another achievement for ProBASE in its quest to ensure that African enterprises and State-Owned Enterprises deliver services in an efficient and effective manner through the use of electronic systems”.
What may have appeared to be the company’s first move into the kingdom has actually been a culmination of other projects that the local tech giant has been involved in. “This is actually our third deal in the kingdom”, said an executive who is close to the matter when Financial Insight made contact. “Our (Probase) venture in Lesotho was with First National Bank were we provided a service”.
Without a doubt, the story of a tech company that started in the first decade of this century, Probase is now one of Zambia’s leading Fintechs. It is an example of a business whose existence by and large depends on and leverages off the density of its business ecosystem.
At present, the company has over 50 collaborating business partners both domestically and internationally with the Lesotho deal being added to the ever-growing list. This is evidence of the existence of trust in fintech.
Evidence of trust is echoed in the statement by Lesotho’s Finance Minister Dr Retselisitsoe Matlanyane whom while speaking at the launch this past Monday said the development, “which is part of the African Development Bank (AfDB) funded Tax Modernisation Project will go a long way in improving efficiency and service delivery and increase value added tax compliance”.
“Post COVID-19 and Lesotho facing economic shocks driven by external and internal challenges, we need to move with technology to enhance tax administration. This development is, therefore, a journey to take Lesotho to a new level in terms of tax administration,” Dr Matlanyane said.
But how did they build trust one may ask? According to the company’s business profile, Probase has a “strong track record of working with Government entities to providing business solutions to the key sectors of the economy including Banking, Public Sector, Telecoms, Education, among others”. The Lesotho deal is just another one that gets added to their ascension.
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