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PayLater changing Uganda's hire purchase landscape

Gloria Okwakunda is a very happy and contented woman. She is happy because of her reliable companion.

“My companion is PayLater. Ever since I joined this amazing service, my life has been smooth,” she says with a smile.

PayLater is an online hire purchase platform where people acquire products or travel and pay in equal monthly installments for a period of six months. Although the company started in 2021, Okwakunda says she has been their customer for more than a year and currently has no complaints.

“They only requested my national ID and bank statement for the previous six months…After approving me, they gave me a product and I gave them a standing order from my bank for five months. I paid my first installment,” she says, calling on the innovators of this initiative to introduce a Mobile Application to increase convenience.

According to Aaron Kasozi, general manager for PayLater Uganda Limited, currently, a customer who wants to get products from PayLater will have to visit their website and navigate through the different categories such as furniture, home electronics, smartphones, perfumes, and car tyres, among others.

A user just needs to create an account and apply for the product on the website. After creating an account, they will receive a prompt email that will give them the requirements.

“We need them to present their national ID, and six months bank statement to show their cash inflows to show that they can pay for the product over a period of six months. They should be able to provide a standing order to do those payments,” he says.

“We have launched a new product on our site and it is travel now, pay later. This is exciting, indeed. People may want to take a holiday or promote local tourism but they don’t have the cash up front. If someone would like to take his family to Dubai or wherever we have those packages,” he adds.

Financial inclusion

Kasozi notes that one of the bottlenecks they have faced is the fact that many Ugandans are not banked. As a result, they are unable to use this service whose primary requirement is a bank statement.

“Since we are offering a facility, we have to maybe look at those with bank accounts and in formal employment,” he says.

Secondly, most of the users are people using mobile money. So, they partner with financial services providers such as FlexiPay to process payments.

“Some clients prefer sending mobile money and there are direct bank standing orders. We have agreements with our suppliers and depending on how we agree on the terms and conditions,” he says.

He is thus grateful to the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative which is creating a synergy amongst all fintechs.

“It also gives a platform for small and medium enterprises to be seen out there and allowed to grow or push whatever product they have,” he says.

Now in its fourth season, HiPipo’s 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative has become a household name in the financial technology space of the East African region. In the last three editions, more than 100 fintechs have been showcased, highlighting stories changing people’s lives, especially in the under-served sectors.

“This season we are happy to show the impact stories of these innovations. Today we are talking about a pertinent product of hire purchase. We have all had that moment when we want something but lack the necessary resources. PayLater is therefore providing a solution to a universal problem,” noted Innocent Kawooya, the CEO of HiPipo.

PayLater is the 20th participant in season four of 40 Days 40 FinTechs organized by HiPipo in partnership with the Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, INFITX, Cyberplc Academy, Crosslake Technologies, and Ideation Corner with generous support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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