Amplify Wins with mTransfers at #RAM747

Sylvana Lewin, Wednesday May 2nd 2018

Amplify is revolutionizing the way customers make online payments through a new flagship product, mTransfers. mTransfers  enables users to transfer funds and perform other banking services directly via Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Blackberry Messenger, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Recently, the Amplify team took this innovative solution to North Africa for Royal Air Maroc’s #RAM747 Hackathon. The solution certainly turned heads, and Amplify walked out as one of the six teams selected out of over one hundred to win the hackathon. We spoke to Amplify team member Florence Diaro to get the inside scoop.

[caption id="attachment_6733" align="aligncenter" width="600"]MEST participants at the Royal Air Maroc #RAM747 Hackathon in Casablanca. MEST participants at the Royal Air Maroc #RAM747 Hackathon in Casablanca.[/caption]

What was the solution that Amplify pitched for the #RAM747 Hackathon?

We pitched one of our flagship products, called mTransfers. mTransfers enables banks and telcos to leverage social messaging platforms to offer financial services to their customers. With mTransfers, customers can transfer funds, buy airtime, pay bills, open a new bank account, and do other things on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Gmail and the likes.

Our proposition was for customers to be able to book a flight ticket while they are chatting with friends and family, because we are aware of how tedious the current flight booking experience can be. We simply added Royal Air Maroc's booking experience as a major feature on mTransfers. This automatically exposes Royal Air Maroc to millions of existing banking customers and makes their airline booking experience hassle-free.

In other words, we are revolutionizing the way customers book flight tickets and bringing it first to Royal Air Maroc's customers.

Why do you believe that Amplify's solution was selected as one of the winning teams? What makes it unique and important?

One of the critical points of a customer's travel experience is the process of booking their flight ticket. Our solution addressed this fundamental part of the journey. Similarly, as payments are  a major pain-point during the booking process, we also seamlessly catered for this element through mTransfers.

The prevalence of social media cannot be overemphasized as it is estimated  that 80% of the time customers spend on their smartphones is on social media applications. It is only natural, therefore, that these platforms become the hub of everything for many users. This makes mTransfers a unique proposition that leverages these emerging trends to offer a seamless travel experience for customers.

What was your favorite part of the #RAM747 experience?

My favorite part was pitching mTransfers on the final day. The astonished look on everyone's face was memorable. mTransfers, being the first of its kind, fast became one of the most loved products at the hackathon. But prior to the final day, the fact that the hackathon happened on a plane was personally a mind-blowing thought before I got to Casablanca. This made me super excited before I got to Casablanca.

Above all, I was impressed with how ridiculously brilliant and creative a lot of tech entrepreneurs are, and I learned a lot, especially how we can use tech to improve customers' experience in a lot of areas beyond  the airline industry.

What are the next steps for Amplify moving forward after this win? How will you be working with Royal Air Maroc?

We believe conversational platforms are the future of financial services and will continue to be at the center of consumers’ everyday lives. mTransfers is posed to become the default platform for  banks in Africa and, subsequently, banks globally to offer banking services to their customers. We are already present in West Africa and consider the North African market to be a very strategic one as we think about our expansion plans. Having a partner like Royal Air Maroc with its deep network, relationships, and presence across multiple North African countries would help ease the process of forging strategic alliances with financial institutions and other major stakeholders in the region.

Therefore, conversations are ongoing between us, Royal Air Maroc and other partners on next steps for Amplify. .

Interested in learning more about Amplify? Check out our article Amplify CEO Segun Adeyemi Talks FinTech in Africa.