By Ambrose Gahene
MTN Uganda on Wednesday awarded Ronald Akuayo, a third-year student of Information Technology and Computing at Kyambogo University, and Ivan Kisa, a second-year student at the Nakawa-based Makerere University Business School in Kampala, a total of $ 5000, for the 2022 MTN MoMo Hackathon.
The two students were awarded the cash to go ahead and implement the E- wage payment system APP for Casual Workers Via Mobile Phones. A total of 12 teams participated in pitching their ideas in September 2022.
The e-payment system works in a way that a company interested to use an e-wage payment system simply signs up and creates an account and payment sheet for the casual workers. The payment sheet will automatically connect to the MTN MoMo API (Application Programming Interface), allowing the money to be sent to the payment sheet for payment immediately.
According to Ronald Akuayo, the APP development stems from his experience as a casual worker, in which they lined up to receive payments daily, consuming most of their time.
“Upon realizing the inconvenience of time wasting while lining up for payment, I decided that since I am an IT student, I should try to come up with an app that could enable employers to pay their casual workers faster without workers lining up,” said Akuayo.
Akuayo said he started searching online with the hope to identify any available open APIs that can integrate into his application, and that is how he found the MTN MoMo API.
He added that when the MTN MoMo Hackathon opportunity emerged, he and his colleague decided to submit the APP idea.
“This is how I came to be part of the winners for the MTN MoMo alongside my colleague, Ivan Kisa of Makerere University of Business School (MUBS),” he added.
The developers intend to charge Shs10,000 (About $ 3) per every bulk transaction for revenue generation and sustainability.
He says the next step following the MTM MoMo reward, is to register the app as a business company and seek clients, particularly from factories and hotels to be enrolled in the platform, since they use many casual workers.
The MTN MoMo API Hackathon, launched in 2018, enables developers in Uganda to create an APP that can process financial transactions, with added capabilities that go beyond processing payments to accelerate financial inclusion and digitize payments.
The MTN MoMo Hackathon is also open to developers based in other African countries. They include; Ghana, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Cameroon, eSwatini, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea Conakry, Zambia, and Benin among others. This is aimed at enabling financial and transactional application innovations using the MTN mobile money (MoMo) API platform.