New application aids M-Pesa accountability

By FREDRICK OBURA

A mobile application that enables users to account for their mobile money transfer transactions has been launched. The application, dubbed Zebumob is downloadable on android phones and is currently applicable to M-Pesa users.

It is able to identify M-Pesa messages in a user’s phone and develops a clear categorisation of funds received and spent, and the specific areas each receipt or payment has been made.  “A user is able to conveniently find out where their M-Pesa money is going and calculate payments made to them via the platform,” says Muthuu Kagio the application’s developer.

 The app recognises M-Pesa messages coming into a user’s phone as withdrawals, receipts, money sent, airtime purchases, bill payments among others, and appropriately assigns them to the appropriate transaction type as designed by the user.

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Utility bills

These can range from rent, entertainment, transport, airtime purchases, payments or receipts from suppliers among others. Users are able to know how much money is spent on each expenditure item, or received from different people.

The app is able to tally each transaction type to get totals per day, week, monthly and annually. Users can then log on to the website www.zebumob.com to print or export their transactions into an excel spreadsheet for further analysis.

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  “With this information the user is able to create a viable budget,” said Kagio. All M-Pesa transactions are stored in the app and the user can access it through their phone, without need of going to the mobile service provider to enquire about their statement.  “Small businesses that use M-Pesa can track their transactions and keep their income and expense report on their phones, which makes it easy to use and refer to,” said Kagio. The app is available on Google play store. A new user only needs to search for Zebumob and download.

“I decided to develop the app after I realised that I was using M-Pesa for a lot of my business and daily transactions, and I needed good records that were readily available,” says Mr Kagio.  “In addition I wanted to find out where my M-Pesa expenses go to; like the people I send out money to and for what purposes, as well as those who send me money.”

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Trademark agreement

The app developer has signed a trademark agreement with M-Pesa. He says Zebumob app is a value addition tool for the mobile transfer service. Currently, the app is in use only applicable for M-Pesa users. It is also accessible to Vodacom users in Tanzania and South Africa. Mr Kagio says they will be introducing the app to other mobile transfer services as well in future.

Mr Kagio says he will continue expanding the app. “We are working on a more flexible spreadsheet tool which will make it easier for small businesses to analyze their transactions,” he said.

“We are also working on a new mobile advertisement platform that will use click per call metrics. So that advertiser only pay per call derived from the ad.

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