New Podcast: A Conversation with Firas Ahmad, Founder & CEO of Tanzania’s Digital Payments Fintech AzamPay On Sarafu, An E-Commerce Platform For Small Retailers & AzamPesa, An Innovative Mobile Money Wallet.

This is a conversation I had with Firas Ahmad, the Founder, and CEO of Tanzania’s AzamPay back in late March 2022 when they launched AzamPesa, a mobile network agnostic mobile money wallet. For reasons I can’t get into it has taken me a few months to finally publish this podcast where Firas shared so much on his personal journey to building what is one of Tanzania’s and East Africa’s most innovative and successful digital payments fintechs in AzamPay.

During our chat, Firas shared the journey of the building and rolling out Sarafu which is AzamPay’s e-commerce platform for small retailers in Tanzania which at the time was serving over 10,000 shops in Dar Es Salaam on a monthly basis and had a transactional volume of around US$ 2.8M after launching in an 18 to 24 month period. Sarafu essentially makes it possible for small retailers to order goods for their shops and pay for them using mobile money whilst also having delivery logistics handled at the same time. Retailers can also get credit for goods being purchased on Sarafu based on their performance over time which is increasingly a supply chain optimization model that we are seeing across East Africa with many technology startups in the informal retail space.

Firas then shared with me how AzamPesa was actually a cog in a larger business strategy to enable consumers to have a mobile money wallet offering that would have use cases that transcend what mobile network-based wallets offer at this time in Tanzania. However, rather than compete directly AzamPesa would enable both consumers and businesses to benefit from direct engagements and incentives that would open up new possibilities that hitherto are not possible. Have a listen here.

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