The delay in settling digital money transactions is among the reasons most people in Uganda prefer cash to electronic transactions. This explains why Uganda is still a cash economy, with almost 80% of transactions being cash.
However, Pegasus Technologies, a Financial Technology Company (FinTech), continues to oil the shift from cash to cashless by supporting businesses and entities that want to adopt digital payments to do so reliably.
The Pegasus Managing Director Ronald Azairwe says reliability is a key aspect that must be adopted and delivered by industry players if people are to shift from cash.
“For anyone to put their product out there and accept digital payments, one of the things they require is reliability. Cash offers reliability and that is something we need to understand as people in digital payments. When someone pays cash for goods and services, the transaction is completed immediately,” Azairwe says.
He adds: “People want to understand that even in digital transactions, it can happen in real-time and if there is any issue, there will be sufficient support to understand what has happened.”
He notes that Pegasus has positioned itself to support anyone that decides to take digital payments by putting out a number of platforms to aid them.
Among them is the ticketing system, which he says helps people that have adopted digital payments trace payments, in case they were untraceable.
Additionally, Pegasus ensures that payment from a customer to a merchant happens in real-time, giving them the same assurance that cash does.
Established in 2007, Pegasus has gained prominence in the development of financial solutions for companies, emerging as a leading payment services aggregator in Uganda with vast experience in the development, configuration, deployment, support, and maintenance of financial and billing solutions for businesses and institutions.
The solutions include bill payment solutions, mobile money aggregation, mobile payments and remittances, loans and savings, card payments, software development, and value-added services such as SMS, airtime, and data loading.
Its PegPay payments platform is currently being used by several institutions including banks, telecoms and utility companies, retailers, Pay-Tv providers, and schools, to aggregate and manages financial transactions for both internal and external purposes.
Under the mobile money aggregation solution, an organization is able to collect money through a USSD, mobile application, or web application. Organizations are also able to effect payments to their end-user beneficiaries, using the Pegasus platform or through their own platforms after being integrated with an API.
Azairwe commends the government for the move to regulate electronic money, saying it will boost public confidence to use e-money. He, however, says the government needs to recognize e-value as money.
“Currently, there is no law that allows the government to recognize e-value as money. You cannot pay a government institution using e-cash and they accept. That money will have to first go to a bank account somewhere before it is recognized,” he says.
He adds: “We need to see digital payments done to the government in real-time recognized as value and government can re-use that e-value collected to make onward payments. Once that is done, it will go a long way to close the loop.”
He adds that there is also a need for more merchants to participate, saying that the more the merchants, the easier it will be for people to adopt digital payments.
“More businesses should close cash offices and opt for digital payments.”
Pegasus is among the FinTechs participating in the ongoing second edition of the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiatives organized by HiPipo, in partnership with Crosslake Tech, ModusBox, and Mojaloop Foundation.
Azairwe commends HiPipo for the initiative, saying it has created awareness about existing solutions in the market.
“You can develop the best thing out there but if people do not know it, they will not use it. This awareness is commendable as it gives us a voice to reach more people. When we started over 15 years ago, there were no such programs and we had to cut our way through the bushes and shrubs. The 40 Days 40 Fintechs initiative is empowering FinTechs which is a step in the right direction.”
The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer, Innocent Kawooya congratulated Pegasus Technology on making 14 years in the industry.
“Pegasus Technologies is among the pioneers in Uganda’s FinTech Industry. Over the last 14 years, they have served and saved millions of customers through their cocktail of products and services. We congratulate them on this milestone.”
He noted that FinTechs need to take advantage of the current COVID-19 challenge to innovate more cashless and real-time payment solutions.
“We need to be prepared with appropriate products and have appropriate real-time payment systems in place to support an inclusive, interoperable digital marketplace that is both thriving and safe.”
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