The digital economy continues to grow exponentially. The need for innovative mobile apps will continue to grow as more and more people take up digital technologies. Almost 600 million mobile apps are downloaded daily. This year over half a trillion US dollars’ worth of transactions has been done through mobile devices. Next year it is projected that around 7 billion people will be using mobile devices. This shows the high prospects the mobile space has for aspiring entrepreneurs. In this article, I talk about a young Zimbabwean who has unveiled a mobile app in the financial space.
A Brief Synopsis Of The Brains Behind The Innovation
Jonah Chininga moved to Canada 6 years ago. He went on to study Accounting and Business Management at the University of Prince Edward Island. His choice to settle for Canada even after graduating was informed by a couple of reasons. These reasons are worth noting because they are actually insights anyone of you can leverage on. The first reason has to do with a top-notch education that is available in Canada. You will also find that immigration laws are quite alluring. The Canadian population is predominantly old and as such young people are highly prioritized. Jonah also says that residence and work permits are also relatively easy to get. Let us now get into what inspired him to come up with the idea of a mobile app.
What Birthed The Idea?
The idea of the app came from his personal experiences and prevailing situations in Canada. For instance, student loans in Canada are characterised by very steep interest rates. The other issue regards the high likelihood of international students to be ineligible for student loans. This leaves them at the mercy of banks where they have to apply for private loans. Such loans are also characterised by very high-interest rates. It is also worth mentioning that the way things are in Canada differs immensely from how it is like here in Zimbabwe.
Anyways, Jonah felt that students, particularly international students were being misled into being a part of initiatives that grounded them for the most part. He has said that students are encouraged to take up credit card packages and to apply for loans. However, the downside is that the interests that accrue over time end up crippling the students thus compromising their ability to take off in their careers after graduation.
He also points out that the app idea came when he was attending a certain event. It was the United Nations Youth Assembly in the US. That is where he learnt the concept of rotational savings. For you to get what that is all about let us discuss that for a bit.
An Overview Of The App
The name of his app is called MICC Financial. In his words, it is “a digital app that pools money into a common fund between a group of friends to help struggling international students with debts”. They had been exploring various ideas around how they can help international students with financial security and financial literacy. It is through this process that they ended up settling for the rotational savings idea. How does it work? It is pretty simple really – the users (essentially a group of individuals with some common ground) pool together their money into a fund of sorts. Then as and when any one of them needs money they can access that fund. It is more like that “mukando” or “stokvel” kind of framework if you want to get a rough idea of how it works.
This is the brief description of the app on the Google Play Store: Whether you’re buying a home, paying back debt or planning for a vacation, MICC App is the easiest way to pool money with your friends and family to reach your financial goals. It’s the SAFE, SIMPLE, and SECURE. Use MICC to: Pool money with friends and family to reach your financial goals, chat with your group members, news and tips to help you grow, and track your goals and view account activity.
The app is already on the app stores but it is still in development. The app is still in the early access stage as they draw insights to see how it works and how it can be improved. This is an awesome idea and I really think Zimbabwe in particular needs such mobile apps. Kindly go check out the app and share with us your thoughts.