Provide for International Friends and Families to send funds to the UNBANKED in Africa
Applicant name: MeToU, Inc.
Innovation Name: MeToU and me2africa
Innovation Type: Product
Mission: Provide for International Friends and Families to send funds to the UNBANKED in Africa
Innovation Description: Our team has a single goal – a goal for which we have been building a solution for four years. We provide an online service for international Diaspora to send funds direct to the mobile phone of the 60% of Africans without a bank account or the documentation to open an account. The UNBANKED/UNDERBANKED. No account is required to receive international funds sent through our system. Our initial focus is the rural and poor in Nigerian. It took extensive work to bring international regulators, financial partners, and Central Banks, together for a single, end to end, regulated service.
Innovation Inspiration: Twelve years ago, we formed a team of executives to look for a way to better direct international humanitarian aid to the education and healthcare of the rural youth in Africa. Over the next few years, we helped in various projects.
The key knowledge of our team was the ability to provide mobile financial transactions. We started working with the Central Bank of Nigeria, large African commercial banks, and USA/UK Diaspora groups. A system was designed. The CBN and commercial banks accepted. The solution was OKed to operate under the USA/UK/EU MSB license processes.
Finally, a service that allows family and friends to send direct to any Nigerian mobile phone. True financial inclusion. The receiver of these funds can now take the code on their phone and go to agents across Nigeria – and convert to Naira, make purchases, pay bills, and share with others.
Based on the regulations established for this unique service, the receiver can receive no more than $150 per transaction, with limited transactions per month.
Who benefits from the innovation most? The immediate beneficiaries are the rural (typically poor) who do not have the ability to receive funds direct from family and friends outside of Nigeria. Secondary focus of metou is to create a direct support of youth attending school – the ability of the family and friends to pay school expenses. Third, metou has the ability to mark funds received as only being able to be used for medical care – doctor and pharmacy. We tested this last focus a couple years ago and are excited about the ability. However, we will focus first on the Unbanked, then follow up with the school and medical concentrations.
What are you most proud of about your innovation? We are proud or our bringing together many entities to allow this process to work through the large number of local and international regulations / laws. The USA, UK, and Canada have Patriot Acts requiring extensive reviews of the sender/receiver of funds, regardless of rules in the receiver countries. We have the ability to operate as an in-country Mobile Money Operator, and an international Money Transfer Operator. Finally, we have been given the authority to send funds from outside Nigeria – direct to any mobile phone – with no bank account or mobile wallet required by the recipient. Under the agreements, we are limited to appx $150 per transaction. Together, with all agencies, we created an incredibly special service.
Status of Innovation: Pilot
Innovation Active Since: 01/01/2019
Applicant Type: Private Company
Headquarter City: Abuja
Headquarter Country: Nigeria
Year Founded: 2016
Main Category Choice: Remittances For Social Impact
Why do you think you should win this category?:
We should win because our sole focus has been to provide a service for those in need. We have verbal commitments to launch our unbanked service in several African countries – but our launch focus is Nigeria. We allow anyone in the USA/UK/EU to go online, with a bank card, and send funds for the AID of family and friends inside Nigeria. We have agreements with the largest Nigerian mobile money management companies to provide the last step in our process. These agencies include the Interswitch Group and XPRESS Payments. Between these two entities, we cover many villages in all states. An assurance that the receiver can convert a mobile phone message into Naira, or make purchases, or share the funds.
Secondary Category Choice: Innovation for Africa
Why do you think you should win this category?
Our goal is to provide a service to all of the Unbanked across Africa. While we are launching in Nigeria, we are organized to provide the same service to the majority of Africans who are Unbanked. This is our focus.
Full Name: Rick May
Role: CEO, Chairman
Full Name: Terry Richard
Role: VP, Africa; Board Member
Full Name: Dave Benard
Role: Chief Technical Officer, Board Member
Full Name: Emilian Elefteratos
Role: Advisor, Pending CEO
Full Name: Rick May
Role: CEO, Chairman