We come from Ghana, a beautiful country of about 31 million people situated on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. In Ghana, the process of opening a bank account has rigorous requirements around identity, initial deposits, and proof of employment. For the roughly 80 percent of Ghanaians who work in the informal sector—chiefly agriculture, trading, fishing and fish processing—bank accounts can be simply unattainable.
However, in recent years, people throughout Ghana have begun using Mobile Money – an electronic wallet service that enables them to send and receive payments using nothing more than a mobile phone number. Mobile Money is transforming Ghana’s economy, and it has created a major opportunity for software developers like ourselves.
When we started appsNmobile Solutions we offered general software development services, but the overwhelming majority of our customers came to us for help with integrating Mobile Money into their businesses. Before long, we narrowed our company’s focus and became one of Ghana’s leading financial technology (fintech) companies.
Now we build, host and run application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow merchants and vendors to accept and send money from Mobile Money customers. This requires us to have a fast, stable infrastructure that protects each transaction with built-in security. IBM Cloud provides us with all of that—and more.
The right fit
In Ghana, electricity and Internet access can be unreliable, which adds an element of difficulty to much of what we do. In order for our business to run, we must be able to bypass these potential problems. IBM Cloud enables us to do that.
Our customers can use their mobile phones to access our servers at any time. And with the increased resiliency, availability, and interconnect speed of IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers, we know our customers are getting the maximum output possible—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the first five months of 2020, our servers processed more than 2 million transactions.
IBM Cloud also provides us with unmatched security and regulatory compliance. Our work is regulated by the Bank of Ghana and the National Communications Authority (NCA) of Ghana. We use unstructured supplementary services data, which comes with its own set of regulations, and we must also comply with ISO-27001 and PCI-DSS so that users have the option to pay using Visa or Mastercard. IBM Cloud’s deep expertise and longstanding commitment to security and compliance help us meet these obligations.
Even though our IBM Cloud infrastructure operates reliably in the background, we do occasionally have questions about our installation. The speedy and professional manner in which IBM handles those questions is a key differentiator for us among the many cloud providers out there. No matter how complex the question, we can count on IBM to get it answered as efficiently as possible and without any upcharges.
Our customers come from virtually every industry in Ghana, including education, religion, finance, agriculture, mining, telecommunications, entertainment and government. In fact, we have developed a platform that agribusinesses—especially those involved in the purchase of cocoa from farmers—can use to pay for goods and services.
This is revolutionary because it has built-in micro-insurance and micro-pension features which support farmers’ livelihoods and guarantees them a future. Our APIs also enable people to purchase tickets to concerts and other events, pay school tuition, and manage unexpected expenses when travelling. It is truly gratifying for us to contribute in the progress our country is making.
From our very first days as a general software development company, we have dedicated ourselves to building quality into everything we do. IBM Cloud with IBM Cloud Bare Metal servers support that goal.
>>>The writer is CEO, appsNmobile Solutions