FintechTripesa – Africa’s Tourism Centric Payments Platform

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

You might have heard about Tripesa , a platform, first of its kind that is offering payment solutions and enabling mass digitization of Africa’s tourism and experience SMEs, if not I am here to tell you all about it

According to EAC Tourism and Wildlife Management  , tourism is one of the most significant sectors in all the economies of the EAC region. The sector contributes an average of about 17% to export earnings and its contribution to GDP is quite substantial averaging at around 10%. It generates about 7% of employment in the region. Moreover, tourism has important linkages with other sectors of the economy including agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, and finance among others.

Like operators in most sectors, those in the tourism and experience space have been affected by the COVID-19 related downturn. Support in the form of access to digital channels and business management process would facilitate their recovery and growth. Tripesa seeks to help these businesses in this light.

Tripesa, formerly known as TripXio, was ideated and conceptualized in mid-2019 based on the need to democratize Africa’s tourism and travel sector. The product seeks to formalize the tourism sector in Africa by decentralizing the digitization of tourism and experience operators. It is automating and linking the tourism value chain in Africa. Building a Payment-first Business Process Management solution specific to the sector.

Tripesa seeks to help businesses in the tourism and experience space get online to ease distribution, access digital payment solutions and records keeping. It gives small and medium tourism operators a digital presence (A website), the ability to package new and existing offers, accept bookings and payments online and manage marketing activity. It is online payment collection, supplier settlement, offline cash recording on one platform, enabling tourism operators to use a tool to efficiently run their businesses.

Their services include a Website Builder, Itinerary Builder, Payment Processing and International Settlement. The Tripesa Digistores allow businesses to build booking websites, create and share booking links to market their offers without any knowledge on coding. Their B2B settlements, which stands for Business to Business, enables payments between two or more businesses across Africa. Tripesa also enables SMEs in the tourism sector to receive local and international payments, accepting VISA, Mastercard and multichannel settlements including banks and mobile money settlements. Tripesa provides a comprehensive dashboard to manage tourism businesses in one place.

According to the World Bank’s Global Findex Database financial inclusion survey , 21% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa now have a mobile money account. Which is “nearly twice the share in 2014 and easily the highest of any region in the world”. But mobile money payment methods have challenges of their own, Thomas Mbashu of Tripesa says, “While mobile banking has streamlined payments in Kenya and Africa at large. Still, there exists a large gap in payments, especially for the informal tourism sector. MT Delites (a Tripesa customer), for instance, has worries about the double charge in both the “paybill and till number” services and the risk of reversals for the case of the “Send Money” option. Tripesa’s product development is heavily invested in providing the convenience needed for SME payments.”

They have a wide range of customers, SMEs offering different services in the tourism and experience sector. Their customers include businesses offering tour and safari experience, bar and restaurants, spas and nail parlors, car hire companies, crafts businesses, local fashion houses, agri-tourism among others.

Tripesa is not only for businesses without a website, it is also relevant to companies with existing websites that can use the technology to better organize their operations, manage client interaction and online payments.

After launching on May 27, 2021, Tripesa embarked on a mission to share stories for 30 days. They highlighted stories from their customers in Egypt, Zanzibar, Uganda and Kenya. You can follow these stories under the hashtag #30WebsitesIn30Days on their Twitter @tripesanow. There you will find short stories of some of the customers they have enabled to sell online and accept payments like Captain Mzii from Zanzibar, born and raised, whose services will help you experience Zanzibar like a local.

“It is a customer-centric product, actively talking to customers and will continue to undergo numerous updates to suit their needs. We envision a growth potential for the company anchored on the need to change the lives of our customers. The simplification of website and itinerary building makes it possible for our customers to ease their route to market and management. The Fintech solutions offer a platform for our customers to avoid leakages and optimize their net profits” ~ Thomas Mbashu, Tripesa County Lead – Kenya.

Diana Thuo

Financial Engineering undergraduate with deep interests in Personal Finance and Investment.

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