MTN MoMo Hackathon: E-wage system to ease payment of casual workers via mobile phones

The developers intend to charge Shs10,000 per every bulk transaction for revenue generation and sustainability.

MTN MoMo Hackathon: E-wage system to ease payment of casual workers via mobile phones
Story by Howwe \

E-wage payment system is a web-based application that facilitates single payment of casual workers via their mobile phones.

The app emerged as the winner of the 2022 MTN MoMo Hackathon with the developers rewarded with US$5,000 to go ahead and implement the idea. 12 teams participated in pitching their ideas in September 2022.

The system is being developed by Ronald Akuayo, a third-year student of Information Technology and Computing at Kyambogo University, and Ivan Kisa, a second-year student at the Nakawa-based Makerere University Business School (MUBS).

The system works in such a way that a company interested to use e-wage payment simply signs up, and creates an account and payment sheet for the casual workers. It is at this point that the payment sheet will automatically connect to the MoMo API, allowing the money to be sent to the payment sheet for payment.

The developers intend to charge Shs10,000 per every bulk transaction for revenue generation and sustainability.

Akuayo says the app development stems from his experience as a casual worker in which they lined up to receive payments on a daily basis consuming most of their time.

“So, one day I reach home and decide that since I am an IT student, I should try to come up with an app that could enable employers to pay their casual workers so easily without the hustle of workers lining up,” he said.

“Indeed, I was able to develop a system that can process the list but the biggest challenge was coming up with the feature that could send the money.

“It is at this point that I started searching online with the hope to identify any available open APIs that I can integrate into my application, and that is how I landed on the MTN MoMo API,” he added.

While the app worked with the MTN MoMo API, Akuayo says he didn’t know what to do with it and therefore had to abandon it for some time, only to return to it and make improvements as a school project.

But before he could close the school project, an opportunity emerged for him and his co-developer to submit the app idea to the MTM MoMo Hackathon challenge.

“We actually didn’t know that we shall come this far and become winners but here we are,” he says. He says the next step following the MTM MoMo reward is to register the app as a business and seek clients specifically factories and hotels to be enrolled in the platform since they are the one who use most of the casual work yet face the challenges of processing payments.

“We are grateful for the MTM MoMo for this reward and the opportunity to use their API to ensure that the app is commercialized,” he added.

The MTN MoMo API Hackathon launched in 2018 enables developers in Uganda to create an app that can process financial transactions, with added capabilities that go beyond processing payments to accelerate financial inclusion and digitize payments.

The initiative is also open to developers based on other African countries including Rwanda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, eSwatini, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea Conakry, Zambia and Benin with the aim of offering financial and transactional applications innovations using the MTN mobile money (MoMo) API platform.


Kagwirawo