Finserve announces mKey, Africa’s first keyboard app

Mobile Virtual Network Operator, Finserve has today launched Africa’s first keyboard app. The innovative app dubbed “mKey” is the first ever to converge social, and financial services into an integrated lifestyle. In addition to providing these services, mKey rewards users the more they transact.

The new app coming just weeks after Finserve officially launched, brings a differentiated user experience to the market, by blending the best of social conversations with the full breadth of financial services and captures that entire world on your keyboard, giving users the opportunity to make more possible.

The name mKey, which is inspired by the concept of mobile, is the key to unlocking new possibilities through the fusion of financial and social into an exciting keyboard app. It has added a Kenyan flavor and pride to its offering through customized emojis; YetuMoji, stickers and gifs made for Kenyans by Kenyans. The app further gives its users the freedom to co-create and use their own emojis.

mKey is available on Google Play Store and developed to run on the Android 4.1 and above, and soon on IOS. The app is targeted at Kenya’s increasingly digital population that is becoming savvier in enhancing their lifestyle through technology and who evidently want to perform financial transactions without visiting a bank or even switching apps.

Speaking during the launch of mKey, Finserve Managing Director, Jack Ngare said the app offers a unique social experience while at the same time offering convenient, safe and secure financial services. mKey will empower users to perform daily tasks such as accessing local and international news, getting aggregated local content, sharing on social media, applying for and paying mobile loans, paying for goods and services, sending and receiving money as well as a chama and group accounts that work like social chat groups, straight from their mKey keyboard.

“mKey has been created to be relevant to people’s social lives and support fun conversations on any social media platform. It is a revolutionary keyboard app with a wide catalogue of customized yetumojis and gifs that will be constantly updated to capture the pulse of trending conversations, celebrating our Kenyan identity,” said Ngare and added “mKey is the most groundbreaking keyboard app out of Africa that blends the social and  financial into an integrated lifestyle providing unparalleled convenience. Why switch between apps to perform everyday functions like reading news, paying for goods and services, sharing emojis or even applying for a loan? Simply have a keyboard that goes everywhere with you and is ready to deliver all these services at the tap of an icon. Download mKey today and enjoy the experience of seamlessness and freedom”

Through mKey, users will be able to send and receive money, transfer cash between bank and mobile wallet accounts and, for the first time, open a group account where up to 10 members can make group payments and transactions.

Ngare added that mKey is developed to continuously engage users through a reward system that creates incentives and motivates users to actively use the app’s social media and financial services features.

“mKey has an integrated reward system where users will instantly earn stars and complete levels for performing financial transactions. These stars and levels offer rewards such as free airtime, free transfer of funds or an increase in loan limits,” he said. ‘’And not to forget, this innovation has ensured that users can perform transactions in a completely safe and secure environment’’.

Finserve seeks to collaborate with partners across sectors and markets to enhance mKey’s user experience for both lifestyle and financial services.

“We have ambitions of taking mKey to all the markets in Africa and we are open to integrate mKey to any financial institution in the continent to ensure that we offer relevant financial services,” said Ngare.

About Finserve:

Finserve Limited is the fintech subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc established to inspire and prosper people and businesses by connecting today’s potential with tomorrow’s innovative opportunities. Finserve addresses complex financial and lifestyle obstacles by employing a data and insight driven culture to build products that enrich customer experience.

Finserve has distinguished itself as an innovator with futuristic solutions that will contribute to the ease of doing business in Africa and beyond. The company also operates Equitel (MVNO), a one of a kind platform that converges mobile telephony and banking services. Equitel enables customers to call, browse, text, save, transfer money, apply for loans as well as pay for goods and services.

Finserve provides API integrations that enable ecosystems in financial services, commerce, agriculture, wealth management and telcos to manage liquidity, payments and online transactions through innovative self-service tools, solutions and capabilities.

Jenga API provides businesses and tech developers with capabilities to integrate sending money, payments, banking, insurance, brokerage, wealth management and telco across 7 countries in East and Central Africa into mobile apps, e-commerce sites and other systems.

Jenga Payment Gateway is a platform that allows businesses to receive e-commerce and m-commerce payments from a host of payment channels such as American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Diners, JCB, Union Pay and other card associations from 180 countries, mobile wallets from 7 countries across East & Central Africa as well as from fintech players such as Alipay and Wechat.



Non-Executive Chairman

Dr. Uwizeye holds a Degree of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from the Edinburgh Business School Heriot-Watt University, UK; Masters of Science (MSc) in Strategic Planning from the same

University; MBA in Financial Management from the University of Hull, UK; Masters in Communications Management (MCM) from Coventry University, UK.

He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of both Institutes of CPA Kenya and Rwanda, a Certified Member of the Institute of Risk Management (CMIRM), UK; and Associate Member of Kenya Institute of Management. Dr.  Uwizeye has over 28 years of working experience as business management professional at senior level positions.

He worked with MTN Rwanda in various positions including Chief Finance Officer (CFO), and the General Manager in charge of Business Risk Management. He also worked in Kenya with AACC in Nairobi, and held senior positions of the Director of Finance and Administration and the Chief Accountant. Currently, Dr. Uwizeye is the Managing Director of BPU Consulting Ltd, the company he founded.


Managing Director

Mr. Ngare holds an Masters in Management from Harvard University, an MSC in Advanced Computer Science (Distinction) and BSC in Computer Science from the University of Leicester. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management from Harvard University, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).

He previously worked for British Telecom (Global Services) with assignments in UK, Saudi Arabia, Peru and a joint venture with NTT Docomo in Japan. He subsequently worked at Stanbic Bank and NIC Bank (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania). Mr. Ngare has in depth experience in management, the telco industry, mobile financial services and emerging technology risks and security.


Non-Executive Director

Ms. Nyong’o is the Founder and Principal of Asphalt & Ink, which provides strategic advisory services to broad range of clients including corporations, governments, non-profit organizations and start-ups.

She is also an independent advisor to Kenyan Banks on mobile products strategies for new business lines. She has previously held senior positions in various companies including INMOBI, Google, MTV Networks and My Jobs Eye.

She holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Biology from Stanford University.


Non-Executive Director

Mrs. Bichsel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with Honors from Queen’s University in Canada.  She is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kasha, an ecommerce company for women’s health operating in Kenya and Rwanda. Prior to founding Kasha, she was the Principal Technology Advisor for Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focusing on technology strategy and investments across East and West Africa and South Asia.

Mrs. Bichsel also spent 11 years at Microsoft Corporation headquarters working as a software engineer, business leader and a senior leader of an international cybersecurity team.


Non-Executive Director

Dr.  Wapakabulo holds a PhD in Information Science from Loughborough University focused on “big data”, and published a book on the adoption of data-exchange standards and knowledge management technologies in Defence and Oil & Gas companies. She obtained her Global Executive MBA from INSEAD business school in France.

She has over 17 years’ professional experience with a focus on strategy development and implementation, quality and continuous improvement, and engineering management in multinational companies, across multiple continents in Oil & Gas, Defence, Aerospace and IT consulting. She obtained her executive-level experience in the UK, Germany, Australia and Uganda. Dr.  Wapakabulo is the CEO of the Uganda National Oil Company since 2016 and the first woman inaugural CEO of a National Oil Company.