A London-Accra based startup Zuberi is partnering with Ghanaian companies to offer all-in-one employee benefits through their app.
The app is set to go-live in July 2020, after a successful private beta-test early this year.
The app’s core product is a salary streaming feature which allows workers access to up to 50% of their salary on a daily basis after they have worked.
This provides an alternative option to quick high-interest loans which employees often are further burdened by given the often-disadvantageous terms and conditions that come with it. The Founders shared their excitement having been able to build a sustainable model that has no interest rates or penalty fees for its users.
Co-founder for Zuberi Julian Owusu, has already signed on nine companies ahead of their launch in Accra & Kumasi. The pilot is targeting about 4,000 employees.
He says, “Zuberi wants to establish a relationship between employers and financial wellness amongst workers in Africa. Employees that we have tested the app with have seen an instant improvement in their financial wellness as they now have the ability to react quickly to unplanned events.
“From a company’s perspective, there is no change to their internal payroll process, and it’s free, so companies have been very warm to the concept. So far, the average transaction value is around GHS300, but sometimes people take out between GHS50– GHS500 because they need it for an emergency at that moment”.
Julian Owusu added, “as African’s on and off the continent, we are always talking about improving our economy and improving the lives of our people. This is primarily done in organisations/institutions, but we have noticed that it is rare for a company to have a financial wellness strategy for making sure that the people who are on the ground every day building their businesses are not suffering from anxiety or financial stress. What we are building here at Zuberi is a suite of strong employee benefits that have an instant impact on workers’ personal cash-flow. It’s something we will continue to iterate and improve over time as we understand people’s needs more”.
The team of five has already raised a pre-seed investment which has enabled them to build and test the product and is now raising further funds to scale the solution.
The Response from Companies
So far, organisations have seen the benefits of offering the app to their employees. Bennett Antwi, the Financial Director at Zuberi mentions in his interactions with companies, “during initial conversations, companies have struggled to believe that it is not a traditional loan. Zuberi is 6 times cheaper than most instant loans and Zuberi takes the risk off the employers”.