Nigerian-based fintech Carbon (formerly Paylater) has launched a social banking service that allows customers to make payments from within any app they are using.
Carbon Express is a keyboard extension service that enables users to initiate and complete transactions from the keyboard without launching the Carbon App or leaving the current app that they are using. Using the keyboard technology of smartphones, the system adds a unique Carbon branded button to the customer’s smartphone keyboard which users can tap anytime to perform transactions.
Carbon Express app—which is like “sending an emoji but this time it’s real cash”— is equipped with PCI DSS compliant model encryption, authentication, and security features to provide the security of all transactions.
“This is a step in the right direction for Carbon as we aspire to go everywhere with our customer.” says Chijioke Dozie, CEO of Carbon, adding that “it is only natural” that some of the conversation people conduct on social media “have to with money”.
“With Carbon Express, we are merging social conversations with financial services – meeting customers where they spend a lot of their time,” he added.
Carbon Express is the latest digital product Carbon has unveiled in the past few weeks. Last week, the company launched a customer loyalty programme Carbon Score that rewards customers with benefits such as healthcare, referral bonuses, and access to some of its new features.
In December, Carbon launched in Kenya with a microhealth insurance and a digital wallet, though the uptake of these services has been disappointing. Kenya’s mobile health insurance is currently dominated by M-TIBA, which recently raised $45million for expansion. Other players in the market include Turaco Insurance, MicroInsure, among others.
Earlier this year, Carbon launched its Disrupt Fund, a $100,000 fund aimed at addressing the lack of capital for African tech startups.