21 Questions for the CEO of ePay-Kenya

Caesar Waganagwa

Caesar Waganagwa – CEO of ePay-Kenya

1. Is ePay-Kenya a scam?

No. It has never been and it will never be.

2. Who is Caesar Waganagwa?

CEO/Co-owner and brainchild behind ePay Kenya.

3. How can you describe ePay-Kenya to a stranger?

An online platform offering various e-commerce solutions to Kenyans and soon to Ugandans. By leveraging Mpesa platform, ePay has built it’s reputation over the last 6 years as a fast, secure and reliable payment gateway through which users can withdraw money from international Money Wallet companies such as PayPal, Skrill and recently Payoneer. ePay also offers Online Payment services for those who do not have credit/debit cards.

4. If PayPal was to work in Kenya, would you lose your business?

ePay’s business model does not revolve around PayPal alone. Our portfolio features Skrill and Payoneer as well. If  PayPal were to collaborate with local banks directly, ePay would obviously loose a part  of its current market share but will retain those customers who value our unmatched delivery speed.

We have witnessed an exponential growth in customers who use  ePay for Skrill withdrawals despite the fact that Skrill has all along collaborated with local banks.

Local banks charge a fixed amount ranging from 20 usd to 30 USD for wire transfers.  One is better off withdrawing  amounts below 300 USD with ePay than most banks. This coupled with the fact that you receive your money within 30 minutes (as opposed to the 3-4 days wait for wire transfers) explains why more and more people would rather subscribe to our services.

With the entry of Equity Bank into the Paypal withdrawal world, our Paypal withdrawal subscription rate has continued to grow. We believe the same phenomenon will be witnessed if and when PayPal collaborates with local banks.

5. You are praised for having intense speed and a superb customer care. How do you do it?

The speed is a product of our 6 year experience in the business plus smart partnership with Chase Bank which guarantees our liquidity. That explains why you will never come across ePay announcing that ‘we have run out of float’. Efficient Customer Care is one of our Core Values as a business.

Over time, we have compiled the most Frequently Asked Questions and we keep updating our FAQ section as our first source of knowledge for our customers. The ePay Community Forum allows our customers (and potential customers) an opportunity to share their ePay experiences. The introduction of a support ticket system has made the process of responding to queries more efficient. All queries MUST be responded to by close of the day.

6. What has been your biggest challenge?

Keeping up with the growing clientele while at the same time ensuring that we employ the most reliable, cost effective methods of withdrawal from PayPal, Skrill and Payoneer.

7. What inspired you to start ePay-Kenya?

Personal need to withdraw money from PayPal at a time when Kenyan PayPal accounts could not receive money. What worked for me then could work for others as well, e-pesa was born and later rebranded ePay Kenya.

8. What has been your biggest high?

Signing up collaborative agreements with Payoneer and MTN Uganda (Mobile Money).

9. There are so many similar services coming up, are you afraid of the competition?

To the contrary, we believe competitors are an integral part of our growth as they keep us on our toes. In any case, demand for online services is increasing exponentially, meaning there is enough for everyone. We know our strengths and work had to keep improving on them while at the same time addressing our weaknesses.

10. You recently scored a deal with Payoneer and are now officially working with them. Tell us more about this deal.

This was one of our greatest achievement in recent times.  We identified a gap in the Payoneer delivery system to Kenyans and we approached Payoneer with a bid to providing a solution. This is how the Payoneer to Mpesa withdrawal service came about. This has addressed concerns for those who did not have easy access to MasterCard branded ATM. While profiling our customers, we discovered that we do have those customers value convenience.

These are people who would rather receive money on their Mpesa as opposed to visiting an ATM. This is more so for people withdrawing bulky cash and are concerned about security. We also know that ATMs are not always accurate  and can dispense less cash than withdrawn. The inconvenience of recovering this money is immense. This service is becoming popular by the day. We are exploring other areas of collaboration with Payoneer besides the Payoneer to Mpesa service.

11. Do you have other online services apart from ePay-Kenya?

Yes.

Globeskill – A freelance site designed and customized to suit Kenyan Online Community. You do not require a PayPal account to use this service.

ePay Duka  –  A platform where one can sell downloadable products such as e-books, software, music/tracks, business templates etc). At ePay Duka, your products will reach the international market and when bought, you receive your money locally via Mpesa.

Kenya Business Listing – An online directory listing all companies which have an online presence in Kenya. Basic listings are FREE. You can also announce an event on the same site.

12. Have you ever lost money online?

Yes. This was more pronounced within our first 3 years of operation. There are people who are constantly looking out for opportunities to exploit weaknesses in any system to steal. As ePay’s popularity was growing, so was the number of conmen.

We managed to have some arrested but the good news is that never failed to honor our obligations  towards bona fide customers.  The experiences we went through made us wiser and today I can confirm that we have a very robust system and not prone to manipulation.

13. What is the biggest contributor to ePay-Kenya’s success?

ePay’s success is largely attributed to integrity, consistency and customer care. In our six years history, there is not a single customer who has ever lost a penny through our system.

We understand the need for consistency in as far as service delivery is concerned. We have always strived to keep our promise of delivering within the hour. Our partnership with Chase bank is reassuring in as far as cash flow is concerned and that explains why ePay has never delayed payouts because of cash constrains.

We respond to all inquiries on timely basis and above all, we are guided by the good old adage, customer is king.

14. Why did you move your business to Mombasa?

Two ePay directors have other business interests in Mombasa amongst them being real estate.  In their efforts to rationalize their operation costs, it was prudent for ePay to move into one of the already existing office blocks in Nyali Mombasa since physical location in a business such as ours is irrelevant as long as we have good internet connection and backup power.

15. You are Chase Bank agents. What are the advantages of Chase Bank over the others?

  • We can process account opening online
  • Customers can bank money directly from their Mpesa account to their Chase Account.
  • Chase Bank does not charge customers for Internet Banking facilities
  • Withdrawal from ePay to Chase Bank account is done in real time
  • Western Union – Fill up an online form, send money to us via Mpesa and we will ensure the money is sent within 30 minutes.

16. There are too many scams online. How would you advise a newbie to avoid them?

  • Avoid companies who sugar coat their Unique Sales Prepositions, e.g we will pay you within 5 minutes.
  • Avoid companies with no KYC policy (know your customer). Such companies are likely to be scammed and in return, they will scam you.
  • Sites with an SSL certificate will tend to be genuine (not guaranteed). Avoid those without.
  • Avoid sites who market themselves by bad mouthing others.
  • Use good old Google to check out public review of any company before subscribing to their services.
  • Blog sites such as Freelancer Kenya will give you an insight on who you can trust. Visit such blog sites and subscribe to their services.

17. Tell us about GlobeSkill?

Globeskill – A freelance site designed and customized to suit Kenyan Online Community. You do not require a PayPal account to use this service. Globeskill was inspired by the need to have a Kenyan solution to the PayPal withdrawal  problem. Globeskill attracts employers from US, UK, New Zealand, Australia and a labor force from Kenya.

18. What’s the future of ePay?

Grow into the first bank which will embrace opportunities availed by global e-commerce.

19. Most parents say online business is not a real business. What do you tell them?

They are wrong. As a matter of fact, with the current advances in opening up the e-commerce space in Kenya, online businesses will soon be a force to reckon with in as far as earning forex for the country is concerned

20. Do you think PayPal will ever work directly with a Kenyan bank?

Yes. It is just a matter of time. PayPal is currently experiencing stiff competition from the likes of Skrill, Payza etc and it is to their best interest to open up to upcoming economies such as Kenya.

21. What is your advice to people who want to get started online?

Visit sites such as Freelancer Kenya, Paula’s site……where you can find enough reading materials to get you started without making the mistakes others have made…

Feel free to use ePay-Kenya’s services anytime.

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Comments

  1. maxwell says

    Hello Walter, nice post, I wanted to know if it’s possible to fund my paypal account through epaykenya, the banks and their cards have been putting me through long hours of waiting with a no as an answer ,

  2. Kevin says

    Thanks Walter for such insightful interview, It was highly informative and I am proud of E-Pay Kenya for providing us with such convenient and efficient opportunity. This guys should expand to provide 21st century banking services that leverage on technology. thanks for sharing, Walter and Caesar.

    • Walter Akolo says

      Hi Kevin,

      You are most welcome. I believe they will soon expand to that level and will be the bank to watch in Africa.

      Thanks again.

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  4. says

    I have been a great fan of e-pay Kenya when I need fast withdrawals. At one minute I have my money lying idle in Paypal, within the next 30 minute, I am walking out of an Mpesa agent with a big smile on my face.
    Their customer service is also awesome. Queries are replied to almost immediately, which makes me want to ask the one or two questions that I think you forgot. How many employees does e-pay Kenya employ? Most of the time my phone calls or emails are replied to by Esther or Caesar. Are there any other employees or is epay-Kenya looking for employees?
    My slight concern is on the charges which tend to be a bit on the high side… but I am not complaining.
    Otherwise thanks for the very informative piece, Walter. I really feel that no one else can manage to do what you do.

    • Walter Akolo says

      Hey Patrick,

      Yes, they are fast and effective. I believe their customer service even beats most international ones. The charges are high but for quality service.

      Thanks for your humbling words. And I hope one of them can see this and respond about how many employees they have.

    • says

      Hi Patrick. Thank you for your kind words and support. ePay Kenya has 10 permanent employees. We also engage sub-contracted workers who range between 10 – 15 depending on the level of business. Customer care, being one of our core values is very close to our hearts and that explains why the Customer Support Department is handled by either Esther, Andrew or myself.

  5. says

    Yes indeed true I used ePay-kenya sometime back for payments and I would say convenience and speed were my driving factors and I got them at ePay-Kenya not forgetting the friendly and prompt staff, the interview just tells it all, and thanks walter.

  6. Ambrose says

    Hi Walter, this post somehow touched on an area I have interest in; the transfer of M-Pesa to MTN Mobile money. When is it kicking off? The link in the post just takes me to the MTN Mobile money home page…

  7. says

    Glad to see the face of a friend I have never met for 5 years now. Very understanding team that listens. Caesar has been more than a brother. I believe I’m still one of the oldest users of his brainchild since the days of ePesa. I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart.

    • Walter Akolo says

      Hey Benleem,

      Yeah, Caesar is a great guy indeed. Over the years, we have also become great friends.

      I also wish them the very best.

    • says

      Thank you for your compliments Ben. Indeed we have come a long way and are very proud to be associated with you having been one of our first customers. Thank you for your unwavering support and confidence in our services. We will always strive to improve on our offerings.

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