skip to content

In East Africa, Kenyans are shown to be saving the least, according to a survey by EFG Hermes. Kenya’s saving rate is at 12% while Uganda and Tanzania’s savings rates are above 20% despite their lower per capita income. This is due to a variety of factors, including high spending, a lack of financial literacy, a high poverty rate, and a high cost of living.

Instilling a savings culture is important, especially for the youth. Finding the right balance between spending and saving is an important life skill that can help young people understand how to set budgets, create personal savings plans, plan for their future in retirement, or achieve their happiness goals, such as saving for a vacation.

This is a significant gap in the fintech world, and one key player, Koa, has a vision to make financial services and investments more accessible for every Kenyan. Koa is a financial technology platform that allows Kenyans to grow their money, regardless of where they are in their financial journey. Their app allows their customers to save and grow their money from the comfort of their phone and earn an interest of up to 10% per year on their savings, and they can start with as little as 100 Kenyan shillings.

In addition to building a strong financial product that is accessible to all, they are also equally passionate about nurturing financial literacy among their customers. They provide them with advice and tips on how they can make better financial decisions to facilitate their journey to financial freedom.


For an early stage fintech startup, KYC compliance is a critical part of service offering. They were looking for a quick and simple way of verifying the customers onboarding onto their platform. In order to achieve this, they chose Smile Identity as their identity verification partner as we could offer a seamless, quick, and digital KYC process solution.

“Something as simple as creating a bank account or setting up a money market fund involves more paperwork and processes than are necessary, which is time consuming and exhausting.

We wanted to make this easy for people and make the concept of saving fun, and not something that they dread.” — Wesley Nderi, Success and Support Operations Lead, Koa


We recommended our Biometric KYC product as it would allow them to match user-provided details and selfies to the details that exist at the national ID authority. This process is simple to use and provides helpful prompts to the user to make the overall experience seamless.

“With Smile, we found a partner who was aligned with us for the long term and not just a provider. Smile has the widest digital KYC reach in Africa with 16+ different ID authorities, which enables us to grow our vision of facilitating financial freedom of customers across Sub-Saharan Africa. Using Smile’s different products and technical help, we have been able to evolve our KYC process as our business evolves.” — Wesley Nderi, Success and Support Operations Lead, Koa


Their customers are able to sign up and get started saving in under 2 minutes