With a keen interest in software entrepreneurship and an eye for success, Selase Tsikata and Seth Adinkra, formerly of Orgaroo applied to Startup chile. Just a week before the decision from Startup Chile came in, the duo, with a former team mate had shut down Orgaroo. Hence, they switched to a different idea even though that was a difficult decision to make at that time. The new idea was PayBrisk.
The idea for PayBrisk came from their frustrations as entrepreneurs in Ghana. From AppCompile, through “galamsey” [unofficial work contracts] to Orgaroo, accepting payments from outside Ghana was difficult. There have been countless attempts to get the attention of payments behemoths like PayPal and Stripe to operate in Ghana, with two separate Change.org attempts but still to no avail.
Somewhere along the line, receiving payments at Orgaroo was a less stressful option since MEST had the right resources to help its startups receive payments from outside Ghana which was obviously not the case for most companies.
Most websites and business owners in Ghana only accept bank transfer or pay-in through physical cash. “A lot of businesses in Ghana are trying to solve the payments issue but it’s designed for tech people. However, the non-tech-savvy store owner in Accra may not find it easy to accept payments from elsewhere and to manage their payments.”, Selase, CEO of PayBrisk explains.
They thought of a solutions which would be easy for shops to integrate without writing a line of code. And that’s why they decided to work on PayBrisk. PayBrisk enables businesses that are in Africa to accept payments through multiple payment platforms which are not available to them.
What PayBrisk does is it allows merchants to create a single account, and then the businesses can choose various payment options provided to them by PayBrisk. These options allow them to receive payments from almost anywhere in the world.
PayBrisk is more directed towards non-tech entrepreneurs who cannot, and should not, be bothered with having to integrate with tedious APIs. The startup took off in February and participating in Startup Chile has been a major achievement. Have clients from India, Kuwait, and some parts of Middle East and Asia though their solution is targeted at businesses in Africa is a major validation point for their business model and idea.
The team comprises Selase (CEO, and Business Development), Seth Adinkra (Product Development, Design) and 2 remote employees.
The community has been helpful to them even as foreigners. The community is not so huge for tech entrepreneurship, and Startup Chile is making people aware of the tech scene in Ghana, yes. A lot of infrastructure, resources and funds for startups, even for non-Chileans and this provides opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs.
They have however still had some teething challenges coming from Ghana and wanting to open doors which are shut to the continent. Getting PayPal and other credit card companies on board, other challenges with Ghanaian MNOs who don’t open up their Mobile Money APIS easily.
Currently, these are the payment platforms available to PayBrisk users — VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and PayPal. Charges are 4.2% + 50¢ irrespective of service being used which seems bearable for businesses considering the opportunities that this creates for the businesses.
A lot, a whole lot has been said and various discussions about payments have been going on within Africa, especially in the countries which do not have PayPal or Stripe supported. Though these giants may make the case for numbers, growing startups like PayBrisk create such opportunities for businesses in the unsupported countries to go beyond borders.