My RCPT Receipting App Update

I am going through a hiatus in writing this blog. I decided to take a break until October when hopefully refreshed, I shall resume regular blogging. Today’s post is a guest post about the updated version of a very useful app that I have reviewed before.

[Guest post by Victor]

When I was requested to do a guest review on RCPT(pronounced receipt) an android mobile Application that produces Mpesa receipts by Disruptive Technologies LTD, I was skeptical anyone would want a receipt other than the SMS notification from Mpesa. The app is now available on Google Play whereas previous it was only available on the Safaricom App Store.

My RCPT logo

My RCPT logo

After installing the app, it read my Mpesa Paybill and Lipa na Mpesa (buy goods) text messages and produced virtual receipts arranged by date with the latest payments first and so on. I also noticed that it does the same for Nairobi water and services LTD although I did not test the feature since I am not their customer. I was impressed by the simple and crisp new design.

Home:

My RCPT app

My RCPT app

Payments made:

All payments organized as receipts in the app

All Mpesa paybill payments organized as receipts in the app

The app certainly addresses the main headache users will face if mobile payments are going to be the norm rather than exception. The SMS receipts currently in use are restricted to mobile devices and people will want to use the receipts in other platforms. You want to print a receipt, you want to email a receipt, but all you have is a text message! This app offers you a way to generate virtual e-receipts and PDF receipts which you can then print/email.

The Virtual Receipt and PDF Receipt

The virtual e- receipts are free to use and they are used from within the App by scanning the QR code which is the Mpesa transaction id encoded into QR code format. The app incorporates a QR scanner and this is genius since to verify an Mpesa transaction id currently requires you to type – not cool at all.

MyRCPT virtual receipt

MyRCPT virtual receipt

By scanning the QR, you can verify whether a receipt (from your customer) is genuine or not, rather than manually checking the transaction Id. The QR scanner can be used to admit or allow access to concerts, virtual vouchers, members clubs, sports and games e.t.c. I loved this feature the most since I have seen concert organizers print paybill number for their events and people can start showing up with printed receipts from the App or just show the virtual receipt and the concert organizers can scan to verify authenticity.

The developers are trying to build an ecosystem that will in future include API for other developers to tap into their systems, so they can be used by concert organizers etc.. anyone who needs such a service (authenticating mpesa transaction receipts). They have also created a Lipa Na Mpesa payment module for open cart – for those who want to use the lipa na Mpesa option on their websites etc- and are giving the code away for FREE check out.

Receipt exported to PDF

Receipt exported to PDF

However, scanning the QR code on receipts and generating PDF receipt is a premium service that you activate by paying Ksh 20 via Safaricom M-PESA within the App. I was happy to pay the ksh 20 because this is the first App that has used MPESA for in app payments and I was curious to test if it works. To pay you simply enter your mobile number on the provided text field and click on the button then wait for USSD prompt from Safaricom to pop up on your phone to complete the transaction. To complete the transaction, you use your Bonga pin (Which I think is lame from Safaricom-not many people know their bonga pins so they need to change this). I give the developers (Disruptive technologies LTD) A+ for having figured out in-app payment which will be a revenue source for many developers in Kenya who have been left out in the cold for long by Google and have no way of Monetizing via Google Wallet.

Activating the premium service on My RCPT

Activating the premium service on My RCPT

Applications of this App

Today I heard my colleague who is a landlord complaining that since Nairobi Water and sewerage company went digital, there is no way he can verify whether the tenants are paying for water or not since the SMS receipts they forward to his phone could be doctored. I recommended the App and he rang to thank me for solving that small trust issue with his tenants. Surely there is need for this App. I can foresee more people finding other uses for the app but first the developers really need to educate people that they can use the app to make their transactions better and easier. I hope this review kick starts the education.

This is what the app can be used for:

  1. Produce virtual E-receipts
  2. Produce printable PDF Receipts
  3. Send PDF receipt via Email as attachment
  4. Scan QR code to verify receipts payments and authenticity
  5. Manage bills and utility payments
  6. Eliminate counterfeit receipts via QR scanning for authenticity verification e.t.c
  7. Virtual vouchers
  8. Manage admissions to concerts,games,plays, theaters e.t.c

Recommended Apps: MyLingala and MyRcpt for Mpesa Receipting

My Lingala

We grew up listening to lingala songs, and we sang them word for word sometimes even when we did not know what we were singing. That wasn’t important though, gyrating our waists to the rhythm of the beats was where we put most effort, but I don’t know about you. Once we grow older, we listen to the same songs with nostalgia and scour youtube for videos with lyrics but they are scanty.

Enter myLingala Android App, which I have reviewed before. The app not only has the lyrics in lingala, but also their English translations. This is an improved version which incorporates audio-streaming so you can listen to the song as you scroll down the lyrics. In addition, you can also request a song, which will come with the next update.

Some of the songs in the lingala App

Some of the songs in the lingala App

A song with lyrics translated

A song with lyrics translated

You can get this app from the Safaricom app store, and pay only Kshs. 199 using your airtime. A lot effort went into this app and should be appreciated.

MyRcpt App for M-Pesa Receipting

A second app I would recommend for business people who are struggling to keep records of M-Pesa transactions, and giving receipts to customers or presenting receipts when needed, is MyRcpt. It is also an Android app that is available on, appropriately, the Safaricom App Store for also Ksh. 199 which you can pay with your airtime. Businesses need the paper work filed so this app will be quite useful to business people.

According to the brief description on the store: “MyRcpt is an application that converts your M-pesa paybill and lipa na mpesa texts into pdf receipts that you can export to your email account or pdf reader and print for filing purposes. It can also serve as proof of payment and legitimizes your text receipt into a real physical receipt that people can recognize and accept. With MyRcpt you can now rest easy and file all your bulk payments, rent,utility bill e.t.c for accountability purposes.”

I tried it out, and once I ran it, all my Paybill transactions showed up. The app is easy to use and I like the minimalist design.

Recent Paybill Transactions are showed, don’t ask why I was paying Ksh. 100 to KPLC!

All Paybill transactions are displayed

All Paybill transactions are displayed

When you choose a specific transaction, this is the screen you see.

You can then select a specific transaction and get the receipt for it

You can then select a specific transaction and get the receipt for it

You can choose to save the receipt as pdf or send it it through email.

You can choose to view the receipt as a pdf, that is the form it will be saved in. You can also send it on email.

You can choose to view the receipt as a pdf, that is the form it will be saved in. You can also send it on email.

If you want to try out this app, here is the link to the store. I am sure there is potential for many more uses so I would watch out for this app if I were you.

Bouncy Monkey and GoJimmyGo Android Games

Whenever I meet kids, one thing we can always bond over is the applications on my phone/tablet. Show them an interesting game and you have made instant friends. On the other hand if you have nothing going on in your phone, then what else will you talk about with kids who only speak Japanese? It is definitely easier to talk with adults than with kids when your grasp of a language is basic.

I came across these two apps developed by my former classmates during my master’s degree in Strathmore University.

Bouncy Monkey

I started by playing Bouncy Monkey. It is a nice enjoyable game with easy instructions, tap to jump and tap continuously to use the parachute*. It’s easy to play so it quickly becomes addictive, as you try to beat the high score. I managed to unlock about 4 levels the first time I played it. And of course when you clear a level, you get a screenfull of bananas! You are a bouncy monkey after all! Extra features include the ability to choose the colour scheme you want. There are in-app ads but well, since it is a free game you have to live with it! It’s easy to ignore them though.

Tap and hold to jump and start playing the game right away

Bouncy Monkey Screen1

Bouncy Monkey Screen 1

When you finish a level, there is celebration! It’s bananas!

Clearing a level in Bouncy Monkey

Clearing a level in Bouncy Monkey

I continued playing trying to increase my high score! This is how many levels I have now unlocked.

Unlocked levels in bouncy monkey

Unlocked levels in bouncy monkey

Suitable for all ages, get the app here! Let me know what you think.

GoJimmyGo!

In this game, a little boy called Jimmy is not only running from a dog, but he also has to navigate obstacles ahead. It is like Temple Run for kids, the concept is the same at the very least. I am still trying to unlock the first level though!

The dog just won't stop chasing Jimmy!

The dog just won’t stop chasing Jimmy!

Still stuck on level 1. I want to unlock the 9 levels and then see what lies beyond!

GoJimmyGo

GoJimmyGo Level 1 🙁

Get the game from Play Store here.

At least I will be once again, a cool aunt to the kids I meet with these games 🙂

Hands on with TumaPesa –The MPESA companion

Guest post by  James Wahome.

Once in a while, I might get a request to write about an app, a website,  a phone review.. so I will use the service/app/website/phone etc and write my experience. But in this case, I wasn’t in a position to use Mpesa, seeing as I am halfway across the world in a country with no roaming.

So I asked the requester to do a post and here we are. Hope you will use this app to make your transactions smoother and error free. No one wants to send money to the wrong number! This is also efficient for Paybill Numbers, imagine having to memorize all paybills, and which KPLC number is for pre or post paid.

The Tuma Pesa App:

tuma pesa

tuma pesa

It’s happened to every MPESA user, you urgently need to send money to someone but you don’t have the number off head, just in your Address book, So you end up navigating to your Phonebook, copying the number, navigating back to your app drawer launching the SIM Tool Kit and pasting the number when prompted.

But that’s too much work and often we simply tempt fate and end up sending money to the wrong Number. What about PayBill Numbers and their respective accounts? Well that’s even worse, you copy the PayBill name and account somewhere on a piece of paper maybe and you key them in one by one into MPESA when prompted. You manually have to keep track of all the PayBill numbers and accounts so you can refer to them when you want to use them.

What if you didn’t have to do all that, What if it was as easy and convenient for you as downloading an app that takes care of all you Numbers, PayBills and Accounts? Well, that is what TumaPesa is all about. To use TumaPesa simply download from google play store or click on the following link [TumaPesa Mpesa Companion].

How does it work? Easy, let me walk you through the 3 key features that make TumaPesa revolutionary. Upon install you get a slide introduction of how to use the app. It highlights the key features of the app and directions of use as explained below.

1. TumaPesa loads all your contacts and formats them for you in a nice intuitive list that can be searched by name or number. All the contacts are pulled from both Sim Card and Phone Memory.

Say I want to send cash to Savvy Kenya, well I simply search for her name, click on it and the SIM Tool Kit is opened. In addition to this her Number is copied to the clip board and a pop up of her details appears on the top right corner with her Name and Number. You can transact safely and securely without the fear of sending money to the wrong number.

In the app you search for a contact

In the app you search for a contact

Select the contact and it is loaded to the SIM toolkit

Select the contact and it is loaded to the SIM toolkit

  1. For contacts you send money frequently you have the option of saving them by long pressing on a contact name and they automatically get stored in the Favorites Tab and a star appears next to them indicating they are now in favorites.
Favoriting contacts

Favoriting contacts

  1. For PayBill numbers and accounts you can save a list of them in the PayBill section of the app and use them whenever you need.
Adding paybill numbers

Saving paybill numbers

Saving paybill numbers

Saving paybill numbers

The App is currently only available for Android but an IOS version will be out in the next few weeks so watch out.

Please download the app and give feedback. There are always so many programmers out there willing to make your life easier, so appreciate the effort by downloading the app, it is free, after all!

OLX App Offers a Faster Way to Browse/Sell

Despite friends’ misgivings about olx (so many cons there, you have to be careful), I have actually used for some two great deals: a laptop and a baby car seat. The thing about olx that you have to realize is that it’s a platform to connect buyers and sellers, and cons have always been there even offline.

I recently downloaded the OLX app and was surprised at the ease of navigation and fast loading of the pages (yes I was on Safaricom internet!).

The user interface is really simple and neat.

OLX App loading screen

OLX App loading screen

It instantly picked the location nearest to me so that when I search for deals, I get the most relevant and most accessible deals.

Oh wait, this is yet another welcoming screen.

Oh wait, another welcoming screen on the OLX App.

Oh wait, another welcoming screen on the OLX App.

Ok here’s the screen that has already picked location. Loading was really quite fast. Maybe it was the timing, so the internet was a bit faster as more people were asleep!

OLX app showing Komarock as my nearest location!

OLX app showing Komarock as my nearest location!

From here, I randomly browsed by category (Cars) just to see what I would get and how the app works. I instantly got the cars being listed near/around Komarock.

olx app 4

I wondered if it’s possible to change location, I mean, if you are looking for something as big as a car, your location shouldn’t be limited to just your constituency or something!

Just tapping on the location, I was able to zoom out to the larger location of Nairobi. You can also choose to list all cars listed in Kenya;  and so on..

Cars listed in Nairobi using olx app

Cars listed in Nairobi using olx app

 

I tried to navigate to other categories as well, the transition was just as smooth and fast. I think if you have a reliable internet connection,, you’re likely to enjoy browsing for deals using the app. As you can see, my location chosen now is the larger geographical area “Kenya”, and you can narrow or widen your search area as much as you like.

Searching for a different category on olx app

Searching for a different category on olx app

Narrowing down location to Komarock, I get jobs and services in my area.

testing

Narrowing down location to Komarock on the olx app

You can also apply various filters to your search, such as prices, make of cars etc.

You can also save your search for future reference.

If you’re selling something, it’s easier to upload pics directly from the phone as opposed to first transferring them to the computer then uploading on the olx site, or relying on the stability of your browser to maintain the connection as you try to upload the pics.

The app is available on  iOS, Android, Nokia ad blackberry app stores. Here’s the link to the Android one 

Try it out and give me feedback on its usability!

 

Using Sendy

This post was first published on the Sendy Blog

It’s one thing to write about an app after learning about it, it’s another to actually use the app and experience it for yourself. After learning about Sendy, I downloaded it from Google Play,  but didn’t use it for a while.

Sendy app on my phone

Sendy app installed on my phone, right next to Calls Blacklist .. very useful apps.

 I had bought a book for a friend and was having a challenge delivering it to them, because of distance and hectic schedules. So this week, I have been working in Industrial Area in Nairobi, and my friend works on the other side of town in Kilimani. The obvious solution was to have a rider deliver it, so I opened the Sendy app. At first, it had my location at Bunyala road, so I tapped on the screen to update my location and it did so immediately, I didn’t even have to turn on GPS, I guess it uses your GSM network for location as well.

Sendy rider at Inda

Sendy rider nearest me in Industrial area

There was only one rider who was around me, so I pressed the button for call rider. He informed me his name is Oloo and he would be there in 20 minutes (much less than the app indicated). I told him I needed something delivered to Kilimani and he quoted his price, which was reasonable. So he agreed to come over, as he was in town.

I had cash, so when he arrived in the 20 minutes, I just paid him. But if you don’t have cash (or change) you can pay through M-Pesa or your VISA card.

Oloo called me about 30 minutes later and told me had delivered the book. Calling my friend confirmed receipt. So I texted Oloo to tell him thanks and saved his number for future use.

I remember asking him how he signed up for Sendy. He told me he had to go through a lengthy vetting process including getting a certificate of good conduct from the CID, but he has had good business so far. So you can trust Sendy riders.

But come to think of it, I don’t need to save all numbers of all riders I come across; because once they have the Sendy app on their phones, it tracks their location. If I ever need a package delivered, all I have to do is load the Sendy app on my phone and get the nearest riders available around me, and the estimated time until they arrive at my location. Usually, the time they take to arrive is much less than indicated in the app, because they’re on motorbike thus not hindered by traffic. You can always call them to confirm their ETA.

Later, when I was having coffee at Savannah Lounge at Sameer Business Park, I tried out the app and it had updated my location and the nearest rider information had also changed.

A Sendy rider nearest Sameer Business Park

A Sendy rider nearest Sameer Business Park

I’d suggest everyone download this app and keep it in their phone, because you never know when you will need it.

It’s simplicity is astounding, the first page you load is the one showing you riders around you. You just have to sign up first after downloading it. Let me know your experience with it once you have used it.

Safari Tales, The Kids App We’ve Been Waiting For

If you’ve been looking for a kids app that tells traditional folk stories in English, Kiswahili and other African languages, then Safari Tales is what you need. The application is free to download from Google Play.

Safari Tales application

Safari Tales application

The application has:

  • Folk Tales
  • Poems & Tongue twisters
  • Songs- Nursery Rhymes & Lullabies
  • Learn Kiswahili
  • Have fun offline – upcoming Kiddie events

The features of the application include:

  • All African Folklore in one application
  •  “Read to Me” — hear the narration as you read the story
  •  “Read it Myself” — read the book in its traditional form
  •  “Auto Play” — plays like a movie, automatically reading and turning pages.
  •  Tap on a word to read its meaning from an in-built dictionary
  •  A full library of traditional African Folklore: ¸ Free first Bundle of books!

If you have young kids and they’re tired of playing fruit ninja, angry birds, temple run and whatever other games kids play on your android devices, download this app today and let me know your feedback. I will probably do another post when I have interacted with this app fully.

Here’s the link in case you missed it.

 

App Review: MyLingala

MyLingala is a native android Lingala-English lyrics translator app for Lingala enthusiasts (how many of those do you know?). But we grew up listening to Lingala when our parents were listening to it. Artists like Franco, Mbilia Bel etc, not forgetting modern artists like Fally Ipupa do hits that sound great for years on end.

Fally

Fally

Fally Ipupa performs

After searching the web for Lingala lyrics and their English translations online, Lingala music enthusiast Victor Njagi became increasingly frustrated by lack of any meaningful results. Frustrated and disappointed, he could not understand how such popular songs had limited web presence. This led him to take the bull by the horn and write an application that could offer English translations to Lingala lyrics.

Screenshot 2 App Review: MyLingala

Some of the songs already translated into English in the app

Mylingala is a simple lyrics translator that is very easy to use. The app is currently available at amazon app store, nexva and MTN Nigeria appstore.

Screenshot 1 App Review: MyLingala

A sample song with translated lyrics

Visit www.mylingala.com for more details on how you can get it.

Newsdrift: Your Local News App

I only read the hard copy newspaper on weekends, when I have time to browse through my favorite columns. However on weekdays, I catch up on news through the websites (most are mobile unfriendly), by going to the respective news websites. Most times actually, I find a trending news/topic shared on my facebook or twitter timeline and follow the links to the stories that way. That’s how I catch up on news.

But it sure is hectic opening numerous tabs and remembering the address of various news websites. I found a perfect solution: Newsdrift. Designed by a student in JKUAT (I’m generally proud of my alma mater), this app fetches all stories from the majors newspapers so you can just read everything in the one app.

The NewsDrift App..

The NewsDrift App..

News Sources

So far, it fetches the stories from Nation, Standard, Capital FM, The Star, Business Daily and tech news from the iHub blog.

The Star News in the app

The Star News in the app

Capital FM News

Capital FM News in the app

Capital FM News in the app

Categories

The news items aren’t just haphazard, they are in categories. They are fetched in real time but you can refresh the feed any time. You can also save favorite articles so you don’t have to have an active internet connection to read the news.

Among the categories are News (I guess general news), sports, technology, lifestyle, business etc.

Business Category News

Business Category News

The technology category news seem scanty.. perhaps my tech blog feed should be added? 🙂 Though I don’t do news per se.

Technology news feeds

Technology news feeds

In Featured, the developer showcases other apps he has built. I’ll check them out soon.

Featured apps by the developer, Abel

Featured apps by the developer, Abel

Recommendation

Newsdrift is one app I’d recommend for anyone who wants to keep in touch with current affairs. The question is, who doesn’t?