The new M-Pesa group wallet named M-Koba, enables saving groups to shift their funds from cash to digital in a safe and transparent manner. This solution will cater for the needs of both formal savings and loans groups (VICOBA, VSLA, CB) plus the informal peer saving groups like family and friends, Alumni associations etc.
It’s estimated that 16 per cent of Tanzania’s adult population (over 4.4 million people), the majority of which are women, are enrolled in over 50,000 village savings and loans groups (VICOBA) holding savings upwards of TZS 100 billion in cash. Apart from the formal registered groups there are also an estimated number of over 50,000 other informal groups involved in peer group savings and lending through social networks like alumni groups, family associations, workplace groups and so forth.
“This innovative solution is tailor made to offer a sustainable platform which is easily adaptable and scalable to serve groups even in the most rural parts of Tanzania through Vodacom’s and TPB extensive coverage and distribution network,” said Vodacom Tanzania head of M-Commerce, Epimack Mbeteni. He added that Vodacom and TPB are committed to reach the largely unbanked population to increase financial inclusion, resilience and empowerment through the user-friendly, secure and transparent platform.
The platform will also increase the number of formally banked individuals by at least one third and more importantly, reach rural women, who make-up the largest percentage. “Being a financial institution, we understand the role of group savings hence our partnership with the market leader in the mobile money space, Vodacom M-Pesa, to provide a digital and innovative solution that will make saving easier and enable people to achieve their goals”, said TPB’s Chief Executive Officer, Sabasaba Moshingi.
“We are grateful that Vodacom and TPB have come up with a product that solves the challenges we have been facing, now have a much safer mechanism for our group(s) and we feel more connected because the system is transparent allowing visibility of all group transactions” said Abdallah Mkenga, chairperson of one of the Vicoba groups at the launch.
By digitising operations of the savings groups, the platform will provide an enabling environment that will promote a culture of saving, practice sound financial management and advance financial inclusion in the country through M-Pesa.