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Impact of mobile money interoperability in Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the most developed mobile money markets in the world, representing almost a third of all of East Africa’s active mobile money accounts in 2015. [1] It is also one of the most progressive, with ambitious initiatives regularly leading to new product innovation. Today, we are releasing a publication looking at the impact of one form of innovation coming out of Tanzania: the impact of account-to-account mobile money interoperability.

With Tigo, Airtel and Zantel having connected their services in 2014 and Vodacom integrating in 2016, account-to-account interoperability is still in early days in Tanzania. As such, this publication focuses on preliminary quantitative metrics alongside perspectives and reflections written by the service providers. The basic quantitative data offers a glimpse of initial customer behaviours and allows us to benchmark growth against a comparative use case, the off-net voucher. The latter half of the publication focuses entirely on the perspectives of the providers. These perspectives are critical because the experience of these players will inform both how Tanzania develops and how other practitioners evaluate the opportunity of interoperability in their own markets.
Between the data and the providers, Tanzania has provided more evidence to help all industry stakeholders develop more realistic expectations of and a better understanding for account-to-account interoperability.  For example:
  • Basic market prerequisites in Tanzania provided the right dynamic for early growth. Growth in Tanzania is promising, particularly given providers have taken a “wait and see” approach in the early days. For Airtel and Tigo, cross-net transactions now exceed off-net vouchers, and both cite double-digit monthly percentage growth. To capture this early organic growth, providers benefitted from (1) an enabling regulatory environment that encourages innovation, (2) strong operational foundations across all providers and (3) a commitment to the user experience, including honouring a consistent price for all P2P transfers – whether on-net or cross-net. Markets lacking these basic prerequisites may risk a harder road before reaping the benefits that interoperability can enable.

  • Interoperability between providers can also be a catalyst for further investment in industry collaboration. There is a healthy diversity of perspectives and expectations from providers around the implementation and impact of domestic interoperability. However, what is clear is that the launch of this singular form of interoperability is part of, and in some cases reinforced by, an on-going strategy to capture the benefits of broader industry collaboration. Millicom, Vodacom and Airtel all explicitly expressed an interest to build on their experience and potentially extend interoperability to new use cases, such as merchant payments.

  • The impact of interoperability is best measured over the long-term. Mobile money interoperability has further to go in Tanzania before it is close to the transaction volume processed through bank integrations or on-net P2P transfers. To accelerate that growth, the industry continues to explore how improvements to the technological and financial infrastructure could make mobile money interoperability more efficient. New investment in customer campaigns are also underway, and these investments will help evaluate the long-term growth ceiling and the extent of mass-market need for the functionality.
  • Source: gsma

MTN Uganda, CBA to provide virtual loans on mobile phones

Telecoms company MTN Uganda and the Commercial Bank of Africa have launched a virtual banking platform designed as a credit facility for the unbanked population, and those lacking collateral and credit history, who are locked out of the loans market.

The service requires MTN Mobile Money users to open a mobile bank account on MoKash, into which they can deposit as little as Ush50 ($0.015) in savings, and borrow up to Ush1,000,000 ($293) repayable at a rate of 9 per cent.
In the absence of proof of creditworthiness of the virtual customers, MTN says it will rely on other factors like the consistency of a customer’s usage of services like data and utility payment services to decide the loan amount to give.
The micro loan offer is a result of advancements in technology that have seen mobile money revolutionise the movement of money and the payment systems in the region.    
MTN hopes to replicate the success Safaricom has had in Kenya, after it partnered with CBA to launch a similar service, M-Shwari, in November 2012. A rollout to Tanzania was made the same year, where some 5 million customers are currently subscribed to the service.
By March this year, CBA had disbursed Ksh10 billion ($100 million) in loans and collected Ksh8.1 billion ($81 million) in savings from 3.9 million customers.
In Uganda, MoKash is expected to increase financial inclusion for people in rural areas.
According to Prof Augustus Nuwagaba, an economist and lecturer at Makerere University, 68 per cent of Ugandans are not monetised, that is, they do not touch money. Only 8.3 per cent of the population interacts with commercial banks.
In Rwanda, 28.2 per cent of the population interacts with banks.
Movement of money
Uganda is considered to have the highest movement of money in the region, but much of this is in the rural areas through traditional and informal methods of saving like purchase of land and livestock.
“Ugandans have a lot of money that ought to be saved. However, they do not have the incentive to save, and so domestic absorption will be slow,” said Prof Nuwagaba.
There is a need for telecoms companies to expand their networks to distant customers for the delivery of their products. Handsets also need to be made available to potential customers in rural areas, together with financial literacy training in the benefits, security, accessibility and relevance of the services.
Erick Muriuki, the general manager for new business at CBA, said that for a successful cashless economy to be realised, there is a need to digitalise the money velocity in an economy.  
This has to start with the reduction of costs incurred when making payments for utilities using digital means.
Source: theeastafrican

Orange launches Orange Money between France and Africa

Orange Money is available in Metropolitan France. This service is offered to Orange mobile subscribers  in France and enables them to transfer money via their mobile to other Orange Money customers in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, and within Metropolitan France.
“We are delighted to offer the Orange Money solution to our customers living in Metropolitan France and particularly to those with a link to Africa – this is a simple, secure and instant money transfer service between family and friends via mobile,” states Patrick Roussel, Orange France Consumer Sales Director.

By launching the service in France, Orange is responding to strong demand from its customers with family or friends in Africa.
Orange Money provides a money transfer service from France to Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal through a simple mobile transaction. Orange also makes it easier for recipients to withdraw money from over 30,000 Orange Money points in the three recipient countries, an unrivalled number of points of sale in these countries.
This service will develop gradually and Orange intends to number of points of sale in France. An Orange Money app will be available soon in France and Orange will look to expand the money transfer offer from France to other countries over time.
For the launch of Orange Money in France, Orange is supported by its subsidiary W-HA, which has an EMI agreement  and is authorised to issue and manage electronic money. The technical and banking expertise of W-HA allows Orange to offer international money transfer services with an excellent standard of customer experience and user security
You don’t need a bank account to use Orange Money. You just need a mobile plan and to register at a point of sale offering Orange Money with an ID card and proof of address.  It is free to open an Orange Money account.
Amongst the stores offering the secure Orange Money service in Metropolitan France, Orange already has 41 points of sale: newsagents, call shops, local grocery stores and tobacconists across the country, as well as an Orange Money store in Paris.
To carry out a money transfer, the customer credits their account with a bank card or cash at a point of sale. They then log onto their Orange Money account directly from their mobile by ringing #144#, entering the mobile number of the recipient as well as the amount to transfer and confirming the transaction with their Orange Money password. The transfer is then completed and the money is immediately available in the recipient’s  account.
#144# is a free and simple service which is compatible with all mobiles on the market.
Orange Money is a mobile account linked to an Orange telephone number, and it is designed to meet the needs of customers in Africa, where most transactions are made in cash. Orange Money service, launched in Côte d’Ivoire in 2008, has over 18 million customers already use it in 14 countries in Africa to carry out transactions such as payments and money transfers.
In 2013 Orange launched the first international money transfer service for its Orange Money customers between Senegal, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire. In March 2015, this service was expanded to transfers to and from Airtel Money customers in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
Source: techmoran

Tanzania: Vodacom M-Pawa Loans Reach 4.2 Billion/ - in May

Over 4.2bn/- in loans was disbursed to Vodacom subscribers last month through M-Pawa thus becoming an important tool of boosting entrepreneurship among women and youth.

Vodacom Tanzania Chief Officer M-Commerce Mr Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said M-Pawa was increasingly being heralded as the tool for bringing financial services to the large unbanked population in Tanzania.
"In just two years since its launch, M-Pawa subscribers have skyrocketed to 4.8 million. Todate, 39bn/- have been issued to subscribers through M-Power and most of them are entrepreneurs mostly women and youth to increase income," he said.
Prior to introduction of various mobile financial solutions, the unbanked population relied on cash or informal financial services which were typically unsafe, inconvenient and denied them the opportunity to access loans.
The high penetration of mobile phones in Tanzania provided the basis for extending access to financial services such as payments, transfers, insurance, savings, and credit.
Thus Vodacom Tanzania in partnership with CBA bank introduced M-Pawa -- the first- ever mobile savings and loan service in Tanzania - a service that has proven to be a saviour to millions of its subscribers.
The introduction of Vodacom's M-Pawa was made possible in partnership with the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), following studies showing that there are millions of Tanzanians especially in rural areas who do not have bank accounts mostly due to the absence of banking institutions or lack of the requisite monies to open up a bank account.
Source:All africa

Tigo Platinum sponsor of the GSMA Mobile 360 Series Conference – Tanzania

Millicom Group trading under the Tigo brand is the official platinum sponsor of the 2016 Mobile 360 Series- Africa conference, which will take place on 26-28 July at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre. The conference, the first of its kind in the country, is fully endorsed by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). 
 “By sponsoring one of the most powerful trade associations in the telecommunications industry in the world, Tigo underscores its commitment in promoting digital lifestyle transformation and its leadership in delivering cutting-edge technology and innovation-factors that are critical to the growth of the telecom industry in Africa”, said Tigo Tanzania General Manager, Diego Guttierrez who will be among the key speakers at the summit.
 The event will comprise thought-provoking keynote addresses, fireside chats, and panel discussions. With the overall event theme of “Accelerating Access for All to Create a Digitally Inclusive Society”, each session will tackle a different aspect of the empowerment story, such as ‘Developing Ecosystems for Future Digital Services’, ‘Creating Opportunities for Local Content’ and much more. The full conference agenda is available at
At Mobile 360 – Africa, CEOs and senior executives from leading mobile companies and from players across the digital ecosystem will address the most pressing trends and issues in mobile. Speakers confirmed to present at Mobile 360 – Africa include:
  • Razvan Ungureanu, Chief Technical Officer, Airtel Africa
  • Dr. Omobola Johnson, Chairperson, Alliance for Affordable Internet
  • Bradley Shaw, Founder, Continuum Consulting
  • Shiletsi Makhofane, Head of Government and Industry Relations, Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA
  • Qiu Heng, President of Wireless Marketing Operations, Wireless Network Product Line, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
  • Alice Munyua, Board of Trustees, Internet Society (ISOC)
  • Kwame Baah-Acheamfuor, Chairman, ITU-T Study Group 12
  • Ari Zlotoff, Director of Expansion, Off-Grid Electric
  • Christopher Richardson, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, ONEm
  • Arnauld Blondet, Head of Innovation, Africa and Middle East, Orange Group
  • Diego Gutierrez, General Manager, MIC Tanzania (Tigo)
  • Ian Ferrao, CEO, Vodacom Tanzania 
In addition to the main conference, Mobile 360 – Africa will highlight the initiatives and activities undertaken by the GSMA Mobile for Development programme. The event will focus on the GSMA’s work to increase access to and use of life-enhancing mobile services; acceleration of socio-economic improvements for the underserved, especially women, rural and youth; and particularly digital and financial inclusion and identity for the unregistered.
GSMA Jumpstart
Back for a second year is the GSMA’s Jumpstart programme, which invites start-ups to showcase their mobile innovations in the region. This start-up pitch platform will feature six to eight exciting, early-stage entrepreneurs, with each giving a five-minute pitch to a panel of operators, investors, and to the audience, followed by questions. The pitch session will be followed by an informal networking reception for participants and the audience.
Mobile 360 – Africa Registration Now OpenRegistration for Mobile 360 – Africa is now open; individuals wishing to attend should
Get Involved at Mobile 360 – Africa
The 2016 GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Africa is the third in a series of seven industry-focused events held in major cities across the world. For information on Mobile 360 – Africa, including sponsorship opportunities, please Follow developments and updates on Mobile 360 – Africa (#m360Africa) on Twitter @GSMA, on Facebook and LinkedIn on

Tanzania telecom in joint venture for children-SMS Makini

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA - Tigo Tanzania, in partnership with Shule Direct, a local online enterprise, has launched Short Message Service (SMS) Makini educational platform that will provide content for students and teachers in Tanzanian secondary schools.  

ONLINE LEARNING: Flora Tibarazwa (3rd left) a representative from COSTECH; Woinde Shisael, Tigo Corporate Services Responsibility Manager (2nd right) and Faraja Nyalandu (R) Shule Direct founder both looking on at how the online SMS learning platform for secondary schools system operates.
Tigo Corporate Responsibility Manager, Woinde Shishael, said at a launch function held at Azania Secondary School in Dar es Salaam last week, SMS Makini will enable students to access digital study tools online and bridge the existing gap of learning resources in the educational sector.  
“Through the use of Tigo SMS Makini, Tigo subscribers, particularly secondary school students and teachers will be able to access digitalized notes, tutorials, quizzes, podcasts and videos right from their mobile handsets,” Woinde said. 
She said the classes to be involved in the platform will be Form one to Form four adding that academic notes will be based on Tanzania’s educational syllabus covering nine learning subjects.
The subjects covered include History, Civics, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, Mathematics and Kiswahili. 
According to Woinde Tigo SMS Makini also accords students and teachers an interactive opportunity to discuss, share ideas, revise and download the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) past academic papers as well as meeting online for the 10,000 registered. 
Tigo subscribers will access the service for free for one month and thereafter they will be charged a daily and weekly subscription fee of Tsh.100 ($0.045) and Tsh.500 ($0.227) respectively. 
To access the service, Tigo subscribers will need to send a key word Makini to 15397 and follow instructions.
The partnership with Shule Direct is part of Tigo’s strategy to support initiatives that have high impact in the community.
Meanwhile Tigo Tanzania last week donated 500 desks worth Tsh.82.5 million ($39,091) to 10 primary schools in Kinondoni district, Dar es Salaam region, in support of the government’s effort to offset the existing countrywide shortage of desks in primary schools.
Speaking at a handover ceremony held at Kawawa Primary School located in Mabibo ward in Kinondoni municipality, Tigo General Manager Diego Gutierrez said the donation is in line with the company’s commitment to support community initiatives seeking to uplift people’s living condition.
 “The donation is part of Tigo’s investment on social projects that have high impact on the community. We believe that through this donation, Tigo is playing a role in shaping the future leaders, doctors, engineers and other experts of this country,” Gutierrez said.
Source: Busiweek

Tap and Go cards both mobile and fixed at every park and major stops

As Rwanda evolves into the technology hub for the region and continent, the component of a smart city is very crucial and from it, builds other major urban development programs focused on Rwanda's growth - and its challenges and opportunities.

AC Group launched the Tap&Go project with Kigali Bus Services and Royal Express and has since made some routes totally cashless with the blessing of the Government.
The primary reason for starting with automated fare collection where clients use cards is because operations were losing a huge percentage of their bus fare revenue to fraud hence hindering their ability to provide proper service to commuters.
With their revenues being collected in a transparent and efficient way, commuters have been able to enjoy public transport with fewer delays on the bus stops, quicker boarding on the buses and proper real time monitoring of the bus by authorities and the bus operators.
 Commuters that come to Kigali for the first time do have access to a well spread network of points of sale of the Tap&Go cards both mobile and fixed at every park and major stops. These stations not only supply the clients with card but also educate them on how to use it.
The card can be topped up with what a commuter feels they want to use and can also be shared with a family member or friend.
The Tap&Go project is the first milestone towards building an intelligent transport system that is a key component of the Smart Rwanda Manifesto. Rwanda's rapid shift to virtual money will strike because of a number of coordinated programs in different sectors and transport is one of them
Source: mobilemoneyafrica

Tigo Tanzania launches innovative nano (Tigo Nivushe) lending scheme to its customers

Tigo Nivushe poised to foster financial inclusion
Leading digital lifestyle company, Tigo (, announced today that it will launch an easy to access nano lending product to its stable of mobile financial services. This new product will not require collateral and offers immediate access to small loans to Tigo Pesa users.

Tigo Head of Mobile Financial Services, Ruan Sawnepoel, said in a statement to the press today that for the first time the nano loans product, called Tigo Nivushe will allow Tigo Pesa customers to build their own credit history and being open to any Tigo Pesa customer turns the typical lending models upside down.  No security is required or taken and the loan product has been designed to be transparent and foster responsible lending.

Explaining the product’s flexibility, Swanepoel said Tigo Nivushe offers different lending periods with variable administrative costs based on the length of tenure. The loans – with an average of Tsh 10,000 (US$ 5) – are processed in real-time and funds transferred within minutes. As customers build up their credit history they are able to borrow higher amounts with lower administration fees.  Loans are delivered directly to the mobile wallet so customers can immediately use the funds to pay bills, transfer to others, or cash out at the thousands of agents across the country, he noted.

“Tigo Nivushe has been designed to encourage responsible lending. Previous mobile behaviour is used to determine suitable limits for loans and customers will only be able to have one loan at a time.  Protection against life shocks is included as everyone will be automatically insured for the loan amount against death or permanent disability. Most importantly, as the product is fee based no interest can be accumulated in the event of default and acquiring a loan will not affect mobile or Tigo Pesa accounts in any way, “ Swanepoel said.

The head of Mobile Financial Services further said: “We are thrilled today to be launching Tigo Nivushe. It is an essential product for driving financial inclusion, which is critical to Tanzania’s continued economic growth and success. These quite small loans can make all the difference and are crucial for building credit history and obtaining credit in the future.”

Disruptive E-money services, delivered through mobile phones have already changed the lives of millions of people. With this new responsible lending product, Tigo wants to change the way people think about lending, according to Ruan.


Tanzania in mobile money ‘first’ for Africa

Vodacom joined Tigo, Airtel and Zantel in a pioneering interoperability scheme for mobile money in Tanzania.

In 2014, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel agreed to enable their customers to send and receive money across their networks. After announcing it would join last year, Vodacom has now implemented the scheme.
Tanzania becomes Africa’s first country with full interoperability for P2P money transfers, according to a statement issued by three of the operators.

Interoperability means more traffic and hence revenue, at least that’s the argument of Tigo, Airtel and Zantel, which have seen off-network transactions grow 3.5 times since 2014.

Tanzania, like neighbouring Kenya, is a case study for mobile money with high usage levels. There are more than 16 million mobile financial users in Tanzania.


Tigo Pesa, now the largest Mobile Financial Service eco-system in Tanzania

Tigo becomes the only operator in Tanzania to offer interoperability with Airtel, Vodacom and Zantel
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, February 18, 2016/ -- Tigo Tanzania ( announced today that customers of its Tigo Pesa mobile money service will now be able to move funds between any of the country’s mobile money operators, as Vodacom’s M-Pesa joins an interoperable network already set up by Tigo, Zantel and Airtel. Tigo becomes the only operator in Tanzania to offer interoperability with Airtel, Vodacom and Zantel.


Vodacom’s participation means that more than 16 million mobile money users in Tanzania will be able to conduct transactions with one-another regardless of which mobile operator they use.

It also creates Africa’s first universal interoperable mobile money network.

In June 2014, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel announced a pioneering interoperability agreement. Since then, their customers have enjoyed interoperability between their mobile money accounts which has accounted for an increase of 3.5 times the value of total offline transactions. After announcing it would join the interoperable network one year ago, Vodacom has now implemented the deal.

Interoperability in Tanzania today is not exclusive to mobile operators, and also includes more than 25 banks. The country’s 16 million mobile financial users transact the equivalent of more than 50% of Tanzania’s GDP each month. Thanks to this growing network, Tanzania is now the leading place for mobile money in east Africa, overtaking Kenya.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Tigo Tanzania Head of Mobile Financial Services, Ruan Swanepoel, said: “With Tigo Pesa, customers will now benefit from faster, cheaper and safer cashless transactions with anyone across the country.”

Swanepoel continued, “We believe interoperability is crucial to the success of mobile money and the wider goal of increasing financial inclusion. It is also a fundamental building block towards constructing a digital economy, enabling merchants and other start-ups to participate in the financial services ecosystem. Our aim going forward is to reach similar agreements with networks in other markets.”
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Tigo.

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