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Vodacom and CBA launch revolutionary banking product

Dar es Salaam, May 14, 2014 ... Tanzania’s leading cellular network, Vodacom and the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) today launched a revolutionary banking service, M-Pawa, that will allow millions of Tanzanians to save and borrow money on the their mobile phones.

His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete launched the service in Dar es Salaam and had this to say, “the historic launch of M-Pawa today is to a large extent a testament to the success of the reforms that we have made in the financial sector, coupled with heavy investment made in the mobile communication industry, which have allowed our people to access affordable financial services through their mobile phone.”

M-Pawa, is a novelty in Tanzania’s mobile financial services sector that brings together the best of CBA’s 50 year banking experience in East Africa and M-PESA’s vast successful distribution system which boasts over 65,000 agents across the country. The service will further enhance Tanzania’s financial inclusion agenda by making it possible for people to save as little as Tsh 1/- , and borrow money depending on their savings history, said Vodacom Tanzania’s Managing Director Rene Meza at the launch event.

“M-Pawa is easy to use. Customers do not need to fill in application forms. They can open a bank account by simply accessing the M-Pesa menu on their phone and selecting M-Pawa! Furthermore, it does not have ledger fees, limits on the frequency of withdrawals, minimum operating balances and charges on deposits and withdrawals from  M-PESA to M-Pawa Account and vice versa, ” said Meza.

“Vodacom was the natural choice as our delivery partner for M-Pawa in Tanzania because we believe its extensive coverage of the country coupled with its over 65,000 strong M-Pesa Agent network will allow for the rapid uptake of this product in Tanzania,” said CBA Tanzania Limited’s, Board Chairperson, Ndewirwa Kitomari.

In addition to the over 5 million customers who currently use M-Pesa, Vodacom and CBA are targeting to reach the millions more who are currently outside the formal banking system in Tanzania. We are optimitistic that this service will grow in Tanzania because various studies have shown us that most people want to save and grow their money but are unable to do so because they are unable to meet most of the requirements of the formal banking sector. M-Pawa is our response to this need,” says Meza.

Customers can sign up for M-Pawa through accessing the M-Pesa menu on their phone, selecting M-Pawa and then opting for the service that is best suited to their particular requirement at that time .  That is, to save money, withdraw or take out a loan.

With regards to the accessing of loans, Vodacom customers need to be have used M-PESA for at least 6 months and have some saving history on M-Pawa says Meza.

In addition to this exciting partnership with CBA, Vodacom Tanzania has also integrated its M-Pesa service with 21 commercial banks in the country. M-Pesa is also the preferred payment solution for over 200 businesses in Tanzania which continue to benefit from the M-Pesa payment ecosystem.

About CBA

CBA is one of the largest privately-owned banks in East Africa, with business operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. As a Bank, our focus in addition to Corporate and Personal Banking market segments is now growing strongly towards focusing on innovative financial solutions targeted at the Small and Medium Business segments, as well as the financially excluded, through M-Pawa.

Our efforts and resources are channeled towards providing comfortable, elegant, secure and convenient banking solutions for our SME, Corporate clients, Institutional clients, Foreign Missions, NGOs and the quality end of the Personal Banking market to meet their financial needs.

CBA offers a wide range of products and services through our branch network and electronic channels such as internet and mobile banking, ensuring that all our customers can truly get to enjoy time for more!

Visit http://www.cbagroup.com for more information.

About Vodacom

Vodacom Tanzania Limited is Tanzania's leading cellular network offering state-of-the-art GSM communication services across the country.  It was launched in 2000 and is a subsidiary of Vodacom Group (Pty) Limited, South Africa, which is also a subsidiary of Vodafone Group UK. Vodacom Group (Pty) Limited owns a majority share portion of 65 percent; the remaining 35 percent is owned by Mirambo Ltd.

Vodacom is the market leader in Tanzania. It has introduced many firsts in the Tanzanian market. Perhaps the one service that really stands out is its M-PESA money transfer service which has over 5 million active M-PESA users.  Over 200 organizations today, accept bill payment via M-PESA. This is a total payment solution which does not require users to have bank accounts - an important consideration in Tanzania where millions of people do not operate bank accounts and can barely meet the minimum qualifications to open account. With M-PESA, Vodacom customers can deposit up to Tsh 5m/- for free, send and receive money and withdraw cash from any of the company’s over 65,000 agent network in the country. They can also access their bank accounts from the comfort of their homes.

In the CSR arena, Vodacom Tanzania Limited is a good corporate social citizen and is committed to supporting the community in which it does business through the Vodacom Foundation.

The Vodacom Foundation focuses primarily on  Health and  Education and has to date, supported over 120 projects that target those who are most in need. From fundraising for the awareness and eradication of fistula in Tanzania, the provision of teaching facilities to schools, the economic empowerment of women in rural areas to the provision of water to communities in semi-arid areas, Vodacom has continued to augment government efforts in all these areas. Vodacom’s staff are an integral part of the company’s CSR initiatives and are encouraged to give of their time and material to support causes that are close to them.

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