M-PAWA, a new banking product introduced by Commercial Bank of Africa and Vodacom has raked in 1.2bn/- in three weeks only after it was launched.
Vodacom Tanzania's Managing Director, Mr Rene Meza told the 'Daily News' that the money were savings from 50,000 people who had registered for the new service that allows customers to save money through their phones, earn interest from savings and eventually get micro loans when needed. He said over 250,000 Tanzania had so far registered for M-Pawa.
"This is a very encouraging trend which we believe will go from strength to strength," he said.
Mr Meza says M-Pawa has made it possible for Tanzanians who do not have bank accounts to save their money safely, at a competitive interest rate and to borrow money from the comfort of their homes.
M-Pawa's simple and user-friendly menu also allows customers to save from as little as 1/- and to borrow money depending on their savings and credit history.
Depositing and withdrawing money on M-Pawa is free. "M-Pawa primarily targeted at People who don't have a bank account, people who never bank, and people who struggle to have access to traditional banking. That is why the M-Pawa 'Kibubu' is growing at such a rapid pace," he said.
"'Just like we have seen M-Pesa allow a lot more Tanzanians to be active in the economy, we believe M-Pawa will provide Tanzanians with the confidence to save their money in a more secure way and also allow them to earn interest for their savings" M-Pawa is a banking product from Commercial Bank of Africa and Vodacom that allow customers to save money through their phones, earn interest from savings and eventually get micro loans when needed.
"This great partnership allowed us to introduce this product in Tanzania in a relatively short time. We are fully committed to making this product a success and in the process continue with our transformational journey in the telecommunications industry, empowering more and more Tanzanians," he said.
Meanwhile, Vodacom Tanzania has played crucial role in financial inclusion in particular with M-Pesa services where customers can send money to over twenty seven million mobile subscribers in the country.
Any mobile customer who receives money from M-Pesa can withdraw cash from over 70,000 M-Pesa agents across the country. Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Vodacom Tanzania's Managing Director Rene Meza said, "We are strong believers of financial inclusion and M-Pesa has played a crucial role on this front."
He added, "For, not only has it allowed customers to send money to any mobile network in Tanzania but has also transformed and enhanced the economy of the country through including millions of Tanzanians in the financial ecosystem."
Mr Meza said M-Pesa was borne with mobile financial services interoperability in mind that is why this service was uniquely designed to allow Vodacom customers to send money to all networks in the country from the very beginning in 2008.
"We are currently in discussion with other mobile operators in Tanzania on how to take mobile financial services interoperability to a higher level," he said.
"We have also integrated our M-Pesa service with 26 banks in the country. This coupled with our over 70,000 M-Pesa Wakalas effectively provides all Tanzanians with the widest access to financial services in the country," he said.
Experience shows that the bulk of the transactions on M-Pesa are deposits and withdrawals that are used to fund everyday activities.
"We therefore, remain committed to ensuring that our customers can send money across other networks because we would like to see as many Tanzanians as possible accessing financial services wherever they are in this country," said Mr Meza.
He said currently over 1.5tri/- is transacted through M-Pesa every month and this is roughly 35 per cent of Tanzania's GDP and "Éwe at Vodacom are extremely privileged to have been a part of this financial transformation that is taking place in Tanzania."