Financial services provider Zamara Group has launched Africa’s first pension and savings plan on WhatsApp.
The latest innovation will allow customers to open, access and transact with Zamara’s Fahari Retirement Plan account via WhatsApp.
During the launch, Zamara Group Chief Executive Officer Sundeep Raichura said the development highlighted Zamara’s quest to accelerate and enable digital and financial inclusion in Kenya by providing easy access to financial solutions.
“With a reach of more than 12 million users in Kenya — more than any other app in the country — using WhatsApp we are uniquely positioned to bring more people into the pensions and insurance ecosystem,” said Raichura.
“We will leverage this messaging platform to help address the challenges of financial literacy and deliver micro pensions in Kenya”, added Raichura.
Retirement Benefits Authority Chief Executive Officer Nzomo Mutuku lauded the efforts by Zamara, saying that financial inclusion empowers individuals with the ability to have the right tools to save and manage their money wisely.
“This innovation is a first in the country, and we are optimistic that it will spur voluntary, individual savings not only for the informal sector,” he said.
“Majority of people in the informal sector do not have a savings/retirement plan—the youth and general, whilst helping change the country’s narrative and perspective of savings.”
Highlighting the challenges of financial inclusion, Raichura said that the company faces several roadblocks as a financial services provider.
These include the level of presence in different parts of the country and the number of salespeople they can deploy.
“Using this platform, we will be able to reach the untapped market segments, particularly the youth and the informal sector and enable them to access sachet sized pension and insurance solutions through a simple, reliable, private and secure experience”.
The Fahari Retirement Plan is an entirely digitized pension/savings solution accessible to any Kenyan through multiple channels, including USSD code, Website and Agents. And now through WhatsApp.
Fahari is registered with the Retirement Benefits Authority and the Kenya Revenue Authority. Any Fahari Retirement Plan transaction via WhatsApp is secured through end-to-end encryption for calls and messages.
Critical information such as your One-Time login Password (OTP), payment instruction, account balance etc. will always be shared as an SMS to the member’s mobile number registered with the Fahari pension plan.
Zamara deepening ties with the informal sector
In a separate story, The Exchange Africa reported that Zamara said it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations (KNFJKA) aimed at driving financial inclusion to the informal sector to enable saving, protection from old-age poverty and pertinent risks that come along with the life cycle of the average Jua Kali worker.
The two parties have come to an agreement seeking ways to continue with the existing framework aimed at the protection of the sector’s members / ZamaraThe two parties have come to an agreement seeking ways to continue with the existing framework aimed at the protection of the sector’s members.
The first initiative within the partnership is the rollout of Zamara’s Savings and retirement product, Fahari Retirement Product to over 18 million members across the country.
The Fahari Retirement Plan is an innovative individual retirement solution targeted to the individuals within the productive age of the population to save for their future. The majority of whom are active in the informal sector.
“We recognize that in the current environment we live in, the best way to have an adequate income for the future when you are not agile to work anymore is to gradually save as much as you can while you are still strong enough to work,” Raichura said.
“Pension schemes, especially individual pension schemes like Fahari, are fundamental in the journey towards financial security. Roughly speaking, if two individuals aged 20 and 30 starts saving KSh 500 every month up to age 55, their savings earn 10% per year compounded every year month. The 20-year-old would have around Sh 2.7 million at age 55, while the 30-year-old would have around Sh 1.08 million at age 55. This means that the value of an individual’s savings depends on their contribution level and how early you start saving for your future,” Raichura added.