The new M-Pesa group wallet named M-Kopa, now enables savings groups to shift their funds from cash to digital in a safe and transparent manner.
The product is a partnership between Vodacom Tanzania and TPB Bank Plc, and will allow savings groups popularly known as VICOBA to track real time transactions involving their members.
By digitizing 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.
The platform will not only cater for the needs of savings and loans groups, but also informal peer savings groups like family and friends. It is estimated that 16 per cent of Tanzania`s adult population (over 4.4 million people), the majority of whom are women, are enrolled in over 50,000 village savings and loans groups (VICOBA) holding savings amounting to Tshs.100 billion ($43.4 million).
Apart from the formal registered groups there are also an estimated number of over 50,000 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 and TPB bank`s extensive coverage and distribution network. Both institutions 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.
Vodacom Tanzania is the largest telecom company in Tanzania with over 12 million subscribers accounting for 32.2 per cent market share. TPB Bank Plc is one of the oldest commercial banks in the country with the government holding an 86.03 per cent stake.