Airtel Uganda, in conjunction with Grameen Foundation, has developed a service that will allow Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and other forms of savings groups, such as Chamas or investment clubs, to store their group’s cash as mobile money.
According to the company, this was made possible by a grant received from the GSMA mWomen Programme, which works with the mobile industry to increase women’s access to and use of mobiles.
Announced at the official launch of the group savings product in Kamuli, Nuhu Kanyike, Airtel Money Director, said that the Airtel group savings solution is a mobile solution that will reduce the groups’ reliance on cash and introduce the benefits of mobile technology. The service will incorporate the following tools:
- Group accounts: a group wallet to support safe storage of group funds as mobile money.
- Record management (mini statement): Regular mobile reports can be generated to summarise transactions during that period.
- Mobile banking: The Airtel Group Savings product can be linked to bank accounts at financial institutions to allow access to interest-bearing savings and credit. Credit will be dependent on saving history, and instalments can be paid from the group wallet.
Grameen Foundation’s Director of Mobile Financial Services, Lisa Kienzle said: “Grameen Foundation is proud to partner with one of the leading mobile network operators in Uganda, Airtel, to develop this service, which has been specifically designed to help rural savings groups overcome the challenges associated with physical cash storage and transportation. This new product helps groups store funds safely and combat the risks associated with carrying cash.”