Airtel unveils mobile money saving solution for rural areas

Grameen Foundation Mobile Financial Services Program Director Lisa Kienz

Grameen Foundation Mobile Financial Services Program Director Lisa Kienz. (Image Source: Airtel)

Uganda’s second biggest telecom together with Grameen Foundation, has this week unveiled a service that will allow people in rural areas save their money under the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and other forms of savings groups, like investment clubs, to store their group’s cash as mobile money.

Airtel Uganda says that this was made possible by a grant courtesy of the GSMA mWomen Programme, which works with the mobile industry to increase women’s access to and use of mobiles. The project was kicked off at Kamuli in the eastern part of Uganda , 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.

This new Airtel Money 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 summarize 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.

Lisa Kienzle, Grameen Foundation’s Director of Mobile Financial Services, 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.”

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