Flora and Geofrey in Tanzania have positive experiences of using Mobile money transfers
Photo: Mai Choe Thode

Flora and Geofrey in Tanzania have positive experiences of using Mobile money transfers Photo: Mai Choe Thode

Programmes and projects

Mobile money creates community growth

Published: Friday, May 25, 2012

Changed: Friday, August 03, 2012

Mobile money, that is transferring money through mobile phones, is accelerating in Tanzania. It is easy, it is cheap and it is fast. Most important, it helps small scale entrepreneurs to invest in their businesses. Sida supports a fund with the purpose of giving access to financial services like this.

In Tanzania, a new phenomenon is on everyone's lips; Mobile money. A couple of clicks and money changes hands in a matter of minutes. It saves important time and thus money. This affects university student Flora and entrepreneur Geofrey in Dar es Salaam, who are both customers in NMB bank, in a very positive way.

 "Before, my parents had to take a 3 hour drive with the bus to go to the nearest bank branch. It also cost 9.000 Tsch to go each way. But with NMB mobile money they are able to send more money to me and save precious time", says Flora.

Flora studies public service at the University of Dar es Salaam. She has been a customer of NMB Bank for a long time, but only started to use NMB mobile money about a year ago. Today she receives support from her parents each month. She buys airtime and pays her electricity bill through her mobile. The extra money Flora receives from her parents, after they have started using mobile money, is being spent on serious matters like schoolbooks and copies. Additionally, mobile money has become a private investment for Flora.  

 "Every day I lend people at University my phone so that they can transfer money. People pay me a small fee for using my mobile account to transfer money instead of using the money on a bus ticket going to the city centre", says Flora. 

Another customer of NMB mobile banking is Geofrey. Geofrey manages his father’s public transport business. After Geofrey introduced mobile money to his father their business has expanded. If they have a problem with the bus, for example the tires or if they need gas, they are now able to transfer money and solve the problem fast. 

It was actually by coincidence that Geofrey discovered NMB mobile.

 "I was a customer of the bank back in high school, but after some time I became inactive. About a year ago I visited one of the NMB branches and I saw a flyer about mobile money, which made me become an active customer again" says Geofrey.

Apart from the public transport business Geofrey is investing in second hand clothing.

 "I have invested the money in second-hand clothes, which I distribute to my relatives. They sell the clothes for me, and for some of the money I earn on this, I will invest in more business. And in this way I also help my friends to earn some money", says Geofrey. 

Both Flora and Geofrey have influenced some of their friends and family to use NMB Mobile. They believe it's an important part of the future of Tanzania's economic development.

Sida supports the project of mobile money through the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), which is working to ensure that more Tanzanians get access to the financial services. Other donors are Denmark, United Kingdom, Canada and Netherlands.

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