Rene Meza, MD Vodacom Tanzania

Three weeks ago, Vodacom Tanzania and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) launched a banking service named M-Pawa allowing Tanzanians to save and borrow money on their mobile phones. Less than a month later, the service is proving to be a force to reckon with. Over 250,000 Tanzanians have registered for the service with over 50,000 customers making a total saving of Tshs 1.2 billion so far.

Vodacom Tanzania’s Managing Director Rene Meza says the product, primarily aimed at the people at the bottom of the pyramid, has made it possible for Tanzanians who do not have bank accounts to save their money safely, at a competitive interest rate and to borrow money from the comfort of their homes.

M-Pawa’s, which is similar to Safaricom’s M-Shwari service, has a simple and user-friendly menu which allows customers to save from as little as Tshs 1 and to borrow money depending on their savings and credit history. Depositing and withdrawing money on M-Pesa is completely free .

“Just like we have seen M-Pesa allow a lot more Tanzanians to be active in the economy, we believe M-Pawa will provide Tanzanians with the confidence to save their money in a more secure way and also allow them to earn interest for their savings,” adds Meza.