Telkom Kenya has announced plans to develop a youth-focused digital wallet in a bid to relieve them from financial exclusion during the pandemic. To realize this plan, the telco has signed an agreement with the Ministry of ICT’s National Youth Council of Kenya (NYCK) to co-create Fursa, (Swahili for opportunity).

Fursa is a platform that allows the council to disburse funds to youth conveniently, faster, securely and timely. This solution will increase the youth’s resilience in the midst of physical and infrastructural barriers that obstruct their access to financial services and products.

The platform will be customized to contain additional capabilities including a membership management system, financial reconciliation, savings and investments, experience board for job matching and e-learning as well as experiential skill development.

Commenting on the partnership, Telkom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mugo Kibati said, “More can be done to advance the financial inclusion of our youth. Further digitization and investment in the mobile money ecosystem will help solve a crisis that has been further exacerbated during the pandemic. The Fursa e-wallet helps to address this challenge.”

According to the NYCK’s Chief Executive, Roy Sasaka Telewa, the e-wallet will open up financial opportunities to the youth in Kenya and more so at the grassroot levels. “Far from development of joint programs and incentivizing youth to take up technology and youth entrepreneurship, employment and engagement programs, Fursa is a huge opportunity to support the government’s nationwide efforts to provide a financial and safety net in the unraveling pandemic,” he added.

Under the partnership, Telkom will install the Fursa wallet and offer support with respect to its operationalization, maintenance and updates. It will also provide professional and product support services, including infrastructure, care services, monitoring, performance and availability.

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, digital financial services systems have been used to support social distancing efforts, aiding business continuity during movement restrictions that have been implemented in Kenya and across the world. Last year, Telkom Kenya joined other telcos in eliminating charges on person-to-person transactions of less than Ksh. 1,000 for an extended period, and also raised the transaction ceiling from Ksh. 70,000 to Ksh. 150,000.

In this strategic direction, Telkom seeks to enrich its financial services offering to reflect evolving customer demands while paying attention to the growing need for secure transactions.