The East African country Tanzania boasts of over 40 million mobile users. A market size that promises great opportunities for FinTech digital payment solutions to bridging the financial divide prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa.
The telecom service operator Tigo Tanzania has partnered with MasterCard and a leading local FinTech company Selcom to roll out Masterpass QR payment solutions across the country. The payment solutions will be rolled out based on Tigo’s infrastructure, Tigo Pesa, a mobile money service platform.
The new services will enable the over seven million Tigo Pesa users to securely pay for goods and services by merely scanning a Quick Response (QR) code using their smartphone. The set timeline for the rollout of the service is within the Q2 of 2018.
The service will not leave out users on feature phones, as it can be simply accessed using USSD menu. One would simply need to type the unique merchant code within the USSD interface and still be able to make payment to the merchant via Masterpass.
The partnership of the three companies to roll out Masterpass in Tanzania was announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The service also marks Tigo’s first genuinely global interoperable QR payment solutions. The service will allow customers with or without bank accounts to make payments.
“Tigo Pesa is not only a payments enabler. It is a platform where customers can perform a full range of financial services, where Masterpass is a strong addition to the range of products and services our customers can enjoy in their daily lives,” – said Simon Karikari, the MD at Tigo Tanzania.
The percentage of Tanzania’s population that was formally included in the economy stood at just 15.8% in 2009. The country has since made great strides in financial inclusion, and thanks to digital payment solutions, the population of Tanzania now included in the economy stands at 65% as at the end of 2017. That growth was primarily driven by the launch of Tigo Pesa in the country.
“Findings released in the 2017 FinScope Tanzania report further indicate that one of the main drivers of access to financial services in Tanzania has been the adoption of digital financial services. A trend we are seeing across the continent, and in emerging markets globally,” said Raghav Prasad, the Division President for sub-Sahara Africa, MasterCard.