GSMA together with other mobile service providers in Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, and Pakistani have come together in unlocking women’s potential through mobile financial services.
In the GSMA findings, they appreciated that the women in developing markets are an important potential customer base for mobile financial services providers. It stated the women are more active than men because the supplement what their husbands income. Therefore, they engage in small scale businesses or engaged in large volume of small transactions.
Safaricom’s Director of Corporate affairs, Nzioka Waita affirmed this finding when he comparing some of Safaricom’s services which are mostly used by the women in Kenya. The Mshwari, he said, was one of the services that women embraced. They use this to start their small businesses as well as helping them pay the children’s school fees.
Another service that the director mentioned was the M-kopa – solar. In this service people get loans to acquire solar power in homes. Women being the majority have taken up loan to facilitate the electricity in their houses as opposed to using kerosene lamps which have negative effects on the family.
This among other services has made Safaricom a champion for mWomen which is set out to improve the Kenyan women. Waita added that women happen to be good loan payers compared to men and that is why most of the service are more suitable for them.
Yaya Njore, the product manager of Tigo Tanzania said that in their country the percentage of people with mobile phones in country currently stands at 53 percent men and 36 percent for women. This is no different from the percentage in Africa.
Njore said that Tigo’s intention is to work with the NGO’s in data sharing so as to find the way forward to create many opportunities for women. He said the first step is to ensure that more women in Tanzania have access to a mobile phone.