News Column

New Partnership to Drive Financial Inclusion

June 3, 2014

Masahudu Kunateh

TIGO Ghana has signed a $2 million agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the MasterCard Foundation to expand mobile financial services in the country.

This will focus on customer education and acquisition, with IFC providing advisory services on business development, customer profiling and agent network management.

The project is part of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint $37.4 million initiative of IFC and the MasterCard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance mobile financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Roshi Motman, Chief Executive Officer Tigo Ghana, said the firms involved in the partnership were committed to extending financial inclusion.

"Following the five awards Tigo Cash received in 2013, this is further recognition of our innovative approach to the deployment of mobile financial services and our commitment to continually develop them," he said.

Head of Mobile Financial Services at Tigo Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh is elated at the partnership.

"We are excited about this partnership, especially because the IFC and The MasterCard Foundation teams are bringing immense industry experience to support and help accelerate the growth of Tigo Cash and mobile financial services overall in Ghana," he said.

While mobile phone usage is high in Ghana, access to formal financial services remained low.

Only 29 percent of adults in Ghana have an account at a formal financial institution.

Among people with low income that number is only about 15 percent. Most poor people are left with no choice but to resort to informal, unregulated and often unreliable means of savings, credit and insurance.

The project will run for three years and the company is hoping to leverage on it to accelerate the growth of its mobile money product, TIGO-CASH - ultimately towards developing a cash-lite economy.

"The use of mobile phones and alternative distribution infrastructure represents a huge opportunity to fill the gap in the provision of financial services in Ghana, with significant commercial potential for operators able to build a business model that serves the base of the pyramid efficiently," David Crush, Manager, IFC Access to Finance Sub-Saharan Africa, said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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