With total savings growing by more than 30% in the last three months alone, Timiza Akiba is proving to be a safe and accessible option to help Tanzanians save their hard-earned cash – simply, safely and easily, using their mobile phones.
Launched just under two years ago, through a partnership with Airtel, Letshego Bank Tanzania and financial technology company JUMO, Timiza Akiba is Tanzania’s first fee-free, interest-bearing mobile money savings account. With the initial aim to drive a savings culture among the people of Tanzania and help them reach their business or personal financial goals, the dynamic partnership is showing signs of sustained success.
Timiza Akiba allows Airtel customers to set up a savings account and save any amount from TSH 100 up to TSH 5 Million directly from their mobile phones, without having to handle cash or travel to a bank. The funds are managed by Letshego Bank Tanzania and those customers who manage to avoid spending their savings, receive a monthly sum as a reward for their commitment towards reaching their financial buffer, or goal. Timiza Akiba’s reward is calculated as a percentage of total savings on a balance of any size, and supports national government mandates to encourage and support the growth and development of the local savings culture. Withdrawals are, however, accessible and available at any time with no transaction costs, in the event of an unexpected expense or emergency. Timiza Akiba is available to all Airtel Tanzania customers, and accessible via Airtel’s Money Menu, simply by dialling *150*60#, then selecting 6, 1 and 3.
Airtel Tanzania makes Timiza Akiba available to all Airtel Money customers through their mobile network and USSD functionality which works with any feature phone and doesn’t require access to data. “We are committed to using innovation and technology to advance financial inclusion for all Tanzanians. Timiza Akiba enables our customers to save for a purpose and with confidence at a time when we all need to curtail our luxury spending. The savings product runs on mobile money so deposits and withdrawals can be made digitally and safely,” says Isack Nchunda, Airtel Tanzania Airtel Money Director.
Timiza Akiba’s banking partner Letshego Bank Tanzania, is a member of the 11-country strong pan-African Group, listed in Botswana and Namibia. Letshego Bank Tanzania’s Acting Chief Executive, Andrew Tarimo, added, “Letshego is committed to streamlining and simplifying access to financial solutions for emerging consumers across Tanzania, and most especially, supporting our customers through the current economic challenges as a result of the pandemic. Timiza Akiba’s digital partnership is a secure and rewarding way to save money for when you need it most.”
JUMO builds and operates short-term, structured and long-term financial products, such as Timiza Akiba for emerging markets. “Our technology stack reduces unit economics on the delivery and administration of financial services so that partners can reach new markets and customers can access high value products,” says JUMO’s Africa CEO, Buhle Goslar. “Our partnership with Airtel and Letshego Bank Tanzania has reduced the barriers to access to savings significantly and it’s encouraging to see how Timiza Akiba has grown, especially in recent months.”
In March 2020, total assets under management for Timiza Akiba hit a record high, increasing 32% in just three months from December 2019. This growth is largely due to an increase in the number and value of customer deposits for March 2020 and the amount of active customers increasing 9% in the month of March, compared to the most recent 6-month average. This indicates that an increasing number of Tanzanians are choosing to save, where possible, at this uncertain time where their business operations or income streams are likely to be interrupted.
About Airtel Africa
Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa.
Airtel Africa offers an integrated suite of telecommunications solutions to its subscribers, including mobile voice and data services as well as mobile money services both nationally and internationally. The Group aims to continue providing a simple and intuitive customer experience through streamlined customer journeys. For more information please visit https://airtel.africa/
Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 18 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 3 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high-speed home broadband, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G, 4G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 411 million customers across its operations at the end of September 2019. To know more please visit, www.airtel.com
About Letshego Bank Tanzania
Letshego Bank (T) Ltd. is a subsidiary of Letshego Holding Limited (LHL), licensed by the central bank of Tanzania (BOT) to operate as a commercial bank. The bank provides suitable and sustainable financial solutions in education, health, housing, and SME’s ecosystems. Integrated countrywide via branch network, mobile banking, agency banking, and ATMs.
About Letshego Group
The Letshego Group is a proudly African multinational organisation, headquartered and listed in Botswana and focused on delivering inclusive finance solutions to underserved populations across 11 Sub Saharan Markets.
With a staff complement of over 3,000 – including both direct and indirect sales agents – and more than four hundred thousand customers, Letshego is synonymous with leveraging innovation and technology to improve the lives of individuals who have limited access to traditional financial services.
In 2018, Letshego celebrates 20 years of supporting regional communities, with strong progress towards the Group’s ambition to be Africa’s leading inclusive finance organisation. For more information visit www.letshego.com
JUMO is a full technology stack for building and running financial services. We enable our partners to offer next-generation savings, lending and insurance products to entrepreneurs in emerging markets. These give anyone with a cell phone and mobile wallet access to unprecedented financial choice, so that millions of people can prosper, build their businesses and grow. Since inception, JUMO has served over 16 million customers with the assistance of our financial services provider partners and ecosystem partners, and disbursed over US$2 billion in loans. JUMO Tanzania Services Company Ltd. is a subsidiary of JUMO. For further information, please visit www.jumo.world.