Financial inclusion for the unbanked
Millions of people with no previous access to formal banking services can now discover financial empowerment through their mobile phones
Mobile money has done more for financial inclusion in the last decade than traditional “bricks and mortar” banking has in the last century.
March 2017: Millicom first introduced Mobile Financial Services (MFS) to our markets in Africa and Latin America in 2010 under our commercial brands Tigo Money, Tigo Cash and Tigo Pesa. Together, they now provide MFS to more than 11.8 million customers worldwide.
In Latin America, Tigo Money managed transactions totaling more than US$2.4 billion in 2016 alone. In Paraguay, where 92 per cent of all transactions are cash, the equivalent of 4.5 per cent of the GDP now courses through Tigo’s mobile money platforms.
Tigo Pesa created Africa’s first ever interoperable mobile money network in Tanzania, whilst Tigo Cash is recognized as a world-leading innovator in tailored payment solutions.
Millions of people around the world, who until now have had no access to formal financial services or banking infrastructure, are discovering the power of MFS.
In the emerging Latin American markets where we operate, the unbanked sector equates to between 20 and 40 per cent of the population, according to World Bank data. Mobile money offers them financial inclusion: an economic game-changer that is having significant impacts on both local communities, as well as national economies.
Mobile money can also impact the digital gender divide. Millicom is fully committed to GSMA’s Connected Women Commitment Initiative, offering solutions that afford many women financial independence – often for the first time.
Our solutions to eliminate the digital divide include P2P transfers, merchant payments, distribution of salaries or state subsidies and the collection and distribution of humanitarian aid.
Millicom is pioneering new, collaborative projects that are carefully tailored to what our customers want. These include micro loans (Tigo Nivushe), micro savings (Tigo Sugira), group savings (Tigo Paare) and insurance (Bima Mkononi). We are developing products and services that reflect the needs of actual communities; for example, the tea farmers of Rwanda (watch the video here).
We are building synergies with other areas of our business and with external partners that customers can access through seamless, safe and simple transactions.
As we state in our Annual Report 2016, MFS has significant possibilities across all our markets. Our focus is on consolidating our position of leadership and streamlining the services we offer to 11.8 million customers globally.