BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
THE United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has partnered with Kazang Zambia and Mobicom in its digital project to reach 45,000 people and deepen financial inclusion in remote areas.
UNCDF this year published a request for applications and selected Kazang Zambia, a provider with a platform on which all financial and prepaid product suppliers can distribute their products, and Mobicom, a business that facilitates the distribution of digital finance through its agent platform.
The Fund embarked on an innovative agent project to test the best way to deliver Digital Financial Services (DFS) in rural Zambia.
The aim was to use an agent network offering a variety of digital finance products.
Under this project, Kazang will increase the presence of its point-of-sale machines that enable customers to purchase pre-paid services such as electricity and while Mobicom will provide a shared agent banking platform to enable customers to conduct their transactions more easily.
Both partners will on board more agents to expand the reach of these essential digital services.
Commenting on the partnership, UNCDF Country Lead, Killy Kanjo, said the various range of services offered on their platforms was the only way digital financial services could be made available to all Zambians everywhere.
“UNCDF believes in leaving no one behind in the digital era, and in that vein, we are excited to partner with Kazang and Mobicom to reach the last mile by testing and scaling their agent models,” Kanjo said.
UNCDF will provide a grant and technical assistance to Kazang and Mobicom as they implement their activities in five provinces.
Both companies are in the early stages of the six-month project.
Mobicom group Chief Executive Officer, Pascal Angilla, indicated the important to to create job opportunities as agents for those in rural areas thereby helping improve livelihoods.
“Mobicom is proud to partner with UNCDF. We aim to extend financial services at an ‘arm’s length’ of people living in rural communities who, for a long time, have been marginalised with little or no access to financial inclusion organs,” Angilla said.
Digital financial services are becoming increasingly important as Zambia, like other countries, grapples with the spread and impact of Covid-19.
By using digital services, people can reduce their exposure and still continue to transact and manage their businesses.