By Irene Gaitirira
Published January 18, 2016
A digital lifestyle company has announced a US$ 2.1million to its 4.6 million mobile money users.
Tigo Tanzania says this is the seventh time in a row it is distributing profit to its Tigo Pesa mobile financial services users.
Obedi Laiser, Head of Finance and Risk for Mobile Financial Services, says cumulatively, the company has paid its mobile financial services users US$16.5 million quarterly payments since September 2014.
The payment is generated from profit accruing in the Tigo Pesa Trust accounts held with major commercial banks in Tanzania, Laiser says.
Tigo Tanzania became the first telecom company in the world in 2014 to share profit generated from its mobile money Trust Account in the form of a quarterly distribution to its customers.
The revenue share model, Laiser says, is in line with the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), which allows the countryâ€™s mobile operators to increase e-money deposits and mobile money transactions through new loyalty incentives.
â€œThis profit share is payable to all Tigo Pesa users including individual customers, retail agents and our business partners, each based on the e-value they have stored in their Tigo Pesa wallets,â€ Laiser says. â€œThe payment underlines Tigo Tanzaniaâ€™s commitment to provide financial access to our customers and to promote financial inclusion in the country through our Tigo Pesa services.â€
According to BoT, Tanzania aims at attaining a 50% national financial inclusion of its population by 2016. The East African country has an estimated population of 45 million people.
Tigo Tanzania offers a diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services. The company has pioneered innovations such as Facebook in Kiswahili, TigoPesa App for Android & iOS users, Tigo Music (Deezer) and East Africaâ€™s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion. Tigo also has the fastest and widest 4G network launched across Tanzaniaâ€™s main cities.
In the past three years the company has launched more than 500 new network sites; it plans to double this investment by 2017 in terms of coverage and additional capacity networks for deeper penetration in rural areas.
With an estimated 10 million registered subscribers, Tigo employs some 300,000 Tanzanians.
The company, in 2015, announced an increased annual investment of US$120 million on infrastructure improvement and expansion; this increase is 20% higher than Tigoâ€™s annual spending in the previous three years.