The Tigo Cash platform, ‘Tigo Payment Solution for Agriculture’ has been nominated for the prestigious 2017 GSMA Global Mobile Awards in the ‘Best Mobile Payment Solution’ category.
The GSMA Global Mobile Awards or GLOMO, is the global telecommunication industry’s leading stage for innovation, excellence and achievement. The awards aim to recognize companies and individuals that are driving innovation in the mobile industry.
Tigo Payment Solution for Agriculture platform, which has increased the financial and digital inclusion of over 10,000 tea farmers in two tea plantations located in Mulindi and Rusizi District respectively, was created by Tigo Cash in 2016 to provide mobile solutions for the agricultural sector so as to improve the communication and payment streams for local farmers.
Tigo Rwanda, which is the only Rwandan telecom nominated for the Awards, will go up against EcoNet Wireless and Mahindra Comviva for EcoCash, Mahindra Comviva for mobiquity Wallet Hybrid HCE solution and Vodafone, Carta Worldwide and Raphael’s & Sons for Vodafone Wallet.
The winner will be announced on 28 February during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain that is organized by the GSMA. GSMA is a trade body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.
Commenting on the nomination, the Head of Mobile Financial Services at Tigo Rwanda, Faith Chisulo said;
“We are excited to receive the nomination. This project was a success and we couldn’t have done it without our partners, Access to Finance Rwanda, The Wood Foundation and local area Saccos. We have seen the transformative impact this solution has had on tea farmers’ productivity. We are looking forward to scaling up this platform to other value chains. At Tigo Rwanda we are passionate about linking innovation and technology to sustainable development and the improvements of people’s livelihoods. “
How the Tigo Payment Solution for Agriculture works
When the tea factories located in Mulindi and Rusizi District pay the farmers’ salaries in their Sacco accounts, due to the technical integration between Sacco banking platform and Tigo Cash platform, the farmers are able to receive their monies on their TigoCash wallets on their handsets. After an SMS notification is sent to a farmer’s handsets informing them that money has reached their Sacco account, they can then go to their local Tigo Cash agent and receive their payment.
With this platform, farmers no longer need to travel to their local Saccos and queue in line to receive their payment.
Explaining how the platform has changed her life, Evangeline Bikorimana, a tea farmer from Gicumbi District, said;
“Before Tigo launched this platform, we would wake up extremely early to head to our local Sacco. In fact, we would sometimes sleep in our clothes so that we could leave our homes before daybreak so that we could arrive at the Sacco before others. However, despite our best efforts, we would usually find a huge number of farmers waiting to receive their salaries. We would often have to go home and return the next day. Today that is no longer the case and it’s because of Tigo.”
In order for the project to be successful, Tigo facilitated the bulk purchase of affordable handsets for over 7,000 farmers who could not afford handsets.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Tigo Rwanda, Philip Amoateng, this platform is the latest in the line of innovations that Tigo has brought to the market.
“We are proud to have provided a medium for farmers to access their money in a seamless way using Tigo Cash. The platform that we are launching today is only the latest innovation that we have introduced in order to ease the lives of Rwandans while increasing digital and financial inclusion countrywide.
With the rapid growth in mobile phone penetration, mobile solutions can reach remote farmers in a way that no other form of communication can, helping them to improve productivity and increase efficiency throughout the agricultural chain.
Tigo believes that the agricultural sector is key to unlocking the economic power of mobile finance in rural communities. The success of this project can be replicated into a sustainable business model that will allow penetration of other value chains besides agriculture”.
Speaking at the launch of the platform last year, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT, reiterated the fact that ICT innovations and platforms such as the Tigo Payment Solution for Agriculture have the power to provide solutions to Rwanda’s challenges.
“The Tigo Payment Solution for Agriculture platform is one of the best examples of how ICT can change lives. Currently, about 80% of Rwandans live in rural areas; so while we can talk of ‘Smart Cities’, we also cannot forget to talk about ‘Smart Villages’ as well. This platform is an example of what the Smart Village concept is all about. In fact, we need to deliver this platform much faster and to a wider user base.
This platform is a win-win. It is economically feasible as well as effective. Such initiatives need partnerships. We thank Tigo, AFR as well as the Wood Foundation for partnering. Let us keep innovating because the needs of the country are pressing“, Minister Nsengimana said in conclusion.
About Tigo Rwanda
Currently, Tigo Rwanda has over three million customers and has invested over US $310 million from 2009 to date. Tigo Rwanda provides 4G LTE on mobile for both prepaid and post-paid customers. Tigo Rwanda was awarded as the ‘Most Innovative Service’ at Africa Com 2014, for international mobile money transfers with integrated currency conversion between Tigo Rwanda and Tigo Tanzania as well as awarded for “Best ICT Exhibitor” at the Kigali Expo 2015. In 2016 Tigo Rwanda became the first telecom operator in Africa to sign the Connected Women Commitment Initiative.
Tigo Rwanda is owned by Millicom, a leading telecommunications and media company uniquely dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. It provides mobile, mobile financial, cable and satellite services to over 60 million customers in fourteen countries, primarily under the Tigo brand. Tigo has been operating in Africa since 1993, in Rwanda since 2009, and serves over 26 million customers in Africa.