4.5.5. Subsidize Mobile and Electronic Banking
Payments systems that can strengthen the financial sector by reducing the time, risk and cost of transferring funds. Modern systems can facilitate digital payments, including mobile money, which enable more people to pay bills and transfer money electronically. Although FinTech products can be offered by banks and non-bank financial institutions alike, the last decade has seen the most innovation from FinTech start-ups and non-banks. As a type of FinTech, credit bureaus and electronic funds transfer systems can increase security and transparency, further reducing risks and cost-to-serve (Source: Mobilizing Private Finance for Development: A Comprehensive Introduction).
- Access to reliable credit information on borrowers
- Burden of banking/finance regulations and supervision
- Ease / cost of collecting payments
Access to banking, reduced risk, and transferring funds
MUST HAVE’S, CRITICAL POINTS, OR QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
VIGNETTE: VIRTUAL CITY TANZANIA
Smallholder farmers account for 75% of agricultural production in East Africa. However, these farmers focus predominantly on producing food for consumption and limited trade. Although these farmers can benefit financially from trading their surplus, they are often hindered by their inability to access finance, meet grades and standards, use quality seeds/ inputs, access extension or post- harvest services including storage which could enable them to store when prices are low and trade when prices are high. Similarly, regional markets need to capture the production of smallholder farmers to grow and meet growing staple food demand.
With support from DFID, DAI managed FoodTrade ESA Project, Virtual City, a private mobile solutions provider, is developing an agro voucher receipt system to help grain market buyers and sellers in Kenya and Rwanda – including farmers, collection centers, agro dealers, input suppliers and processers – use stored value to buy and sell staple food commodities. The receipting system brings numerous benefits to market actors, linking them using a mobile phone, SMS driven platform which further enables the automating of buying processes, reduces potential transaction fraud, and enables farmers to use the receipts as collateral to obtain financing in lieu of selling their crop at farm gate prices. The agro voucher also integrates into existing platforms such as M-Pesa for mobile payments and M- Shwari for mobile deposits.
The agro voucher is created by a warehouse when farmers deliver their produce. The voucher can be used to make payments for good and services either immediately or on credit. Aggregators and service providers can accept it, hold it, convert it to collateral or distribute it as an alternative to cash at any point in time. Vouchers can be aggregated and also be used by the farmer as collateral with a partner bank.