Extending access to mobile money services in Zambia
Zoona, a Zambia-based electronic payments business, aimed to increase access to financial and payment services to 150,000 low-income customers per month by 2015.
With 86 percent of Zambians unbanked, the vast majority of financial transactions in the country involve the exchange of cash from one party to another. Many people cannot afford bank fees or lack access to a banking branch.
In a cash economy, electronic payments are useful only if they can be liquidated, so Zoona built a cross-country distribution network of Zoona Agents to convert electronic value to cash and vice versa, in convenient, high-traffic areas such as bus stations, markets and shopping centres.
According to the company, access to consumer payment services increases personal productivity and decreases the many risks associated with cash transfers. Consumers are able to send and receive money, buy airtime and pay bills at Zoona Agents.
By 2015, 2,000 Zoona Agents were expected to benefit from enhanced revenue streams from Zoona's basket of payment products. Zoona also provides these agents with zero percent interest working capital through an innovative partnership with Kiva.org.