''Tanda'' is swahili for grow or spread, which sums up our mission to grow and deepen access to essential financial services across Africa. Since its inception in 2018, Tanda turns your everyday neighborhood 'duka'( informal fast-moving consumer goods retailers) into agents for basic financial services for their customers. At our 8,000+ agents across Kenya you can buy Airtime, pay your water/electricity bill or withdraw/deposit money from over 100 saccos and banks. To date Tanda is proud to have served over 300,000 unique customers and processed over 1 Million transactions, and has offered a great way for shop owners to diversify their income
After ravaging China and developed economies – Spain, Italy, France, the United States – the novel coronavirus has begun spreading in emerging markets. The number of cases in Kenya is rising, and the government has enacted lockdown measures, causing many industries to halt and widespread disruption. The implications of this pandemic and the lockdown for informal traders and dukas will be dire, which in turn will mean difficult times for a significant majority of kenyans who source their basics from these merchants. Over and above providing Covid-19 health and personal finance tips, Tanda has committed to supporting dukas during and after Covid-19 to help them mitigate some of the potential effects through a mix of 3 new services now available on Tanda's latest agent app.
1. Switching from Cash to digital payments
Much of Tanda has been built around the fact that Kenya remains a huge cash economy with FMCG dukas representing the largest proportion of cash payments in Kenya (69% of all cash payments), This is partly due to a large unbanked population and expensive mobile money fees.
However, during a pandemic physical money carries increased health risks, and thus has inadvertently created the perfect timing for one of our new products. Tanda now allows shop owners to collect mobile money payments in just 3 easy steps at no cost
2. Affordable Health insurance
A question on every shop owners mind is, who will cover hospital bills when they or their dependents are hospitalized? The reality is that many developing countries' economies cannot sustain medical payments for its citizens at such a large scale, and most insurance policies will not cover Covid as most of them are not underwritten for this type of risk, despite IRA assuring policy holders that they will be covered.
“It is a general exclusion in the insurance policy and therefore Pacis would not undertake the hospital bills that come with the management of the infection,” said Mrs Jane Ngugi, Medical claims department, Pacis Insurance.
3. Bank/Sacco Withdrawals
Despite the risk of cash, experts predict a huge demand for withdrawals in residential areas (where dukas are based) due to restricted access to ATM's and banking halls. Tanda has partnered with Interswitch , one of Africa's largest payments aggregators and switching provider to allow customers of over 100 financial institutions to cash out at a Tanda agent through a new cardless withdrawals product.
This will mean convenience for customers and more income for shop owners. Tanda has begun training agents on the new functionality, whilst the operations teams are working closely with these institutions to educate their customers.
'While we are under no illusion that Covid-19 will impact mirco-retailers, the fact that they serve a key market which will continue to require access to their essential services during the coming months, inspires us to support them to place them in a strong position not only to meet the challenges ahead, but to capitalize on them. '' said Geoffrey Mulei, Tanda's CEO