One of the ambitions of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) and FinTech is to turn Tanzania into a cashless economy in the wake of digital revolution.
Most banks and other financial institutions have been striving to comply with this purpose by establishing various banking services through internet (Mobile banking, Masterpass QR Code etc.)
In supporting this goal, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has introduced a systematic online channel known as Bulk Mobile Payment which is specifically designed for making instant bulk mobile payments to Mobile wallets and ensure security of transactions.
In this interview, the bank’s Channel Development Manager for Corporate and Investment Banking, Ms Ruth Kalonga explains in detail about the Bulk Mobile Payment.
Tell us a brief history of Bulk Mobile Payment
Bulk Mobile payment solution is a product that enables customers to make Bulk & Single payments to mobile wallet holders. This includes employers making payments to casual laborers, insurance companies paying commissions to non-bank account holders, Loan disbursements to non-bank account holders, allowance payments to transporters, Petty cash payments etc. All these payments are being made through CBA’s state of art, internet banking. Customer will be required to upload a file with beneficiaries’ names, mobile numbers and amounts to be transferred in order to perform such a transaction.
Amongst the product features of Bulk Mobile Payments, include enabling more than 1000 people to be paid at once, instant payment delivery, simplified payment process, where funds are being disbursed from Customer’s bank accounts to various mobile wallets (Tigopesa, M-pesa, Airtel money, etc)
The Corporate entities which operate Bank accounts with various Banks but still need to make cash payments which are inherently risky will definitely find this innovative product from CBA very helpful.
What are the benefits of Bulk Mobile Payment?
One of the noticeable benefits from Bulk Mobile Payment is overcoming risk of theft whilst carrying too much cash. Beware that safety of your money is enhanced as the entire transaction is done online.
Apart from overcoming risks, another important aspect is instant payments. The feature encompasses instant payments and trustworthiness backed by technological investment that has kept a system afloat. This will foster cordial relationships with your suppliers and other partners in business.
Thirdly, is efficiency of the Bulk Mobile Payment. When you make the use of the system enables you to make bulk payments through one transaction rather than several instructions to various beneficiaries. This can be done from the comfort of your office, which will save your time.
What was the motive behind Bulk Mobile Payment?
Previously, we were focusing on our individual clients who use this service to transfer funds from the bank account to their mobile wallets. Later, we came to realize that corporate clients were sidelined by our product due to the fact that majority of companies were facing challenge of a proper and efficient payment approach to use when paying their casual employees who do no operate bank accounts.
An early idea about this innovation was formulated in 2017 and then went on to conduct viability survey of the idea and finally in October 2018, implementation began.
How many customers do you have? And tell us about the response!
A number of our clients have been using the system since its inception. Besides having recorded an incredible customer numbers, as Bank, we still believe we can expand and bring on board more companies to enjoy the benefits this unique product is offering.
Response is very impressive as large percentage of customers have experienced the difference while using the channel and the way it operates beyond expectations. This is because customers don’t have to bother themselves stepping into banking halls for transactions while it could be done at the comfort of their office
What could be the challenges facing the use of the system?
The only challenge would be not to be able to use the system, while it is available for use.
Should customer have proper internet connectivity, the product will operate, Companies should ensure they have correct and verified information to make such payments.
What are your expectations from this feature? And where do you see yourself after five years?
In particular, it is about increasing the number of customers who are using this product. And I would like to assure you that when they come to us they will have experienced more services than this. The future is still promising. In the next five years I hope the technology will have stepped up and perhaps this feature for that time will have advanced.
What messages would you like to leave to key players, customers and Tanzanians in general?
My message goes out to our customers and even those who are not, to try to use the Bulk Mobile Payment feature. We have seen how this feature operates and has been able to help our clients especially companies that employ casual laborers to process their payments easily, at their convenient time and place.