Afrimoney and MaTontine Launch ‘Digital Osusu’ to Boost Financial Inclusion in Gambia

Afrimoney and MaTontine introduce a ‘Digital Osusu’ product, allowing Gambians to save through mobile money for increased financial inclusion.

Afrimoney (the mobile money service of Africell, a pan-African mobile operator) and MaTontine (a mobile financial services platform) are launching a new ‘Digital Osusu’ product. An ‘Osusu’ (or ‘Tontine’, in Francophone countries) is a form of savings group common in West Africa. Osusu participants (who are often women) pool their savings to extend their collective resources, each taking turns to draw down on the common funds while continuing to pay in in regular instalments. Ordinarily based on cash, Osusus empower their participants who often include entrepreneurs and small business owners. But Osusus also carry the risks and shortcomings typically associated with cash, such as security challenges and unpredictable liquidity.

Thanks to the Digital Osusu product, Afrimoney users in Gambia will be able to save in a collective scheme based on mobile money rather than cash: a more secure and convenient form of payment. Rather than relying on cash contributions, the “digital Osusus” will accept funds through mobile money, giving more people access via easy mobile phone transactions, and thereby increasing financial inclusion.

MaTontine is delighted to launch in The Gambia and offer a secure, convenient, and affordable way for professionals to save together. MaTontine can play a significant role in promoting financial inclusion in The Gambia by providing access to affordable loans and other financial services to Afrimoney subscribers.

Bernie Akporiaye, CEO, MaTontine

The MaTontine platform, which already operates in Senegal, offers features and benefits including secured contributions, monthly cash prizes, and discounts at preferred suppliers. Users can hold their funds securely at a financial institution and receive mobile money bonuses for contributing using their Afrimoney account. Additionally, every month, two Osusu groups will be chosen by Afrimoney and have 5,000 Gambian Dalasis contributed to their wallet. 

Enrolling in the Osusu++ service can allow customers to subscribe to the monthly matching fund, through which every month the platform will select an Osusu group and match the amount in the fund. Moreover, customers can build credit scores by contributing regularly and on-time to their Osusu, making them eligible for loans and other more advanced financial services from partner financial institutions. 

Mobile money is a cutting-edge technology, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be integrated to positive effect in existing economic practices. The Digital Osusu product we are launching with MaTontine is smart because it supports, rather than clashes with, a familiar and traditional form of savings mechanism in the Gambia. It will benefit the customers involved demonstrate the wider usefulness and applicability of mobile money.

Kate Roze, Head of Afrimoney, Gambia

To celebrate the launch of the Digital Osusu product, the platform is offering a range of promotions, including a mobile money bonus for the first three months after the launch and monthly cash prizes of up to D100,000.

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