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Kenyan fintech Tanda plans agency banking entry in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Monday, 1 November 2021 10:32

General view shows customers shopping for essential commodities in the Naivas Supermarket in Nairobi
Agency banking at retail outlets has surged in Kenya due to Covid-19. REUTERS/Njeri Mwangi

Kenyan fintech Tanda plans to extend its agency banking services across east Africa, CEO Geoffrey Mulei tells The Africa Report.

The company is in the process of meeting Uganda’s legal and compliance requirements, Mulei says, and plans to launch in the country in December or January. Operations in Rwanda are planned for the second quarter of 2022, and Tanzania for the fourth quarter.

Agency banking is a way to avoid the cost for banks of setting up new branches by allowing services to be provided by a trusted agent such as a local shopkeeper. Mulei says agency start-up costs, including buying a point-of-sale (POS) device which costs about $1,400, are prohibitive for many. “Very few shops have that sort of money lying around.”

Banks may offer subsidies, but then face expensive long-term maintenance costs, he adds.