loader image

Airpay : Building Financial Literacy in Tanzania

Home > Blog > Financial > Airpay : Building Financial Literacy in Tanzania

Airpay : Building Financial Literacy in Tanzania

Airpay, a global fintech company from India, solidifies its presence in East Africa. The platform operates in 12 African countries, the main goal is to enhance financial and digital literacy.

Airpay : Major player in fintech

Airpay, India’s premier financial services company, boasts over a decade of experience as a payment aggregator. Operating across many countries, the firm collaborates with over 200 financial institutions and 1,000 global business partners.

Through its platform, it enables seamless monetary transactions across channels like web, mobile, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems. A wide network encompass over 100 investment tools, it simplifies access to financial services for individuals and businesses.

Airpay’s establishment in Tanzania

Holding the Payment Services License from the Bank of Tanzania (BOT), Airpay is expanding its presence with an official launch in Tanzania. Two regional offices are established, and the fintech company showcases its commitment to local empowerment and financial inclusion.

This digital payment solution offers a full range of payment services nationwide. The inaugural ceremony took place in Zanzibar, graced by prominent figures including representatives from the Tanzanian government and economic organizations :

  • Saada Salum Mkuya, Tanzanian State Minister (President’s Office), Finance and Planning, Zanzibar
  • Binaya Srikanta Pradhan, High Commissioner of India to the United Republic of Tanzania
  • Yasmin Chali, Co-founder of Airpay Tanzania
  • Dr. Habiba Hassan Omar, Principal Secretary at the President’s Office, in charge of Labor, Economic Affairs, and Investment
  • Juma Burhan, Executive Director of the Zanzibar Economic Empowerment Agency (ZEEA)
  • Said Seif Said, CEO of the Zanzibar eGovernance Agency

Technology for Socio-economic Development

Airpay aims to position Tanzania as a digital leader, showcasing a commitment to economic growth and digital financial inclusion, as validated by the Indo-Tanzanian agreement. It also seeks to drive socio-economic development across the African region.

Moreover, the platform reaffirms its dedication to local opportunities through strategic partnerships. Kunal Jhunjhunwala, the Founder and CEO of Airpay Payment Service, emphasizes, « Given its status as one of Africa’s most dynamic economies, Tanzania presents an exceptional opportunity to achieve our pan-African aspirations ».

Financial and digital education improvement

Airpay is expanding its reach in Tanzania by introducing the Airpay Academy, a world-class digital center in collaboration with the Tanzanian government. This initiative aims to empower a technologically skilled new generation, aligning with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s DPI vision.

This hybrid program enhances technological education and digital skills while establishing a digital training center to elevate financial and entrepreneurial literacy.

Memorandum of Understanding between India and Tanzania

The bilateral relationship between India and Tanzania dates back to 1960 and is evident through various projects. India and Tanzania are trade and investment partners, collaborating on an agreement aimed at promoting trade using local currencies.

In addition, both sides have signed an agreement to share digital public goods to enhance their collaboration. Prime Minister Modi praised Tanzania’s efforts to replicate the success of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). He also highlighted the strong cooperation between India and Tanzania in green energy and various sectors.

The Indian Prime Minister applauded Tanzania’s inclusion in the Global Biofuel Alliance, an initiative started by India during the G20 summit. At the same time, India’s participation in the International Alliance of Great Felines, led by Tanzania, strengthens global efforts to safeguard these animals.

Tanzania’s financial technology landscape

The Tanzanian financial landscape is dominated by traditional institutions such as banks. This latter represents approximately 70 % of the sector’s assets. However, money transfers and digital services are gaining significance, impacting both the banking sector and the broader financial industry.

Fintech in Tanzania primarily focuses on payments and loans, notably through the integration of mobile money services. However, opportunities to harness technology remain underutilized, both from the supply and demand perspectives.

Impact of fintech companies on the Tanzanian economy

The rise of fintech companies is boosting Tanzania’s economic growth. Airpay’s entry into these regions marks a pivotal moment in fintech expansion across Africa. By offering a digital services platform, the company is enhancing access to formal financial services for everyone.

Fintech has a significant social impact, especially in public health. Beyond transactions, a fintech firm can specialize in micro-insurance, improving access to healthcare services. Innovative solutions also make accessing financing easier for primary sectors like agriculture. Tanzanian fintech firms also play a crucial role in achieving the « Zanzibar Development Vision 2050 », a government plan to transform the country’s economy.

Successful examples of young fintech companies in Tanzania

In Tanzania, several young fintech companies have achieved notable success. Among them is NALA, a local fintech firm that emerged victorious in the 2018 Ecobank Fintech Challenge, earning a prize of 10,000 USD. This financial services platform enables cross-border payments from the UK, US, and the European Union to Africa.

Since March 2023, this young company holds a Payment Service Provider (PSP) license from the Central Bank of Tanzania, allowing operations within the country. NALA is committed to investing 1 million USD to launch the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in Tanzania.

Dynamism of the fintech ecosystem in Tanzania

A McKinsey report highlights the promising future of the financial technology industry in Tanzania. This nation is among the 11 key countries likely to be at the forefront of fintech market evolution. Due to widespread mobile phone and internet penetration, Tanzania provides a conducive environment for fintech growth.

Best strategy to launch a fintech startup

Launching a fintech startup in Tanzania entails several crucial elements. First of all, understanding the current laws that impact fintech innovations is essential. Second, there is a need to identify opportunities within the financial technology market. Afterward, prioritizing the enhancement of financial inclusion that caters to the needs of unbanked Tanzanians is paramount. Certain sectors, such as agri-fintech, demonstrate significant potential.

Collaborating with local startup accelerators like Sahara Ventures can significantly ease the launch of young enterprises. A growing number of Tanzanian startups are receiving substantial financial support from local funds such as the ICT Innovation Fund. For instance, six tech companies shared nearly 85 million shillings (40 000 EUR) to bolster economic development. Additionally, initiatives like Smartlab play a crucial role in supporting young entrepreneurs by offering acceleration programs, collaborative workspaces, and networking events.

Share this article
Share this Article:
Join our newsletter

Join the latest releases and tips, interesting articles, and exclusive interviews in your inbox every week.