Millicom launches direct interest mobile money services in Tanzania

Millicom’s Tigo has launched the world’s first mobile money service that provides customers with interest returned directly to their wallet.

The Tigo Wekeza (“Tigo Invests”) service is launching in Tanzania. It requires no separate registration and will allow over 3.5 million Tigo Pesa users to benefit from quarterly payments based on the balance held in their account. Customers in Tanzania will also have the option to nominate a non-profit beneficiary, in line with their personal cultural belief.

Millicom President and CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht said: “This innovation reflects our commitment to develop mobile money into an even more attractive service and will extend financial inclusion further. It comes in a year when we have already pioneered cross-border mobile money transfers with automatic currency conversion as well as a unique interoperability arrangement with other operators in Africa.”

The Chief Regulatory Officer of the GSMA Tom Phillips added: “This new service is a further example of the many pioneering ways in which the industry supports inclusive financial and social policy goals. I look forward to seeing other operators offering similar services.”

Earlier this month a one-time return to Tigo Pesa users based on their accrued balances was announced. The trustees of these funds were able to achieve an aggregate return of 9.2% for the beneficiaries. This and the new service has been authorised by the Bank of Tanzania following the announcement of new policy by the central bank earlier this year.

Millicom has 4.7m mobile money customers in its six Tigo operations in Africa and 2.7m in six countries in Latin America.