VODACOM Tanzania in partnership with Amana Bank has launched a new M-Pesa mobile service dubbed “Halal Pesa” to reach out to the Muslim population who are excluded in the current mobile money services.
Speaking during the launching ceremony in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, Vodacom Head of M-Pesa department, Tulisindo Rashid said the decision to launch Halal-Pesa was a direct response to feedback from customers that they want their digital financial services meet Islamic or Sharia law which prohibit collection of interests on loans.
Two fundamental principles of Islamic banking are the sharing of profit and loss and the prohibition of the collection and payment of interest by lenders and investors.
He said for a long time, the Muslim population has been in need of a mobile financial service which is tied to the pillars of Islamic faith and hence the introduction of the new service will allow Muslim customers to achieve their financial goals while cementing their faith by abiding to sharia laws.
He added Vodacom continues to create innovative financial solutions for all by using digital technology at an affordable cost. “Halal Pesa is a user friendly and distinct service that is in line with Islamic principles.
The service has diverse choices including saving money for Hajj, children or long-term savings ranging from three to 12 months. Customers can use halal-Pesa to offer their contributions to the Mosque and Zakat, he said.
Mr Tulisindo said the efforts were in hand with the government’s National Financial Inclusion Framework strategy (2018-2022) that focuses on enabling citizens to have access to formal financial services. “We are supporting the government by innovating and developing services that suit the needs of the population.
According to him Halal- Pesa was for all M-Pesa users - Muslims and non-Muslims - who would like to save their money while adhering to Islamic sharia and “we remain firm in our commitment - to be the right partner to our customers in fulfilling their evolving demands and to the government’s agenda in increasing accessibility to financial services,” he said.
A Vodacom’s customer Hajjat Hawa Hilal said the Halal- Pesa had come at the right time when Muslims were observing the Holy month of Ramadan. “This service comes at the right time as we are in the holy month of Ramadan.
I have been using M-Pesa for quite a long time but these new service has motivated me to save money for Hajj, Zakat and other plans in harmony with our Islamic laws,” she said.
The Managing Director of Amana Bank, Dr Muhsin Masoud, said that their partnership with Vodacom is expected to have a positive impact on Tanzania’s Islamic banking sector.
“As an Islamic Bank, we have ventured into enabling believers in Islamic faith to deposit savings through formal means.
It is our joy to collaborate with Vodacom because, now, we are bringing our bank services closer to our customer’s through Halal- Pesa on mobile money” added Dr Masoud.