Everyone who shops at Kasese Trading Post knows Goodwell Chimwanza, the tinsmith. He is always smiling; hard at work.
What is Mobile Money?
Accessible Banking for the Rural Malawian Poor
Mobile money will change what is possible for the rural poor.
Orant is excited to promote the use of mobile money. Especially in our Financially Empowering Microloans (FEM) for Women Program.
Orant’s FEM for Women Program supports 15 women. We provide no interest loans to aid in their business ventures. In the past, Orant exchanged manual cash loans. This meant FEM for Women participants had to travel to Orant’s campus to collect and repay loans. It also meant they had to carry cash when travelling. This year, Orant has transitioned to electronic transfers. As a result, women don’t have to leave their place of business to repay their loans. They can do it from their mobile phones.
What is mobile money?
Banking via cellphone. People can send and receive money, pay bills, and transact with other banks. All from the convenience of a mobile phone. Since the technology is installed in a SIM card, it doesn’t require internet. It also doesn’t require affiliation with a formalized bank. This is game-changing for the rural poor.
Benefits of Mobile Money:
Money can be transferred almost everywhere. Including hard to reach rural areas with no formal banks. Mobile money agents provide person-to-person contact. In other words, they train those who are unfamiliar with the technology.
- Financial Security
Mobile money allows for cashless payments. This lessens risks of cash handling. Ie: loss, theft, fraud.
- Low Transaction Costs
Compared to bank charges, mobile money platforms have low transaction costs.
- Time Saving
People can access money services without travelling long distances. Or standing in lines. They can also safely send money to family members who are geographically distant.
What Mobile Money Means for Women in Malawi
Agency. The freedom to manage their own financial lives. It means they, not their husbands or fathers, can choose how to spend their hard-earned money. Why is this important? Studies in Kenya showed that access to mobile money increased household consumption and savings. Therefore, it reduced poverty. And (drumroll, please) the effects were largest in female-headed households.
For many women, there’s still a learning curve.
Managing finances is new. Mobile money is even newer. Orant is here to help with that. By requiring mobile money for loan transfers, Orant incentivizes women to use it. We also provide training and support with the help of Hey Sister, Show Me the Mobile Money.
When women have access to technology like mobile money, the impact is immense.
The Orant Journal
Women Village Savings and Loan (VS&L) Groups cultivate a savings mindset in female entrepreneurs in Central Malawi.
The Orant Farm supports 10 households with farming acreage, business training, and agriculture advice. Soon, the farmers will form a co-op.
When bad weather affect the fields, food security is affected. Orant distributes maize in February and March to farmers in rural Malawi.
Orant has given Madisi Cooperative a loan of 2 million kwacha for the 2021/2022 growing season. The loan has a low-interest rate of only 3%.
Orant removes the barrier of impossible interest rates. Our FEM Program provides no-interest loans. Edilina Joshua is a FEM member.
In 2022, Orant's Ulemu Scholarship will fund university tuition, room & board, and books for 7 outstanding Malawian students.
After a long wait and frightening drought, the rains in Malawi started at last. Then Tropical Storm Ana blew into Malawi, flooding fields.
Every Tuesday and Friday, the Kasese Youth Club meets on Orant’s campus. They participate in talks, conversations, and games.