Following months of intensive research and development, Selcom, Tanzania’s leading provider of financial technology and processing services, has formally launched its shared-agent Agency Banking service under the Qwikserv brand. Qwikserv, as the name suggests, has been designed for participating banks’ customers with the objective of quickly and effortlessly providing accessible touch points for essential banking services such as deposits, withdrawals, balance enquiry, mini-statement, funds transfer and instant account opening. With the recent focus on Tanzania’s financial inclusion framework, the service is strategically aligned to enhance affordable reach and penetration to the underserved, underbanked and unbanked population of Tanzania.
According to the Executive Director of Selcom, Sameer Hirji, “Our guiding principle is to promote financial inclusion in Tanzania. As a service provider, we continually aim to design solutions that assist our bank partners to grow. Qwikserv is specifically designed to create financial access in areas where it has historically been unviable for banks without the need to incur massive costs of establishment. Simultaneously, the shared float model in place for our thousands of agents, allows them to easily onboard this service enhancing their working capital to be utilized more efficiently, resulting in higher returns per turnover cycle.”
This service was born out of the need to establish a convenient way to connect to citizens that are perhaps harder to reach in the conventional format of opening branches with high capital expenses. Leveraging the popularity of Selcom’s network of over 18,000 agents, Qwikserv not only eliminates the need to acquire dedicated point of sale machines and associated costs of training, repair, but inherently makes the bank offerings more scalable without losing the impact of an offline customer service touchpoint for banks. Selcom is successfully implementing this service with NMB Bank, CRDB Bank, NBC Bank, TPB Bank, Amana Bank, Access Bank and Letshego Bank. Six more banks are presently in pre-launch user-acceptance-testing phase and Selcom aims to cover over 35 banks in the next quarter.
As a recurring pain point identified during the research, Selcom has also uniquely ensured the availability of float for all agents offering Qwikserv through a shared infrastructure model which enables agents to serve customers from multiple banks. This model reduces access barriers and disadvantages associated with float management as common drop-off points for agents. Now, agents are particularly demanding to sign up to become bank agents’ due to the lucrative commissions on services they perform on behalf of banks, in addition to the standard Selcom services that they provide. A complementary agent overdraft service to supplement agent liquidity gaps in the market is also being finalized for launch in the coming months.
The integration of Qwikserv has been simplified to the extent that bank customers have the capability of transacting directly from their mobile phone. Additionally, they may also perform cash in and cash out with their bank card. As banks gain creative momentum in the market, Selcom is eager to work with banks to support to push forth Tanzania’s financial inclusion agenda as well as reinforce how Qwikserv is shaping to be a powerful instrument in improving levels of financial inclusion in the country.