Launching Musoni Mobile Systems in Kenya
58% of Kenya’s population currently have a mobile money account (Global Findex, 2015). To take advantage of this incredible fact Five Talents is currently working with a cloud-based technology platform called Musoni Systems. Together, we are making steps towards enabling members to link their savings and loans groups to the existing mobile money systems.
When linked to mobile money, members will be able to transfer their savings and loan repayments directly into a shared bank account and the paperless system will be used to record the transaction. This will greatly speed transactions up, reduce cash handling and yet still keep members in full control of their own affairs.
How do we know this? Well, we know from experience. Five Talents has been working with the Musoni team in Tanzania since 2013, where the resulting improvements in programme efficiency, safety, and reporting are clear to see. You can read more about our award-winning implementation of Musoni in Tanzania by clicking here.
At present, all of our Kenyan microfinance programmes are working on a system designed for much smaller numbers and revolve around paper and Excel spreadsheets. That means that 105 groups across 3 dioceses are still keeping physical records. A typical large group meeting takes around 6 hours and uses reams of paper to record every transaction in quadruplicate. Because all data on the activities of savings and loans groups is paper-based it must be copied and then entered onto a computer back in the offices of our partners. Musoni will solve this.
In short, the introduction of an integrated mobile money system to our Kenya programmes in early 2016 will improve the organisational efficiency of our members, our partners and our staff. It will save time, radically improve record keeping and significantly cut down on administration enabling a greater focus on training.
In the first year, the generosity of our donors will allow Five Talents to implement Musoni across all of our Kenyan programmes. We will need a small amount of ongoing funding through the first three years, but over the course of years two and three the Trust Groups will move towards sustainability and will begin to shoulder the bulk of the cost for tablets and licences themselves.
Musoni is derived from “m-usoni” where “m” stands for Mobile and “usoni” is the Swahili word for Future, hence Mobile Future, and given the improvements in security, accuracy, and efficiency that the technology will bring, we think it’s a fitting name.
Many of our members have low literacy levels, but find paperless, electronic systems simple to use. Over time we intend that all groups will be able to keep their own records in the field on the Musoni system, using simple tablet computers and an easy to use application tailored for their group.