May 18, 2022

Mobile Money Management for Clean Energy

Riley Harding

Mobile Money Management for Clean Energy

Over the past decade, the world has seen a mass evolution of technology, driven by the rapid uptake of mobile phones. No more landlines, no more computers, no more cash or cards – most of the world’s population have leapfrogged these technologies altogether and gone straight to the mobile phone. This technological leap is integral to how people live and how businesses operate. We are moving away from pen and paper and relying on mobile apps. Mobile devices and mobile money have revolutionized the way we see and work in the last mile.

TaroWorks empowers frontline field agents to have power at their fingertips without being connected to the internet. We offer an online fieldwork management tool that runs through Salesforce.com via mobile. For TaroWorks, this changing technology means that more of our clients are moving away from straight evaluation, and are using our tool for a market-based model. This requires a level of fund collection and handling cash from end-users, which is why more and more of our users are incorporating mobile money into how they work with their clients and beneficiaries. 

Reasons why organizations are incorporating mobile money: 

  • To save time 
  • For better coordination between workers and partners 
  • Accuracy of data 
  • Eliminate processing errors
TaroWorks App open on a mobile phone in the field, Kiima Foods user
TaroWorks client using the TaroWorks App, Kiima Foods

Using renewable energy technology to help reduce poverty 

During the 20th Anniversary NetHope Summit, TaroWorks and Kiima Foods discussed how mobile money management was incorporated into the day-to-day operations of their field staff using the TaroWorks app. 

In Uganda, currently, only 30% of households have access to electricity. This, combined with high levels of poverty, has resulted in over-reliance of unsustainable biomass and the use of rudimentary lighting technology that have serious implications on the environment.

Kiima Foods is an anti-poverty organization in Uganda that works with communities across the country to fight poverty and improve lives through nutrition and sustainability. Kiima Foods partnered with WWF Uganda to work with rural microfinance and savings groups to distribute renewable energy technologies like clean cooking products and solar home systems. 

Community in rural Uganda, TaroWorks users
Community in rural Uganda, Kiima Foods
Uganda, WWF Uganda Country Office

Mobile money management for clean energy

We realized something wasn’t right in our money collection and remittance. Since the renewable energy project is a revolving project, there was a need to have a better monetary system in place to be in a position to track all collections from the groups and individuals in the community.

Elias Asiimwe, Kiima Foods, Monitoring Officer

Before the introduction of TaroWorks and the MFS Africa mobile money aggregator platform, the payment process was long and convoluted. Households would pay monthly installments in cash to community groups. The community passed the payments to Civil Society Organizations, which were then transferred to Kiima Foods. Finally, the payments would be passed to the WWF Energy Fund, which was paid at the national level. This process left a large margin for error. Mobile Money management was the solution Kiima was looking for to close this lengthy gap. 

TaroWorks has partnered with MFS Africa to provide our clients with the capability to monitor their mobile money collections through the TaroWorks app. MFS Africa connects mobile money users and service providers, providing access to simple, secure, affordable and compliant mobile financial solutions for all. 

Previous payment system:

Kiima Foods sales process chart
Previous Sales and Payment process, Kiima Foods

The impact of mobile money 

To eliminate the handling of cash, Kiima switched to tracking the collections of mobile money through loan payments in Salesforce. For the first time, their field agents were able to look up collections against loans for individuals on their mobile devices while offline through the TaroWorks app.

The system has helped ease field operations, no more paper, just a smartphone and all the information is sent and received in time. All collections are in one place in real-time.

Elias Asiimwe, Kiima Foods, Monitoring Officer
Training Data Collectors for Kiima Foods
Training Data Collectors, Kiima Foods

Additional benefits from the introduction of mobile money collection into their work:

  • Cuts down on errors in processes
  • Tracks monthly payments of individuals 
  • Reduces the movement of money 
  • Tracks payments of each group, working within the community 
  • Ability to have payments accessible to funders in real time
  • A significant amount of reduced cash loss from hand to hand. 
  • Increased transparency in payments since the team is able to track who has paid and who has not at the end of each month. 

“You should think about adopting systems that will improve operations and increase your returns. TaroWorks will show you your inconsistencies in your operations, therefore you need a partner like TaroWorks and Salesforce. Since more people in rural communities own smartphones, it means that this work becomes easier than ever. It will save yourself costs to switch to a partnership with TaroWorks.”

With the technological revolution that mobile phone use has brought, it only makes sense that more and more organizations incorporate mobile money collecting into their operations. 

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About the author...

Riley Harding

Riley comes to TaroWorks with over 6 years of digital marketing, communications, and graphic design experience. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Riley is currently leading our marketing efforts in our Nairobi Office.

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