Telecom launches an Islamic mobile saving product

Vodacom Tanzania has partnered with Amana Bank in launching a new shariah compliant mobile money service dubbed Halal-Pesa.

Halal-Pesa is a mode of saving that ensures Muslims and other customers have access to a formal micro-savings and investment solution which adheres to Islamic laws.

Vodacom said in a statement issued at the weekend that the product intends to serve more than three quarters of Muslim customers using the firm's M-Pesa platform, where they will be able to save money and gain income through income distribution.

Vodacom's head of M-Pesa, Mr Tulisindo Rashid, said the decision to launch Halal-Pesa was a direct response to feedback from customers who requested that their digital financial services needs be met in line with shariah principles.

"For a long time, the Muslim population has been in need of a mobile financial saving system which is tied to the pillars of the Islamic faith. This is a solution that will allow Muslim customers to achieve their financial goals while cementing their faith by abiding by shariah laws," he said.

Mr Rashid added that 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.

Also, customers can use Halal-Pesa to offer zakat and donations to mosques.

Dr Muhsin Masoud, Amana Bank managing director, said the partnership with Vodacom is expected to have a positive impact on Tanzania's Islamic banking systems.

"As an Islamic bank, we have ventured into enabling believers in the Islamic faith to deposit savings through formal means. We were glad to collaborate with Vodacom and bring our services closer to our customers through Halal-Pesa on mobile money," he said.