Lives of small holder farmers will not be the same anymore. There’s been a change, and one that’s for the better. Now with Grain Marketing Board (GMB) payments being paid through the Syndicated Mobile Payment Platform System or SMPPS, the lives of thousands of unbanked farmers will be transformed.
BY DONALD TAFADZWA CHIDOORI
The days of walking a number of kilometers to and from the GMB, through hilly dusty and difficult roads and then queuing up at the GMB depot or at a bank for hours to get your hard earned cash or withdraw a meager sum of bond notes respectively, are now over.
A leading funeral assurance company in Zimbabwe, Moonlight has partnered with two leading mobile companies Net One and Telecel, together with Metbank, and Telone, to come up with a Syndicated Mobile Payment Platform System (SMPPS) that seeks to provide convenient payment solutions to the unbanked maize farmers across the country. People can also pay for their funeral policies using this system.
According to the Finscope Survey, 2014 the majority of Zimbabweans (70%) are uninsured, and the unbanked farmers in the rural areas are part of this 70 percent.
The SMPSS has given the opportunity for farmers to pay for their funeral policies in a convenient and efficient manner.
“Farmers usually get their funds seasonally and find it difficult to pay for their premiums using the normal payment systems. So as Moonlight we have provided them with a platform where they can subscribe to and pay for their funerals policies in the comfort of their homes.
“The yearly premiums can be deducted once a year when they get their incomes, and the amount will depend on the type of insurance policy the farmer would have subscribed to,” said Moonlight group Chief Executive Dr Chomi Makina.
Dr Makina also said the platform was also created in the spirit of supporting the financial inclusion strategies being spearheaded by the government.
In the spirit of financial inclusion Moonlight Funeral Assurance last month also introduced a new funeral cover product that targets the low income population in the country, the SMPPS platform will make it easier for rural farmers to also have a peace of mind knowing that they will have a decent burial.
Due to the cash crisis currently prevailing in the country farmers have been finding it difficult to get their cash from the Grain Marketing Board.
The SMPPS system will enable farmers to have easy access to their hard earned cash.
The SMPPS enables farmers at anytime and from anywhere in the country to make transactions using their mobile phones, allowing ease of payments, minimized queuing and travelling for long distances for banking services and provides fast, secure and convenient transacting.
The SMPPS has two types of payment systems. The first facilitates crediting money into the beneficiary mobile phones from the GMB, whereas the second enables account-holders to withdraw their cash, make school fees payments and even buy seeds and groceries using the mobile fone from anywhere in the country.
“You have reaped a bumper maize harvest, now enjoy selling your crops to the GMB, and receive money on your fone, buy your seed, pay your school fees, buy groceries using your fone wherever you are,” GMAZ said.
Farmers will also be given ATM cards, linked to the system to enable them to make payments from anywhere in the country using swipe machines.
The ICT payment system which is expected to bring payment convenience to maize and all grain farmers will be officially launched on 29 September 2017, from 9am – 6pm at Murehwa Town Council Grounds, Murehwa.
“We are inviting the whole farming sector, suppliers, distributors, and consumers to the official launch of the ICT payment system. Entertainment will be provided by Soul Jah Love and Jah Prayzah,” said the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, in a statement.
Metbank, are the financial advisors and leaders of the Syndicate.