Wendo wa Kaeani Makes its First Repayment via M-PESA
Last week was another exciting week here at FrontlineSMS:Credit. We visited Nunguni FSA to install the latest beta version of PaymentView and officially launch our first pilot project. We have partnered on the project with K-Rep Fedha Services (KFS), a Nairobi-based company that provides management services to Financial Services Associations (FSAs) across Kenya. We’ll be installing and testing our software at two of the FSAs that KFS manages, one in Nunguni and the other near Kitui.
Nunguni FSA has nearly 6,000 members, including just over 50 savings groups of about 20 members each. Approximately 10 of these groups will be participating in the pilot, which will enable them to send in their monthly payments via M-PESA. Many of the groups are a long journey from the FSA, and are currently taking up to a full day each month to deliver their payments. By using M-PESA, group members save time and money, as M-PESA agents are located within easy walking distance of group meetings.
Joseph Maina, IT manager for KFS, accompanied Roy (one of our esteemed software developers) and me on the journey to Nunguni. We arrived just after 9 am, took tea with the FSA’s manager Daudi and some of the loan officers, and then proceeded with the software installation. Once Roy had PaymentView up and running at the FSA (a quick and easy process, if we do say so ourselves!), we did a training session with the staff in which I explained all of the features they will be utilizing for the pilot. The staff members then spent some time using the program themselves, and they seemed quite comfortable with its functions. So far, so good.
Training Nunguni FSA staff
Testing a payment
Next, we drove over to Kaeani, a small village to visit the Wendo wa Kaeani savings group at their monthly meeting. As Daudi explained the new system by which the group could send money using M-PESA, the group members were excited to use it. They asked a lot of questions about how it would work, and after everyone agreed that it was a good idea, we headed over to the M-PESA agent to send the group’s loan repayments and savings to Nunguni FSA. At the agent, Christina Muthenya was the lucky group member who got to use her phone to send the payment. She deposited the group’s money and transferred it to the FSA’s M-PESA account.
Wendo wa Kaeani savings group
Sending a loan repayment
We headed back to Nunguni to find out whether the payment was received by PaymentView, and a dialog box had popped up, informing us that a new payment had been received. Success! Daudi then sent an SMS to Christina, informing her that her payment was received by the FSA, with a paper receipt to follow next month.
PaymentView receives the loan repaymentWith that, our day was over. We stopped for a late lunch in Nunguni town, and Roy tried to convince me to try matumbo – cow intestines. It wasn’t quite the right time, but perhaps next month when we visit Nunguni again for a follow-up visit!