Visa and ACCOSCA to boost access to financial services in Kenya and Tanzania

March 25, 2024
2 min read
ACCOSCA and Visa
  • The African Confederation of Co-operative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) and Visa have collaborated to launch Financial Inclusion in Kenya and Tanzania (FIKT), a project to improve financial access in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • FIKT will build on the network that Visa currently possesses and leverage the strength that the Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) has amassed in Africa.
  • The FIKT project will provide innovative and affordable financial products and services to the targeted demographics. Also, the project will boost the capacity of participating cooperative societies and aid in bringing about a fair policy and regulatory environment for financial inclusion.

Before the launch, ACCOSCA and Visa polled SACCO members on financial literacy in January 2024. The survey also sought to determine the popularity of common group structures, or chamas, and penetration of technology-based solutions for investing and saving. The information gathered will guide the project's interventions and execution plans.

According to reports, there is a progressive decline in the percentage of unbanked people in both of the project's target countries. In Tanzania, the number of people who do not have access to formal financial services has decreased (pdf) over the last five years. 

Similarly, from 2014 to the present, the proportion of Kenyans with banking accounts has increased and is expected to rise further.

Following the project's launch, ACCOSCA's Executive Director, George Ombado, reiterated the organisation's commitment to promoting economic growth, entrepreneurship, and investment in a way that allows vulnerable communities to participate while protecting them from financial vulnerabilities.

Eva-Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Kenya Country Manager, emphasised the importance of financial education and digital payment adoption for financial inclusion, as the project also seeks to raise awareness of formal financial services through campaigns and financial literacy programmes.

“A blend of financial education and the uptake of digital payments holds the potential to rapidly advance financial inclusion and economic growth for MSMEs in Kenya and Tanzania,” the manager said.

Visa has already established a presence in Kenya through partnerships to promote financial inclusion. Visa and Kenya's payments platform, Pesaflow, partnered in January 2024 to improve digital payments in public and government services to improve effectiveness and transparency and encourage financial inclusion. 

The payments giant partnered with local banks and fintech companies in Kenya in August 2023 to launch contactless payments.

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