By Phiwa Sikhondze

Most people would not believe that INSTACASH obtained its operating license in 2022 from the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE). This is because the mobile money service provider has done a lot to provide products that enable financial inclusion for emaSwati, particularly the unbanked. The work done by the company on the ground is nothing short of outstanding. The Eswatini Fintech Landscape Report 2023, a report compiled by the Central Bank of Eswatini reveals that INSTACASH was able to onboard about 114 000 subscribers in its first six months of operation.

A bit of background reveals that INSTACASH, operated by Directcore Technologies Swaziland, is Eswatini’s only non-telco licensed mobile money service provider. It is a Fintech Company licensed by the CBE and is an independent provider of Electronic Money Transfer Services in Eswatini that works across all Mobile Networks (MTN Eswatini and Eswatini Mobile). The company’s target customers are people who are primarily excluded from the traditional banking system. The company provides services to the rural and excluded segments, including women, youth, farmers, and MSMEs.

To ensure that they tap into the unbanked and those without access to internet connectivity, the company has come up with several products through its partnerships with financial service providers. Their unique system allows interoperability between various players in the financial and payments industry in Eswatini, representing a huge leap in revolutionizing microfinancing, mobile commerce, electronic payments, and mobile banking solutions across the country. The company’s Managing Director Mandla Nxumalo in conversation with this publication states that their platforms enable users in Eswatini, with or without internet connectivity, to manage and perform a wide range of financial transactions from their mobile phones.

In its two-year existence, the company has already answered a concern raised by the CBE regarding financial inclusion. The Bank poses a question that even though financial inclusion sits at 86% in the country, has it translated to products that enable emaSwati to truly enjoy financial benefits? Nxumalo asserts that their recent launch of a paperless Funeral Cover which is underwritten by Liberty Life is evidence of truly enabling financial inclusion. “The Funeral Cover we offer underwritten by Liberty Life Insurance Eswatini is the cheapest in the country and is also conveniently structured as INSTACASH members can opt in and out. Through this product, we ensure that emaSwati are covered, which is what INSTACASH is about, ensuring that the financially excluded get to enjoy life-changing benefits.”

Apart from the Funeral Cover launched this year, the company also offers a zero-rated Stokvel Account. Compared to commercial banks also that offer the opening of a Stokvel Account, InstaCash offers customers benefits such as zero deposit charges and zero disbursement charges.

The company states that the above-mentioned products are just the beginning of the company’s efforts to promote financial inclusion. By making these products accessible to everyone, regardless of financial status, INSTACASH hopes to create a more equitable and prosperous society. In addition to these current offerings, INSTACASH has a pipeline of new products that will continue to provide innovative solutions for those in need of financial support. Stay tuned for more announcements about INSTACASH’s expanding product line!

With INSTACASH, all people in Eswatini can enjoy financial services without the need for internet connectivity. Over 90 percent of INSTACASH users access the service through the *365# USSD channel, which does not require any internet access. This accessibility makes INSTACASH a unique solution that empowers people to manage their finances with ease and convenience, regardless of their location or access to technology. The rest use the INSTACASH mobile app which is currently available on Google Play.

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