DIGITAL FOOD SYSTEMS EVIDENCE CLEARING HOUSE
Food system component(s):
Food system activity/ies:
Type(s) of digital intervention:
SmartMoney aims to economically empower rural communities through savings, by delivering demand-oriented, affordable and accessible financial services to rural households, businesses, agriculture companies and other institutional stakeholders.
Agribusinesses reduce payment-related costs and increase security by replacing cash with SmartMoney’s proprietary mobile-based payment service. Agribusiness managers use SmartMoney’s website to pay digital money into their buyers mobile wallets. Buyers then pay the digital money to the farmers’ and suppliers’ mobile wallets. All cash is removed from payment operations.
Agribusinesses’ smallholder farmers and suppliers welcome the change from cash to mobile wallets because they can easily withdraw from any other wallet holder and make purchases from any local village merchant. They can also pay school fees to any local school and make financial contributions to their local church, all without any transaction charges.
In most agriculture value chains, farmers have a choice of who they sell to. Therefore, if an agribusiness wants to benefit from introducing digital payments, their farmers and suppliers must first understand and trust the digital payment solution. SmartMoney trains agribusinesses’ farmers and suppliers to save and pay using their mobile wallets further driving acceptance and demand for digital payments from the agribusiness. This grassroots training makes digital payments possible for the agribusiness.
Estimated number of active users:
- At inception: 30000
- At time of last report: 200000
Evidence of impact
SmartMoney services more than 100,000 farmers in Uganda and 40,000 in Tanzania. An M&E team on behalf of the MasterCard FRP / KPMG estimates the costs savings amount to USD 120 per retail household per year. Agribusinesses benefit from cost savings by removing expenses associated with handling cash. Cash handling costs are typically 7 percent-20 percent percent of annual turnover in the countries where SmartMoney works, as compared to the 3 percent percent fee charged by SmartMoney to its partners.
Agribusinesses also benefit from increased security for office staff, buyers and field officers by removing cash from their field payment operations. Agribusinesses also increase farmer loyalty by providing to their farmers cost savings benefits, security benefits and financial literacy training.