Mastercard today unveiled its mobile payments and marketplace platform 2KUZE designed to enable farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to buy, sell and receive payment for goods on feature phones.
The application was developed by the charity-backed Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion and, the company states, paves the way for cashless agriculture.
An initial pilot scheme is already underway in Kenya with 2,000 farmers working for fairtrade charity Cafe Direct Producers Foundation using the marketplace to source buyers and receive payment through mobile money services.
Using their existing mobile handsets suppliers are able to connect with potential buyers and negotiate prices in advance rather than trying to sell their products in an open, physical, marketplace. In a video to accompany the launch, Mastercard said the system streamlined the whole transaction process.
Daniel Monehin, division president for Sub-Saharan Africa and head of financial inclusion for International Markets at Mastercard said: “We believe that by using mobile, a technology that is so ubiquitous among farmers in Africa, we can improve financial access, bring in operational efficiency and facilitate faster payments.
“The collaboration between the Lab team and farmers in the market helped to deliver a solution that can be implemented and make an impact without any major changes to the day-to-day.”