Three years ago, Eric Joseph and his colleagues designed ‘Family Wallet’, a digital application that helps commercial motorcyclists to save part of their daily earnings, but also be able to access loans.
The Family Wallet also helps in tracking motorcyclists’ income and expenses to help them build credit, access bank loans and create a better life for themselves and their families.
According to Joseph, “the idea was to ensure motorcyclists are able to save and have basis to negotiate for loans with financial institutions, in addition to fulfilling their final obligations.”
This however didn’t come without challenges. Joseph recalls that they had no funds to run the project and turn this idea into reality.
Joseph later heard through friends, about the ‘Tigo Digital Change makers Competition.’ This was in last year.
The Tigo Rwanda competition supports entrepreneurs who exploit digital technology to improve society and positively impact communities.
Joseph decided to enter the competition, in which, his idea emerged among the three winners for the 2016 digital competition award.
The youthful Joseph told Taarifa that Tigo Rwanda and Reach for Change didn’t only give them $10.000 for their project, but also linked them with experienced individuals, who shared their knowledge to make the best of the project.
“We only targeted motorcyclists because it one of the biggest industry, when you look at the informal workers. We now have more than 12.000 motorcyclists in Kigali and approximately 90.000 of them across the country,” he said.
The innovator says they expect to include construction workers and other employees that don’t have a stable source of income.
How Family Wallet work
Family Wallet agents partner with motorcyclists’ cooperatives to acquire their identifications. In order for one to use the transaction system, motorcyclists and passengers download Safe motors application onto their smart phones.
Family wallet agents then create wallets for motorcyclists and passengers where they can keep money to pay for motorcycle transport, without using cash.
The agents can also present the motorcyclists’ wallet account, thus allowing any Bank to process loans for them, by looking at the account status.