BimaSokoni is accelerating Insurance penetration. 40 Days 40 FinTechs Tanzania Day 20

Insurance penetration in Africa is very low with South Africa rated highest, at only 12 percent. In Tanzania, Insurance penetration stood at less than 2 per cent by the end of 2021. It is the same story across East Africa; Uganda – 1 per cent, Burundi – 1 per cent, Rwanda – 2.3 per cent and Kenya – 2.4 per cent.

Several factors have been brought forward to explain the low insurance uptake. These include a lack of public confidence and trust in insurance, a lack of insuring culture by most Africans, low awareness and understanding of insurance, and limited innovation.

Even so, the past few years have seen some efforts undertaken to address these issues. Such efforts include more awareness programs, insurance product diversity, accessibility through mobile devices and quicker settlement of claims.

FinTech company, SmartX Limited is contributing to the uptake of Insurance in Tanzania through its flagship product BimaSokoni.

BimaSokoni is a digital marketplace that facilitates insurers and broker to easily promote and sell their insurance products to the public at large. It is among the first insurance aggregators in Tanzania with the goal of transforming the insurance industry into a digital space.

According to Azhar Ghartey, the CEO of SmartX Limited, BimaSokoni digitizes all insurance products and directly allows customers to buy insurance online.

“At BimaSokoni, we onboard all insurance companies, brokers, agents and banks and allow them to sell insurance online. Customers go on their mobile devices, visit our website and select the insurance product of their choice. As soon as they select their preferred product, they get a control number because our systems are integrated with the Tanzania Insurance Regulator and the Revenue Authority. As soon as the customer gets the control number, they can pay via mobile money after which they can receive the policy details right on their mobile phone,” Azhar explained.

He noted that minus running an online Insurance platform, his company is investing a lot of resources on educating and raising awareness around Insurance because low awareness contributes significantly to the low uptake of Insurance across Africa.

“We have been operational for one year with an online website. In the future, we plan to have more products and an APP. Online Insurance is a new concept of buying Insurance and thus comes with its own unique challenges. Many customers don’t trust online systems; they are very sceptical but we continue to educate and engage them.”

BimaSokoni features on Day 20 of the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative for Tanzania. First implemented in Uganda, 40 Days 40 FinTechs is an annual FinTech Innovation initiative presented by HiPipo to recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations who are making significant strides in promoting financial inclusivity through the use of technology.

It is aimed at promoting innovation and collaboration among FinTechs in Africa. The initiative is designed to provide FinTechs and startups with mentorship, training, exposure, and networking opportunities to help them grow and scale their businesses.

“Recently we launched TAFINA – Tanzania Fintech Association; specifically, to bring the different FinTechs together and talk about the challenges facing the industry and thereafter engage the regulators and policymakers on how to address these challenges. The 40 Days 40 FinTechs is a great initiative which supports these ongoing efforts by raising awareness about what the African market is innovating in the FinTech space. The African story hasn’t been well put out thus 40 Days 40 FinTechs fills this gap by telling the African story,” Azhar explained.

40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative Tanzania is part of HiPipo’s broader Include EveryOne Program that is generously supported by the Gates Foundation and implemented in partnership with Level One Project, ICTC Tanzania, Ideation Corner, Cyber PLC Academy, INFITX, Crosslake Technologies, NG Films, Founders Academy and Mojaloop Foundation.

The Include EveryOne program is a beacon of acceleration of FinTech Innovation, empowerment for Women in FinTech and a catalyst for investment and development in the ICT sector. Minus 40 Days 40 FinTechs, other initiatives under the Include EveryOne Program are the FinTech Landscape Exhibition, Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit and Incubator, Digital Impact Awards Africa and the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit.

HiPipo is recognized as a premier advocate of digital Innovation and financial inclusion champion, a fervent proponent of the #LevelOneProject. HiPipo has been at the forefront, actively promoting digital innovation, Instant, Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), and DFS across Africa. With a legacy of advising, mobilizing, and facilitating the adoption of inclusive financial services, HiPipo’s efforts have been nothing short of transformative! For almost two decades, HiPipo has successfully facilitated the inclusive adoption of these crucial services.