NMB Songambele launches 'Chap Chap'

NMB Songambele launches 'Chap Chap'; offering instant access to banking services for millions of unbanked Tanzanians.

With Chap Chap NMB has developed a product that overcomes the major barriers to financial inclusion i.e. a lack of financial knowledge, proximity to a branch network and relatively high costs.  NMB will employ a network of direct sales agents who can sign up – and crucially activate – new accounts in the field, granting new customers immediate access to all of Chap Chap's unique banking and payment services. This approach coupled with the easy to use features of the account, has the potential to revolutionise access to finance across Tanzania.

Unlike other accounts which require customers to travel to the bank branch, the roll out of Chap Chap will be facilitated by a national network of Direct Sales Staff. NMB has developed a bespoke distribution model for Chap Chap as follows:

  1. Equipped with smartphone & POS devices, agents travel to remote communities to carry out a quick and easy sign up process
  2. Enrollment requires identification in the form of a fingerprint ID, allowing even semi-illiterate customers to gain access to banking services
  3. Once biometrics have been collected, agents activate accounts in the field, issuing ATM cards (doubling as a certified Bank ID) and pin codes (of their choosing) to customers, that provide immediate access to their new account

The easy to manage functions of the Chap Chap account include:

  • No account opening or minimum account balance requirement and no maintenance fees
  • Integration with mobile banking through NMBMobile, giving clients access to accounts anytime and anywhere on even the simplest of mobile phones
  • Ability to pay all utility bills remotely, removing the need to travel to a branch 

Tanzania has low levels of financial inclusion, with just 12% of the population being formally banked. Facilitating non-cash payments is one of Chap Chap's vital functions that will enable people to transfer part of their income with ease and acts as an important precondition to establishing credit lines. Financial development of this sort is known to have a disproportionately positive effect on small firms, driving the increases in scale and productivity that can deliver real growth in a rural economy. For the 2.8 million Tanzanian SMEs, widening financial access is a critical step in enabling these companies and the wider economy to flourish.

Mark Wiessing, General Manager NMB said "We have used our unrivalled understanding of the Tanzanian market, its needs and its opportunities to greatly develop this mobile banking product. Our novel distribution channels and innovative use of technology removes the need for new customers to travel to a bank branch as well as eradicating the hurdles of illiteracy and high entry costs. With Chap Chap we are removing barriers to financial inclusion, which we think is the first step in unlocking the true potential of the Tanzanian economy".

Commenting about this development, Berry Marttin, Member of the Board of Rabobank Group stated: “We are proud that NMB Tanzania is bringing this innovative mobile banking solution to market as it embodies the fundamental cooperative principles of shareholder Rabobank Group and Rabo Development's mission to  bring banking to the unbanked. With Chap Chap, Tanzania is taking a big step in expanding financial inclusion by providing  instant formal mobile banking for rural retail consumers and small businesses. This service can stimulate individual economic growth and the growth of the rural economy,  helping to make Tanzania more economically resilient, transparent and attractive for further investment and d For more information about this release:

For more information:
Rabobank Press Office, Renée Schnitzler, Press Officer a.i.
r.e.schnitzler@rn.rabobank.com, +31 6 10 33 50 54

About NMB
With 2650 employees, and 1,6 million customers, NMB is the largest bank in Tanzania, both when ranked by customer base and branch network. With over 140 branches they are located in more than 95% of Tanzania's districts. 40% of  Tanzanians with a bank account  are a customer with NMB. The bank is listed on the Dar Es Salaam stock exchange.

General Information
Rabobank Group is a Netherlands based, international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principles with a predominant focus on providing all finance services in the domestic market. Internationally the Group's focus is on food and agriculture. In line with its cooperative roots, Rabobank Group is a cooperative bank, comprised of independent local Rabobanks, plus their central organisation Rabobank and its (international) subsidiaries. The organisation has almost 60,000 employees (fte) worldwide and operates in 44 countries.

Rabo Development’s mission is to provide developing societies with improved access to financial services, employing cooperative principles and banking expertise. With an extensive network of partner banks equipped  to finance agriculture worldwide we serve clients in all market segments, from individual farmers to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Rabo Development forms strategic alliances with partner banks in Brazil, China, Mozambique, Paraguay, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia, providing capital for the long term. Rabo Development collaborates as a minority shareholder and is engaged as board member, rather than acting as a controlling majority shareholder. By holding a minority interest, the partners benefit from expertise and insights while remaining domestically owned.

For more information about the Rabobank Group go to www.rabobank.com.