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Mobile payments scheme for sale of crop by more than 200,000 coffee,cotton and other farmers. The third party mobile financial servicesprovider designed a commercially viable scheme for transitioningthe cash payments by buyers in Western Kasese to mobile payments. LHBAssociates conducted extensive site visits, interviews and otherprimary and secondary research for the CTA-funded book “Mobile Payments: How Digital Finance is Transforming Agriculture” be published.


Driving on the pot-holed, main Kasese-Kampala highway requires travelthrough densely populated corridors with numerous speed bumps andthriving economic activity. Cars share the road with pedestrians,motorcycles and occasionally goats, cattle, oxen and baboons, as wellas ubiquitous and brightly colored MTN and Airtel agent shops. Whenturning off the main highway onto the rugged and muddy roads thatprimarily serve as walkways for pedestrians towards the many remoteagricultural villages, pedestrians share the road with motorcycles,animals and the very occasional car and notably fewer, ifnon-existent, MTN and Airtel agents. These village based cotton andcoffee communities are a target market pursued by SmartMoney.SmartMoney is a for-profit digital savings and payments service, currently inTanzania as well as Uganda. SmartMoney partners with large coffee andcotton buyers to introduce mobile payments to various actors along thevalue chain. It replaces cash with SmartMoney in the entire valuechain and uses the disbursements of large coffee and cotton buyers tojumpstart the village economy with digital currency. Largeagribusinesses can use the SmartMoney platform to transfer electroniccrop payments into the SmartMoney wallets of intermediary buyers. Theintermediary buyer, in turn, then purchases crops by transferringelectronic crop income payments into the SmartMoney wallet of thefarmer who, in turn, can spend this digital currency in the numerousSmartMoney shops and with other SmartMoney users in the village. Aunique characteristic of the service is that the farmer incurs nodeposit, withdrawal or transfer fees to move into or out of anotherSmartMoney account.