Ugandans to access wages early in Thiqa Digital Finance – Paymenow partnership

Ugandans to access wages early in Thiqa Digital Finance – Paymenow partnership

Deon Nobrega, CEO Paymenow, and Danielle Lavan, CEO Thiqa (PHOTO/Courtesy).

KAMPALA – Thiqa Digital Finance (Thiqa), an Islamic finance platform, announced its exclusive technology partnership with Paymenow, Earned Wage Access (EWA) platform. From June 2024 onwards, the strategic partnership will allow Uganda’s civil servants to have early and responsible access to their already earned wages, completely secure and interest-free, via a mobile app.

EWA is powered by financial technology, allowing employees to securely and conveniently access their earned wages before their regular pay cycle. EWA is beneficial for employees who need access to their wages in real-time, as it addresses the desperate need for affordable and responsible access to emergency cash – an increasingly prevalent occurrence in an economic environment marked by persistent cost-of-living increases.

Thiqa specialises in designing and distributing fair and ethical digital financial solutions. They enable under-banked and unbanked Africans to access essential financial tools, paving the way for a financially-empowered and equitable Africa. The partnership allows Thiqa to leverage its valuable experience and knowledge of the Ugandan market to address shortcomings in the traditional monthly wage payment systems locally by providing employees with affordable real-time access to hard-earned wages. Paymenow’s EWA platform has already provided financing to 500,000+ people in Africa and will now extend its reach and services to Uganda via this partnership with Thiqa. In addition to responsible and affordable early access to wages, the mobile app will provide comprehensive financial education resources for its users, fostering a culture of savings and driving economic prosperity.

Speaking on the partnership, Danielle Lavan, Chief Executive Officer of Thiqa Digital Finance, said: “At Thiqa, we are developing innovative and ethical products in Africa, rooted in our core principles of fairness, transparency and partnership. Our mission perfectly aligns with Paymenow’s commitment to fair finance, and financial well-being across Africa. We are dedicated to empowering salaried workers across Uganda, and are excited to expand our offering with convenient access to affordable finance and financial educational tools. The Thiqa-Paymenow product is unique and will address the daily and monthly cash flow challenges faced by most people between paydays, such as struggling to cover the essentials like food, utilities, transport and medication.

“By partnering with Paymenow, we are bringing their direct payroll integration solution to Ugandan government employees, helping them bridge the gap between paydays and managing unexpected expenses. What Paymenow has been able to achieve in Southern Africa – growing a customer base of over half a million users – is exceptional, and we look forward to replicating this success and making a tangible impact in Uganda.’’

At no cost to employers, government ministries or taxpayers, Paymenow’s platform will provide a cost-effective and credit-independent alternative to traditional financial solutions, significantly enhancing users’ financial well-being. Independent research conducted over the past three years has consistently demonstrated its significant impact*: 94% of Paymenow users report a higher quality of life, 82% have reduced their debt, and 80% state increased employee satisfaction. Furthermore, the adoption of EWA solutions like Paymenow’s has been shown to improve employee retention, attract new talent and enhance productivity by alleviating financial stress.

Group Chief Executive Officer of Paymenow Group, Deon Nobrega, commented, “We’re thrilled to join forces with Thiqa Digital Finance, who have an exemplary track record in terms of building Islamic and Shariah-Compliant financial solutions for the Ugandan market. The traditional monthly pay cycle often leaves employees unable to cover emergencies or seize immediate financial opportunities. With our EWA technology, users in South Africa, Zambia and Namibia gain early access to their earned wages, enabling them to address pressing financial needs. Together with Thiqa, we aim to empower Ugandans with the financial security and flexibility they truly deserve. Our embedded financial education tools will also equip Ugandans with the knowledge and resources to effectively manage their finances and build a brighter financial future.”

Established in 2019, Thiqa is a Ugandan Islamic fintech company pioneering Shariah-compliant financial solutions, licensed by the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) and the Uganda Investment Authority. Leveraging its proprietary technology platform, Thiqa empowers entrepreneurs, young people, and the financially excluded in Uganda. Having engaged extensively with civil servants across different departments to understand their day-to-day cashflow pains, this collaboration aims to revolutionise the traditional payroll process in the Ugandan civil service, whilst directly addressing three United Nations Social Development Goals: Zero Hunger, Reduced Inequalities, and Industry and Innovation.

The Thiqa-Paymenow Earned Wage Access solution will go live in Uganda on June 3rd, 2024. Initially, the alternative financial solution will benefit select Ugandan civil servants, with plans to expand to cover up to a quarter of the entire workforce by year-end. Thiqa and Paymenow are also working to extend the solution to employees of corporate institutions across Uganda in a bid to create a positive and lasting impact on the wider Ugandan society.

Thiqa leverages partnerships to create innovative financial solutions that empower citizens. Drawing on its expertise in financial technology, the company partners with purpose-driven institutions to deliver inclusive digital financial tools in a transparent, fair and ethical manner.

Danielle Lavan concludes, “Thiqa is extremely excited to introduce a different approach and an alternative source of finance for everyday Ugandans, in partnership with Paymenow. Offering interest-free access to an already earned wage, in a way that is responsible and affordable, will significantly improve the quality of our customers’ lives and promote a true savings culture.”

Source: PML Daily

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