The national roll out of M-Tiba is now underway with the first outlets outside Nairobi in Kisumu, Siaya and Mombasa.
The M-Tiba mobile health wallet – developed by CarePay, PharmAccess and Safaricom – allows users to send, save and receive funds to access healthcare services using their mobile phones.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said M-Tiba has the potential to extend and transform essential health services for millions of Kenyans.
“For many Kenyans, a trip to the clinic can create real financial strain. And it can have a knock-on effect in people holding down jobs, or having to sell their belongings to pay for basic care. This is a burden on low-income homes, with mothers and young children being particularly vulnerable,” said Collymore.
Nearly half of all healthcare expenditure in Kenya is currently paid out-of-pocket. This means many Kenyans have no health insurance or access to mechanisms that pay for basic healthcare.
To encourage healthcare savings, the Pfizer Foundation is funding the first M-TIBA bonus scheme. This sees the first 100,000 users – who register and deposit Kshs. 100, or more, per month – receiving a monthly bonus amount of Kshs. 50 for up to 12 months.
UAP Old Mutual Health Insurance is also offering them 12 months personal accident cover for the principal member and one spouse, up to the value of Kshs. 8,000.
In September 2016, CarePay and Safaricom activated the option to ‘send money’ to M-TIBA. This enables people to send healthcare funds from their own M-PESA accounts to the M-TIBA accounts of others, such as household staff or relatives.
“M-TIBA is a simple and powerful tool for healthcare savings, payments and bonus schemes. This combined offering has been really popular with Nairobians. And each week we are adding more clinics in more areas, so more Kenyans can take control of their healthcare,” said Kees van Lede, Chief Commercial Officer at CarePay.
Funds on M-TIBA can only be used at selected healthcare providers, who form part of the M-TIBA network. And they sign up to internationally recognized ‘SafeCare’ standards, which aim to ensure better quality and patient safety.
Users can be registered on M-TIBA through an M-TIBA agent, or self-register by dialing *253# on their mobile phones. The customer care center can be reached by calling toll-free on 0800 721253.