Microfinance institution project to harness innovation, broaden access to 52,000 Ugandans.
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BRUSSELS, 31 July 2019 –WSBI announces today that FINCA Uganda has joined the Scale2Save programme.
Outlined in a memorandum of understanding with WSBI, FINCA Uganda will leverage breakthrough technologies to build a new business model geared towards sustainable savings mobilisation. Digital innovations such as the development of relevant and responsible mobile-based products delivered via a smartphone, agent or handset, as well as digital field automation (DFA) and data analytics form the backbone of this model. The aim is to build out more appropriate savings products accessible on mobile and digitally-enabled financial literacy modules deployed over the devices.
FINCA Uganda CEO and Managing Director James Onyutta said: “We intend to create a product to help people save regularly and affordably. The aim is to improve access to savings for 52,000 excluded customers, customise products to customers’ needs to drive usage, and enable customers’ capacity to use them in the best suited way to their situation.”
Proximity to banking services remains a challenge. Some FINCA customers travel long distances to open an account or make a simple transaction at a branch. By bringing services to their doorstep or in the palm of their hand, digital channels – both mobile and shared agents – will make banking more efficient and savings more affordable. Digitising FINCA’s channels will enable it to collect more data on its customers for use to test and customize new savings products to drive regular deposit mobilisation and use. One such offer foreseen is a youth mobile-targeted savings account. FINCA will test the influence of a set of variables, such as duration of savings period, type of in-kind rewards, type of customer engagement, financial education on savings behavior.
FINCA intends to design a customer literacy platform, accessible via tablets and mobile phones, providing customers with money management skills and information on the services best suited to them.
Partnerships will play a big role in the project too, as FINCA will partner with other like-minded but non-financial organizations, such as youth focused and technology companies, that can bring added value to its work and help us better reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With support from WSBI, a partnership will be explored with Centenary Bank to utilize shared agency banking infrastructure.
FINCA targets mainly low-income people. That segment will remain on the radar under this project. They will test and prototype savings products and develop use cases, and focus on Ugandan youth in Kampala as well as Northern and Western regions.
WSBI’s Chris De Noose added: “Digital channels outlined in the FINCA Uganda project have potential not just to change the way financial products are distributed, but also how information and education is delivered.”
FINCA Uganda: Scovia.Swabrah at Scovia.Swabrah@fincaug.org and Alice Lubwama at Alice.Lubwama@fincaug.org or on +256 312 227 800.
About FINCA Uganda (MDI)
FINCA Uganda is the first Microfinance Deposit taking Institution (MDI) to be licensed by the Bank of Uganda in 2004 to offer life-changing financial solutions which include: Savings, Loans and Money Transfers. Having started operations in 1992, currently FINCA Uganda has a network of 27 branches that are well spread across the country. FINCA Uganda is part of the FINCA Impact Finance Network, a group of 20 microfinance and financial institutions that provides socially responsible financial services and enables low-income entrepreneurs and small business owners to invest in the future. The majority owner of the network is FINCA International, a microfinance and social enterprise not-for-profit leader dedicated to creating economic inclusion for the poor. For more information, visit www.FINCAImpact.com.
The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), founded in 1924, represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $15 trillion and serving some 1.3 billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2016). The Institute focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the achievement of sustainable, inclusive, balanced growth and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries.
Scale2Save is a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation to establish the viability of small-scale savings in six African countries. The six-year programme aims for 1 million more people banked in those countries through projects using innovative models.