WHY MicroLead? Over two billion adults still do not have access to financial services. These unbanked populations consist predominantly of women (1.1 billion), and those living in remote rural areas. Impact studies1 consistently show positive economic outcomes for women with access to savings, including increased productivity of rural women, expanded profits, increased investment in their businesses, and expand legal control over their own funds.
You don't need to understand the language to love this commercial (below) for UNCDF/MicroLead partner NBS Bank's Papufi savings account. NBS Bank became the first bank in Malawi to provide a savings account which is transactional immediately and where the customer is not required to fill out any forms. All account opening information is collected electronically by the sales team in the field. The Papufi account has resulted in customers demanding other banks enable the opening of accounts in local market areas or customers’ homes, where it is more convenient.
Orphaned and uneducated, Felicia Nimo had to struggle to make her way in life. Adopted along with her siblings by her aunt, she took her place at her aunt’s petty trading business. There, she learned the business, working there until she married.
Felicia opened a “chop bar,” and life was rosy until her husband fell seriously ill and was unable to work. The burden of supporting the family fell upon Felicia. Stretched between family and business obligations, her business suffered, and customers went elsewhere.
Eighty-three thousand customers within the first 48 hours, 650,000 after one month, over 1,000,000 in three months: MoKash is off to a great start in Uganda.
MoKash has taken off strongly, being favourably compared to its counterparts M-Shwari in Kenya (645,000 customers in the 21 days after launch) and M-Pawa in the United Republic of Tanzania (250,000 customers in the first month).
Guest post by Tony Fosu, Sinapi Aba
Although the MicroLead project is still in process, the team has been constantly assessing its impact through external studies and conversations with partners. Sinapi Aba is a savings and loan institution based in Ghana and a MicroLead partner. We asked Sinapi Aba CEO, Tony Fosu, about working with MicroLead. Here’s what he had to say:
Guest Post by Anjali Banthia, Specialist, Women's World Banking, Consumer Insights and Engagement
Two private Ethiopian MFIs, Wasasa and Buusaa Gonofaa, received funding and technical assistance via the UNCDF’s MicroLead programme to expand savings mobilization. This case study explores the challenges and opportunities of using technology to mobilize savings in rural areas.
Sonya Turyahabwa is an UGAFODE Customer Service Officer (CSO) in the rural town of Kagadi, Western Region, Uganda. She is a busy woman, attending to customers in the branch and taking care of her children at home. She will soon be celebrating four years at UGAFODE, where she first began as a teller and recently transitioned to her new role as CSO. UGAFODE has been her first experience working directly with customers.