The OPM-led (Oxford Policy Management) Savings at the Frontier (SatF) programme has announced the first two successful financial service providers to receive funding and technical assistance to help test innovative business models to scale up financial services for rural and semi-urban informal savings mechanisms (ISM) users in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia.
The first recipient in Tanzania, TPB Bank Plc, has been awarded $1 million to help link up to 15,000 savings groups and 250,000 informal savers with affordable mobile financial services that better meet their needs. The bank will utilise the money in improving the functionality, activity and affordability of the bank’s group mobile platform (GMP) and improving the link between the platform and its individual mobile account, Popote.
TPB will also use the funds to purchase its own mobile banking gateway which it estimates will dramatically lower the cost per transaction for the low-income groups using GMP and individual savers.
Interpay, a financial technology company in Ghana has also been awarded $1 million. SatF will support Interpay to launch a new free-to-use mobile finance application that helps ISM users in peri-urban and rural areas to save their money. Interpay will invest the award in finalising modifications to its Maximus App which will be rolled out by its partner banks to their clients.
The company aims to work with three partner banks in 2018 and two additional banks in 2019 by providing the technology needed to migrate existing savings groups and individual susu contributors onto the Maximus platform. It is estimated that at least 40,000 underserved ISM users will benefit from these initial partnerships. If successful, Interpay will extend the service to more financial institutions, potentially leading to benefits for hundreds of thousands of customers.
SatF is a five and a half year programme (2015-2021) to improve the financial inclusion of low- income individuals and communities in sub-Saharan Africa and it is a US$17.6 million partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and OPM.
Source: Oxford Policy Management
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