Knowledge

Zimbabwe Could Soon Accept Livestock as Loan Collateral

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The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will soon establish a collateral registry for movable property to enable the economy’s informal sector mostly made up of small businesses to use movable property including livestock and vehicles as security against loans from banks. Zimbabwe’s economy is now dominated by informal businesses following the contraction of the formal sector between 2000 and 2008. The Movable Property Security Interest Bill presented this month by the Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa aims to make it easy for the small businesses to access funding from local banks. Most small businesses are not in possession of the immovable property... View Article

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Letshego – a Leading pan-African Inclusive Financial Institution

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Letshego, a leading pan-African inclusive financial institution operating in eleven African markets spanning Southern, Eastern and Western African is expanding certain initiatives to further enhance its financial inclusion impact as well as its customers’ convenience. Letshego has an innovative mobile product which uses the USSD-system to allow customers to move money from their Letshego current accounts to their mobile money accounts to facilitate convenient mobile money payments. Convenient access to money is of course a key driver of customer behaviour in terms of choosing to participate in formal savings. Letshego has rolled out this product in markets where it has... View Article

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Trustco Bank re-starts micro and SME-lending after the closing of ZAR 450 million group funding

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Trustco Bank, formerly FIDES Bank, has started micro and SME-lending, following the first disbursement from the European Investment Bank (EIB) of its EUR 7.5 million (equivalent) facility. The facility from EIB was part of a ZAR 450 million group funding arranged by Trustco’s advisors, Verdant Capital, which was announced in November 2016. The overall ZAR 450 million of funding is being used to support, Trustco Bank, Trustco Finance (Trustco’s education lending business) and Trustco’s property development business, which is focused on affordable housing. In 2014, Trustco acquired FIDES Bank which had been known as the micro/SME bank in Namibia. The... View Article

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The Importance of a More Developed Banking System – Africa

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In Angola, more than 50% of the population do not own a personal bank account and approximately 60% of the country’s GDP circulates outside the banking system. The banking infrastructure is still underdeveloped in most African countries which is a major drawback for development. Maria Luisa Andrade who spoke at the official opening of Banco Postal this year said: “this is a significant loss to Angolan society, to the extent that these resources, as they are outside the financial system, do not generate taxes, they do not drive credit development and limit the growth of the country.” Banco Postal is... View Article

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Fund Raising for Inclusive Financial Institutions in Nigeria from International Markets

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Current challenges in raising funding for inclusive financial institutions in Nigeria from international markets include, the uncertainty around the foreign exchange policy and risk of central bank rationing of US Dollars when the time comes to service the debt. International investors who have invested over the last few years and have executed offshore currency hedges have been impacted by rationing of US Dollars. International investors today who are looking at the market, are exploring different hedging mechanisms, including back-to-back facilities with local banks, or even providing unfunded guarantees, but many specialist inclusive finance investors are maintaining a watching brief for... View Article

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GreenFin expands its clean energy business

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  Perhaps no other continent has witnessed the same excitement in terms of opportunities for renewable power, especially solar as Africa. In East Africa, innovators have used the technology to bring power to off grid locations. South Africa has been better known for utility scale renewable projects and several bid rounds dating back to 1988. However, South Africa has a growing grid-tie market for renewable energy and is making a significant impact on climate change abatement. This is where “on-grid” customers invest in solar technology to supplement grid power, e.g. roof top solar at shopping malls. GreenFin Financial Services, a... View Article

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Climb Credit shakes up American student loans – a role model for Africa?

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Access to education by students is a global challenge with a large number of students failing to settle their massive student loan debts after graduating. This has been a consistent problem of the US system. Climb Credit, a US based fintech startup provides small student loans to the American students for short programmes normally less than a year. It originates loans at an average size of USD 10 000. The programmes range from coding to web design, from underwater welding to programming robots for carmakers. Some students have scant formal education; others advanced degrees. The number of loan applications is... View Article

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MyBucks: fintech and financial inclusion

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  MyBucks founded in 2011, is a Luxembourg-based fintech company primarily engaged in the consumer lending sector. Through its brands GetBucks, GetBanked and GetSure the company offers unsecured consumer loans, banking solutions as well as insurance products to customers. The company has experienced an exponential growth since its inception and has completed major milestones to date including the listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with an initial public offering that raised EUR 15.5 M (approx. USD 16.5 M) in 2016. The proceeds assisted the company to complete its Pan-African expansion strategy through the acquisition from Opportunity International (a US-based NGO)... View Article

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Peach Payments announces intention to expand into Kenya, Nigeria and Namibia

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Peach Payments, a South African fintech start-up recently announced their intention to expand into Kenya, Nigeria and Namibia. The company offers businesses esp SMEs a way to receive payments from customer across platforms without need for an online platform or integration. In 2016, the company launched a payments solution called “PaySafe” which has already processed over ZAR 1 Billion in transactions and will change how businesses receive payments from customers across the globe. “Our initial target for Peach Payments was online or mobile merchants wanting to monetise audiences in South Africa. Over 200 South African online merchants are using Peach... View Article

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Verdant Capital's MD speaks at the recent AfricaCom Conference

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Verdant Capital’s Managing Director, Ed Higenbottam spoke at the recent AfricaCom conference on the panel on mobile financial services, alongside Equity Bank’s John Staley (Chief Officer – Finance Innovation & Technology) and Letshego’s James Wainaina (Group Head of Customer Experience). John Staley explained Equity Bank’s strategy in entering the MVNO business as to try to break the operator dependency, which is an inevitable consequence of most mobile banking in Africa being conducted through the USSD channel. Equity Bank has introduced a film SIM technology to allow customers to switch network in order to perform banking. He explained that most telcos... View Article

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Verdant Capital successfully arranges GHS 13 million loan facility for First Allied Savings and Loans

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Verdant Capital has successfully arranged for First Allied Savings and Loans, a leading Ghanaian financial institution, a loan facility amount of GHS 13 million (approx. USD 3.2 million) from a leading international impact investor. This facility is the first tranche of a private placement debt deal of GHS 60 million (approx. USD 15 million), the balance will close early in the new year. The institution has total assets of around USD 90 million with about 63% of its loan book is represented by micro-enterprise loans and 34% by SME loans. SMEs and micro-enterprises are critical for the economic and social... View Article

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Funding raised for Trustco Bank Namibia

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Trustco Group concluded a 100% acquisition of Fides Bank Namibia Limited, one of six licensed banks in Namibia in 2014. The financial institution was renamed “Trustco Bank Namibia” following the acquisition and recapitalization. SME lending continues to be a priority of the Bank: to offer financial assistance to Namibian entrepreneurs which will boost employment and profitability of the SMEs in the country. Part of the funding raised in this financing round will be used to restart this part of the loan book. Frankfurt School of Finance and Management is providing technical assistance to the Bank. The Bank also plans to... View Article

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Verdant Capital arranges USD 3 million credit facility for Pan African Building Society

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Verdant Capital has arranged for leading Zambian non-bank financial institution, Pan African Building Society (PABS) a revolving credit facility to support its invoice discounting and supply chain financing activities. The initial facility amount is USD 3 million, with the opportunity to upsize, and the financing is supported by technical assistance. The intention is that the financing structure will provide a platform which other funders may ultimately join. PABS is a leading Zambian deposit-taking financial institution regulated by the Bank of Zambia under the Banking and Financial Services Act and the Building Society Act. The institution has a total balance sheet... View Article

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Adoption of financial technologies rapidly benefitting financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The adoption of mobile money and financial technologies has enhanced a rapid transition towards financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past few years. This has brought Sub-Saharan Africa’s population much more than just access to financial services. This has generated new and innovative services that are influential in achieving some of the key targets UN has laid under the “Sustainable Development Goals Initiative” In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled “Transforming our World” with goals including no poverty, quality education, gender equality, affordable clean energy, decent work, and economic growth, reduced inequality. Irrational Innovations, a venture... View Article

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Verdant Capital arranges a revolving credit facility for Pan African Building Society

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Verdant Capital has arranged for leading Zambian non-bank financial institution, Pan African Building Society (PABS) a revolving credit facility to support its invoice discounting and supply chain financing activities. The initial facility amount is USD 3 million, with the opportunity to upsize, and the financing is supported by technical assistance. The intention is that the financing structure will provide a platform which other funders may ultimately join. PABS is a leading Zambian deposit-taking financial institution regulated by the Bank of Zambia under the Banking and Financial Services Act and the Building Society Act. The institution has a total balance sheet... View Article

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Trustco Finance selected as semi-finalists for European Microfinance Award

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Trustco Finance, a subsidiary company of Trustco Group Holdings Ltd submitted its application for the 7th European Microfinance Award 2016 on “Microfinance and Access to Education” in mid-2016. Trustco Finance was selected as one of the ten award semi-finalists. The 2016 award attracted a total of 30 applications from 19 countries. With the award being focused on “Microfinance and Access to Education”, it is intended to recognize the role of microfinance in enabling access to education for children and/or skill-training for youth and adults to enhance their employment and self-employment. Trustco Finance provides 100% of financing on all Institute for... View Article

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Orange launches international money transfer service, Orange Money

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Orange, one of the largest operators of mobile and internet services in Europe and Africa has announced the launch of Orange Money to allow customers in France to transact with and make money transfers to customers in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. “We are delighted to offer the Orange Money solution to our customers living in Metropolitan France and particularly to those with a link to Africa,” said Patrick Roussel, Orange France Consumer Sales Director. The Orange Money service was launched in Cote d’Ivoire in 2008 and now has over 18 million customers in 14 African countries and also has... View Article

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Jumia launches online payment solution

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Jumia, Nigeria’s No. 1 online retailer and Pan-African leading e-commerce announced in August 2016, the launch of Jumia Pay, a third-party payment solution aimed at providing a safer, faster and more convenient online payment solution across the 23 countries in which the company operates. “Jumia Pay has a very simple yet crucial objective: go even further in providing a safe, a secure and a convenient shopping experience to our customers, building trust along the way between us, our thousands of sellers and our millions of customers. We are very proud to be able to offer this new service to our... View Article

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Bank of Zambia launches collateral registry

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While much attention was drawn to the recent presidential elections, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) recently announced the launch of a collateral registry. The registry is intended to facilitate SMEs to access funding using other forms of movable property as collateral security. “The launch of collateral registry will increase access to funding, especially for SMEs, and lead to better terms for loan contracts. Currently many SMEs are excluded from the formal credit market largely because they lack assets that can serve as collateral, although they may generally have a wide array of... View Article

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RenMoney Introduces new Education Loan

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RenMoney, a leading Nigerian inclusive lender, is launching a new education loan product, specifically tailored to fund school fees payments by their customers. The education loan product will deploy funding raised by Verdant Capital, as well as RenMoney’s existing resources. RenMoney, like many unsecured lenders in Africa, is aware that a significant part of its customer base use their loans for purposes of school fees, such is the importance placed on education by parents across the continent. The tailored school fees product will go one step further: the loans will be repayable by parents but will be disbursed directly to the schools who... View Article

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Sidian Bank Lauches Car Loan based on Uber Data

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Uber’s recent arrival in Kenya has not only disrupted the traditional taxi industry but has also brought an incidental by-product which looks set to make inroads in the East African nation’s highly constrained credit market. Kenya’s consumer lending market has historically been severely limited by the lack of consumer data. Currently, only 4.4% of population have taken out a personal bank loan with most Kenyan’s facing an average interest rate of 18%. However, in this era of unprecedented connectivity, the transport company is now also helping to bridge this credit gap. Through the use of Uber driver data, Sidian Bank has... View Article

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Africa's Mobile Ecosystem contributes USD 150 billion to the Continent

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In a recent report released by GSMA Intelligence titled, “The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016”, research suggests that the mobile ecosystem is fast becoming a major economic driver throughout the African continent with its services contributing more than USD 150 billion to the African economy. According to Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA, “The transformational impact of mobile is being felt more profoundly in Africa than anywhere else in the world; Africa’s mobile industry is at the forefront of helping to deliver the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.” While Africa is the least penetrated mobile market globally, it still represents the... View Article

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First Allied Savings & Loans

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First Allied Savings & Loans, one the of the largest savings and loans institutions in Ghana has made impressive strides in terms of the implementation of its agency business model in the first year of its operation. The agency business model, branded “AlliedAgent” which is an important part of their overall financial inclusion strategy, was launched in June 2015. Each “AlliedAgent” is a kiosk in a corner shop or fuel station. So far First Allied has 150 agents; in comparison First Allied has 25 branches, so the agency model has multiplied the total number of “outlets” their customers can utilise... View Article

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