Knowledge

La Regionale S.A Engages CNPS as Part of its Digital Transformation Plan

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  La Regionale S.A. (“La Regionale”) and the National Social Security Fund of Cameroon (“CNPS”) have entered into partnership agreement. CNPS is the state agency in charge of social security. Social security started in Cameroon in 1946. The partnership agreement allows La Regionale, as part of its overall financial services activities, to remit social insurance and entitlement payments on behalf of CNPS. La Regionale is headquartered in Cameroon and it is one of the leading and profitable “2nd category” MFI – a licenced deposit-taking financial institution allowed to provide loans and advances to SMEs and individuals. La Regionale is planning... View Article

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Financial Inclusion through Digital Savings

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    The importance of financially including underserved and low-income segments and expanding access to formal financial services has led to the development of advanced, technology driven products across developing countries. Digital Financial Services (DFS) recognises that although there are strong saving tendencies among adults in low-income countries, the usage of saving products at financial institutions is still low. Digital savings however, is still blossoming and identifying the market, product and policies is important as all these factors influence the usage of digital savings. The essential components of digital financial inclusion include: retail assets, digital transactional platforms, devices and additional... View Article

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Mastercard aiming to create a cashless Africa

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  The majority of Africa depends heavily on cash for retail transactions and as a result, there has been an increase in innovative digital payment systems from leading technology companies such as Mastercard. Cash hinders growth in Africa as it places a strain on economies through production costs, crime, corruption and fraud prevention as well as the dangers associated with carrying cash. Small businesses are also negatively impacted due to the costs associated with accessing, securing, transporting and storing cash which further constrains growth if they don’t have the facilities to accept electronic payments. Mastercard believes that expanding access to... View Article

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Institute for Open Learning (IOL), Namibia’s Largest Distance Education Institution has Launched a Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme

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  The Institute for Open Learning (IOL) has launched its fully-fledged Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme for skills training in various fields including bricklaying and plastering; plumbing and pipefitting. TVET was identified as an area where the most economic impact can be derived due to a high number of unskilled and unemployed Namibians. Exploiting synergies across the group, Trustco Bank intends to provide financing for Namibians who wish to start their own businesses in these fields, subject to the individuals enrolling for the programme. IOL is regulated by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) and by the Ministry of... View Article

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La Regionale’s Transformation into a Fully-fledged Commercial Bank

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  La Regionale, a leading microfinance institution in Cameroon is the latest of a number of leading MFIs in the region to be planning to convert into a bank, and obtain a universal banking licence. Its current licence is as an MFI (2nd category) and it has been operating since 1993. The main objective of the conversion is to facilitate broader deposit products and therefore deposit mobilisation for the institution. The goal is principally to better serve the institution’s core customers with micro, SME and housing/education customers continuing to represent around 90% of the bank’s loan book, with larger SMEs... View Article

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The Central Bank of Nigeria’s New Policy Formulation on Customer Deposits Collection Currently Underway

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  Nigeria is currently formulating a new policy which will enable mobile network operators to transfer money, a measure targeted at softening the previous policy that protected the country’s commercial banks. The regulatory environment in Nigeria has generally been considered one of the least permissive in terms of mobile network operators participating in the financial services sector. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may have realised that a heavy reliance on financial institutions to extend their financial services to about 50 million adults out of total country population of about 200 million people would not achieve the best financially inclusive... View Article

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Hybrid Capital Solutions to Support the Next Phase of Inclusive Growth

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This sponsored content was written by Edmund Higenbottam, Managing Director of Verdant Capital, and Raj Domun, Director and Fund Manager of the Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund. Verdant Capital is a leading specialist financial advisory firm that operates on a pan-African basis. In recent years, the Inclusive Financial Institution sector has grown significantly in Africa and elsewhere, driven in part by growth in the global specialist investor base supporting the sector, and in part due to the growth of local debt markets. In Africa, this growth has stretched the equity capital bases of many institutions – and of the sector as a whole – due to the narrow range... View Article

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Banking on the Future (DRC)

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country with significant resources. Its surface area of 2.3 million square kilometres (km) spans the equivalent of two-thirds of the European Union. Despite its vast expanse, the country remains virtually unconnected due to the lack of basic infrastructure, agricultural production, and notable industrial base. As per the CIA World Factbook, only 2,794 km of paved road exists along with only 4,000 km of railways leaving the country disconnected and the population without access to affordable domestic transportation. In contrast to this reality, the DRC, with 80 million hectares of arable land and... View Article

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Special Report: “Aadhaar: Lessons for the African Continent?”

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In 2009, India launched the world’s largest IT project, i.e. the Aadhaar biometric identification program. The program is intended to drive social and financial inclusion, reform public-sector service delivery, improve fiscal management, increase convenience, etc. An Aadhaar number can be viewed as a permanent financial address. Considering that almost the entire Indian population is now enrolled in Aadhaar – the underprivileged as well as the rich – it also can be viewed as a tool for justice and equality. The program consists of the following: A demographic database with a 12-digit number for each person, secured by fingerprint and retina... View Article

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The Future of Financial Services

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This article is a synopsis of some of the key take-away points from “The Future of Financial Services” panel discussion at SuperReturn Africa in Cape Town on 5 December 2017 with the following panelists: Chijioke Dozie (CEO, OneFi) and Edmund Higenbottam (MD, Verdant Capital). OneFi is an innovative consumer lender in Nigeria, using technology to underwrite, disburse and collect loans. Edmund and Chijioke expect technology to be the driving force that will shape the future of the financial services industry in Africa. Technology is expected to play a significant role on a strategic level, as well as on an operational... View Article

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Mobile Money Panel at East Africa Com – May 2017

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  A number of issues were raised on the East AfricaCom Mobile Money panel in May regarding the future of the USSD mobile money channel, the breadth of services offered through the channel and the potential threats to and opportunities for this business model. The panel was hosted in Nairobi, Kenya, the birthplace of mobile money. Ed Higenbottam, Managing Director of Verdant Capital identified two competing themes: (i) the ever-broadening product offering through the USSD channel: payments, micro-loans, micro-insurance, remittances, micro-investments (for example the recent M-Akiba bond); and (ii) the long-term potential threat to the USSD-business model as a result... View Article

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