Asasah's Branchless Microfinance Initiative
This case study describes Asasah's branchless microfinance initiative that was piloted in its four branches. The project aimed to cut clients transaction costs by providing doorstep services, decrease misuse of loans by strengthening internal controls and reduce cash use by loan officer or group leader.
Asasah has been using Grameen Bank's group lending model. It provides loans to each individual in a group of 5-10 women. Repayments are received in a group. The case study discusses Asasahs disbursement and repayment models, training and marketing for the launch of the branchless microfinance initiative and pilot test challenges. It presents lessons that Asasah learnt from the project. They include:
- Staff and community need extensive training, follow-ups and refreshers on branchless methodology;
- It is difficult to make women clients understand the concept of mobile money transactions;
- It is helpful to engage male members or literate family members;
- Women borrowers are interested in learning about the use of mobile phones and ATM cards for money transactions;
- Women borrowers are interested in having an ATM card as a symbol of comparatively superior socioeconomic status and because they believed it would help them manage their money.