Savings Groups (SGs) are community-based financial institutions where members mobilize and manage their own savings, pooling this money in a loan fund from which they can borrow in amounts as small as $5. This approach has proved to be low-cost, highly sustainable, and extremely profitable for the member-owners while achieving significant scale, especially in remote rural areas. In Africa and Asia, it is estimated that SGs are now established in more than 75 countries worldwide, reaching more than 15 million members in over 750,000 groups.
However, SGs are becoming increasingly overcapitalized and require linkages to formal financial institutions and virtual wallets. This is now being accelerated through digital platforms developed in partnership with Financial Technology (FinTech) companies, Mobile Network Operators and Aggregators. The advent of agency banking in most countries introduces another opportunity into the linkages journey. This calls for a more strategic engagement with relevant stakeholders in terms of product development, delivery channels, digitizing operations and disseminating relevant knowledge in savings groups, financial technology, and financial linkages in order to better manage opportunities in these three sectors: digital financial services; savings groups and banking. This course is designed to achieve specific objectives and learning outcomes as below:
Expose participants to the methodological approaches and training tools employed by the major implementing organizations in promoting savings groups.
Guide financial inclusion practitioners through a focused roadmap of technology-enabled business models at the bottom of the financial pyramid.
Introduce participants to the concept and framework of SG linkages from a demand-side and a supply-side perspective.
Introduce participants to concepts on the digitizing of SGs concepts.
Understand the opportunities that SGs present for accelerating sales at the bottom-of-the-pyramid as last-mile-marketing structures for social enterprise companies including mobile money uptake.
Appreciate the role of financial technology service providers in enhancing financial inclusion.