Reaching Rural Communities with Innovative Financial Services
Over 70% of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa depends on agriculture for their livelihood. Yet, rural financial services are hard to come by. These families typically live in hard-to-reach places where accessing small loans or opening a savings account is a challenge. Many farmers have no financial resources to bounce back when their farms are threatened by poor weather conditions, natural disasters or contagions.
FINCA, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, is bringing responsible financial services closer to these farmers through its innovative, agent banking program.
Banking agents consist of local merchants and shopkeepers in areas where FINCA doesn’t have a presence to provide basic banking services to clients far from FINCA bank branches. The agents perform transactions through a POS machine. This portable device connects to bank accounts through the fingerprint recognition of customers.
Bertson Mkumba is a farmer benefiting from agent banking in Malawi. He lost many of his livestock when a contagion struck his farm. With a FINCA loan, however, Bertson recovered and built his small farm again.
“FINCA is a good bank for farmers,” Bertson said. “They come to us and reach our homes and families.”