A peek at investment in Beira, Mozambique
Letshego Financial Services Mozambique (“Banco Letshego”) has been awarded USD 1 million of grant funding for its unique LetsGo BlueBox agency banking model after winning in the MasterCard Foundation’s Rural Prosperity Fund (RPF) innovation competition.
The company is the Mozambique subsidiary of Letshego Holdings Limited (“Letshego”), the inclusive finance focused Group with microfinance banking and consumer lending subsidiaries across eleven countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The LetsGo BlueBox is a technology-driven agency banking model, provided “in a blue box” for ease of use and transport by third party agents appointed by Letshego Mozambique. Running off a rechargeable solar powered battery, the combination of tablet and SMART mobile phone loaded software allows for agents to biometrically authenticate customers for onboarding and account opening. Further, the agents using the LetsGo BlueBox will be able to provide customers with financial education on how to operate simple savings and transactional accounts via a mobile (USSD) platform. In this way it is intended that the LetsGo BlueBox will promote rural financial inclusion.
Chipiliro Katundu, CEO of Banco Letshego, the Mozambique subsidiary of Letshego, said: “Through our LetsGo BlueBox agency banking project, Banco Letshego is one of the few African winners of the USD 1 million MasterCard Foundation RPF innovation competition. We will use the funds to deliver life-improving benefits to local communities, as well as our employees, through ensuring that those who are financially under-served are given access to simple and appropriate financial solutions.”
Banco Letshego, with the support of the Letshego Group, is aligned to the Mozambican government’s mandate and vision for financial inclusion, in which it aims to provide 60% of its citizens with financial services by 2022, up from 20% today. According to recently published financial inclusion data by the government of Mozambique, 69% of the rural population and 43% of the urban population of Mozambique are excluded from formal financial services.
“Our vision is to become Africa’s leading inclusive finance Group and to make a difference in the communities in which we operate” said Chris Low, Group CEO, Letshego. This MasterCard funding will enable us to accelerate roll out of innovative offerings to the people of Mozambique as well as to minimise the barriers to financial access that they currently experience. Our team has a passion for driving inclusive finance and we aim to replicate the learnings and experiences that our Mozambique pilot will provide across the Letshego Group footprint.”
To ensure sustainability of the model after the fund has run its course, Letshego is engaging government agencies and several other organisations. Specific attention is being given to small-holding farmers as well as rural women’s groups represented by internationally recognised non-governmental organisations.
Letshego has consistently delivered unique customer-needs driven solutions that are simple, appropriate and accessible. This focus has contributed to making Banco Letshego the fourth most profitable financial institution in Mozambique in just 5 years since opening, as well as to positioning Letshego in the top 40 companies by market capitalisation across sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa).Source: News Ghana