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Harnessing the power of digital banking to increase delivery of financial services for the unbanked "over 50's" at the Bottom of the pyramid

In my role I am doing programming and providing directive through team collaboration and Networking to a team of software developers.

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Eco-Pay; is a social enterprise that strives to create disruptive digital solutions to make financial services easily accessible to unbanked and under-served pensioners at the bottom of the pyramid Uganda. The social enterprise is building digital finance solutions to address the exclusions of Uganda's poor {Pensioners} from financial services.Our Vision is To become Africa's leading provider of disruptive digital solutions . We believe that access to financial services is a human right. We are therefore fostering financial inclusion for undeserved communities in Africa through market driving digital solutions.


In Uganda, over 20 million people live on less than USD 2.00 per day (World Bank). Many live in rural areas with little or no access to formal financial services, and only 20% of adults {over 50's} are served by formal banks (FinScope, 2016). Savings and Credit Co-operatives) could offer vital financial services to the remaining 80%. However, due to high default rates and transaction costs MFIs charge annual interest rates of over 60%. indivudal pensioners, smallholder farmers, Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) cannot afford that. As a result local economies and job creation stagnate.

In other sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries the numbers are similar. 75% of the adult population in SSA have no access to finance. According to the World Bank, already today this equals more than 400,000,000 people who are excluded from the financial sector. As in Uganda, the main problems are the inefficient, paper-based processes which lead to non-transparency and high transaction costs. Therefore it is impossible to share credit information within the sector. Even the regulated banking-sector is lagging behind when it comes to coverage of population by credit bureaus. The International Finance Corporation reports only 5.8% of the adult population in SSA is covered by public and private credit bureaus.

Overall, the present situation results in limited access to finance for the bottom-of-pyramid population, in particular poor individuals {Pensioners}, smallholder farmers, pensioners and MSMEs.


 Our solution;called the Mobile Banking and Information System {MoBis}- is a low cost “ service-as-a-service” delivery system embedded with Unstructured supplementary service Data {USSD}, SMS and mobile money services which enables pensioners {farmers} to connect with their Savings and Credit Cooperatives {SACCO} and access affordable financial services via mobile phone.The solution enables informal financial institutions popularly known as Savings and Credit Cooperatives {SACCOs} to link and partner with Micro-finance institutions (MFI) while making it possible for Savings and Credit Cooperatives {SACCO} to remotely provide much-needed financial services to the unbanked rural pensioners {farmers} at the bottom of the pyramid— All on a single platform. Our product called the "Mobile Banking and Information Software {MoBis}" — creates a win-win scenario by putting the Service in Software-as-a-Services with customized features and functionalities tailored to fit the needs of informal financial institutions {SACCO’s} and rural pensioner {farmers} in Uganda. 


{1}For the Pensioners; 

The Mobile Banking and Information system  {MoBis} provides pensioners with a cheap and convenient means to track and manage their daily transactions and get credit scoring reports through text messages {SMS} , as well allowing them to borrow and save more with their informal institutions{SACCO's}. Individual pensioners get a USSD menu on their mobile phones with options such as ‘ask for loan’, withdraw savings, deposit savings, and get min statement, For example; Jane {Not real name} to access financial services from her savings group, Jane simply dials USSD code *188# onto her basic mobile phone upon which will display results on her Menu enabling her to complete her transactions using the following prompts :-{1} Select language preference:{ 2} Enter SACCO account number {3} Deposit savings, {4} withdraw savings {5} Track savings; {6} Request a loan {7} Repay that loan; {8} view a mini-statement and {9} Receive credit scoring report through text messages.- The process is very simple and all done on her mobile phone the end result for pensioners {farmers}, is a simpler, safer, more control over own savings and credit. 

{2}; For the informal institutions {SACCOs}; 

The Mobile Banking and Information system {MoBis} enables SACCO's to link directly with Micro finance institutions and allow them to efficiently deliver affordable and tailored financial services to suite the demands of pensioners {farmers} for example; SACCOs acquire a core banking software that enables them to digitize the entire process from reporting to entering their members {Pensioners} bio data, loan disbursement, approval and all other features. MoBis  provides informal institutions {SACCO} with better means to manage their information effectively therefore accelerating them to grow and reach a bigger customer base, build trust among members, and promote transparency and accountability. 



  • Eco-Pay's solution gives pensioner access to microfinance.
  • The availability of individual pensioners credit information can significantly lower interest rates.
  • Availability of individual credit information protects borrowers {Pensioners} from over-indebtedness.
  • Borrowers {Pensioners} can expand their businesses and hire more staff due to higher financial capabilities.

2: Lenders {SACCOS/MFI}

  • Eco-Pay's solution offers “out-of-the-box” credit and risk management completely mobile and digital and therefore much more efficient. Our software is very user friendly so that credit agents save much time and error rates drop significantly.
  • Lenders are able to access individual credit information of borrowers (even about loans from other lenders) to effectively manage their business processes and portfolio risks which results in lower default rates and write offs. Overall, higher efficiency and lower default rates result in higher returns on capital employed.
  • Due to higher transparency and efficiency lenders become more attractive for donors. Additionally, the total cost of ownership for Eco-Pay's  solution is very affordable and the licensing model is very flexible.

3:Loan Officers {SACCO staffs/Managers}

  • No more paperwork and massive reduction of back office work.
  • Our software is very user friendly so that credit agents save much time and error rates drop significantly. No additional replication of data captured on questionnaires required.
  • Multiple customer visits for the same loan can be avoided.

4: Government/Regulators:

  • Financial inclusion is supported
  • The efficiency of economic development programs can be evaluated in detail and the 360° view on consumers/borrowers prevents risk shift from formal to informal sector.
  • More transparency in the informal sector and alignment of business processes between formal and informal financial sector.

5: Donors

  • Measurement of donor funded activities/projects is possible in great detail.
  • Even sustainable asset managers can become donors due to very detailed credit risk prediction, -measurement and mitigation for regions and single MFIs / SACCOs.
  • Improved access to finance for the poor and job creation in the MSME sector lead to poverty reduction and better chances for a self-determined life for many.

Additional advantage of our solution

Using the platform not only involve digitizing and systematizing SACCO’s operations, but it will also train their employees to gain knowledge and skills in the software use, financial literacy, as well migrate all of their data onto a single platform, and allow for web services even in rural areas with poor telecom infrastructure. This will empower non-local managers or SACCO officials to monitor the institution transactions and help them {SACCOs} to build operational efficiency, cut costs enhance transparency and improve their reach to the un-banked and  undeserved communities at the bottom of the pyramid in Africa.

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