Senegalese fintech startup MaTontine aims to automate the traditional Savings Groups found throughout Africa and build a software platform that enables it to work with a range of partners to provide access to financial services for the financially excluded.
Lakheni, a Cape Town-based company, aggregates low-income households into buying groups. Each group is managed by a member of the community, who is incentivized to grow the group’s membership through a commission on sales. Lakheni’s team packages orders for each customer and delivers them to the groups.
Savings Groups have been promoted by the Episcopal Church in Cuba since 2013, within its Integral Development Programme, challenging individuals and communities to consider their context, their needs and how they can bring about change.
The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia is a network that provides housing finance to its members living in Windhoek’s Havana and Okuryangava settlements, and to residents of Berseba and Ojtinene. The federation is supported by the Namibia Housing Action Group, and Savings Groups in the region have invested about N$8 million in the federation thus far.
An inter-agency livelihood assessment targeting refugees and host communities in IMVEPI and Rhino camp settlements identifies Savings Groups as the most available and preferred lenders of money at 32%, followed by friends and relatives. Commercial banks and MFIs were least accessible to communities with only 1% of the respondents benefiting from their loans.