One of the most promising areas of innovation related to Savings Groups is the emergence of applications that digitize group procedures, transactions and records – collectively referred to as “Digital Savings Groups.”
Digital Savings Groups automate procedures, increasinggroups transparency and efficiency.The integration of electronic payments, digital records and a centralized credit scorecan serve as a runway for bank linkages – andexpand access to markets and non-financial services. Decreased training and supervision requirementsalso increase the viability of low-cost group mobilization by market actors aswell as the potential to scale up Savings Groups.
Despite the potential of Digital Savings Groups to increase the scale, impact and sustainability of the sector, current offerings are not easily accessible to potential users; the ability of technology service providers to reach potential users is limited; and a lack of understanding of the potential benefits, requirements and risks associated with specific technologies restricts their effective adoption.
This webinar will introduce participants to key concepts related to Digital Savings Groups, provide a market overview of current offerings, and explore three Digital Savings Group solutions: Chomoka (CARE International), Maximus (Emergent Payments Ghana) and SAVE (Exuus).
David Panetta, Program Director, Savings Groups, The SEEP Network
David Panetta is Program Director, Financial Inclusion through Savings Groups, at the SEEP Network, and leads the network’s initiatives to improve standards of practice, mobilize knowledge, create opportunities for learning, and strengthen partnerships and alliances among entities that promote or engage with Savings Groups. David led the development of Savings Group programs in 19 countries, reaching approximately one million members – working with the Aga Khan Foundation, DFID, Plan International, Mercy Corps, VSL Associates, World Vision and over one hundred local NGOs. He has a Master’s in Economics from McGill University and is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Karen Vandergaag, Financial Inclusion Analyst, CARE International
Karen is the Product Manager for Chomoka, a fintech currently incubated within CARE USA. Chomoka supports Savings Groups to strengthen their recordkeeping while building a digital identity to drive financial inclusion. Since 2016, Karen has focused on analyzing and supporting the collection of CARE’s data on financial inclusion and Savings Groups to support decision making across the organization. She has worked with Chomoka since its inception, leading the human-centered design process for the initial prototypes, and now managing the liaison between user needs and technical requirements. Prior to this role, Karen worked in the financial services sector in Canada.
Saqib Nazir is a fintech entrepreneur with extensive experience in developing and implementing solutions focused on making technology locally relevant and using it to solve everyday problems. He is currently Managing Director for Africa at Emergent Payments, which recently acquired his company, Interpay, a payment processor seeking to enable digital financial services across emerging markets with a focus on the three pillars of the new digital economy: e-commerce, financial inclusion and interoperability. As a payment facilitator for large-scale digital merchants expanding into emerging markets, the Interpay Africa acquisition marks the launch of EmTech’s Africa 20-20-20 strategy, expanding Emergent Payments’ services into 20 African countries by 2020.
Saqib has a Bachelors in Computer Science from the University of Ghana, Legon and a Masters in Information Systems Engineering from the University of Manchester, UK.
Shema Steve, Chief Executive Officer, Exuus
As the CEO of Exuus Ltd, Shema coordinated the first ever countrywide survey of Saving Groups in Rwanda, in partnership with Rwanda’s central bank (BNR), the Ministry of Finance and Access to Finance Rwanda. The survey was carried out annually between 2014 and 2018 and brought together more than 30 NGOs working with Saving Groups and stakeholders from the broader financial market. The findings of the survey informed the creation of SAVE, a digital platform for Saving Groups based on a digital and decentralized ledger and electronic payments.
After a successful pilot with World Vision and CARE International, Shema is currently focused on scaling up SAVE in Rwanda and beyond with a target to reach one million Savings Groups across sub-Saharan Africa by 2023.
This webinar is hosted by The SEEP Network in partnership with FSD Africa.