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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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Delivering Formal Financial Services to Savings Groups and their Members

by on May 4, 2017  |  posted in Microfinance, Savings  |  0 Comments

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Delivering Formal Financial Services to Savings Groups and Their Members - the second webinar in this series - explored the supply of formal financial services to SGs, including the product development process, the strengths and weaknesses of current product offerings, and the business development strategy for financial service providers.

Don't forget to check out the new publication, Delivering Formal Financial Services to Savings Groups: A Handbook for Financial Service Providers and Request for Proposals to join the Peer Learning Group, Commercial Relationships between Savings Groups and Financial Service Providers.

Around 2006, the term bank linkages was coined to describe an emerging approach to facilitate the delivery of formal financial services to Savings Groups (SGs) and their members. SGs were considered by some practitioners as a platform towards formal financial inclusion, and various NGOs developed program models to broker relationships between SGs and financial service providers (FSPs), including banks, MFIs, cooperatives and mobile network operators (MNOs).

Over the last decade, there has been a proliferation of initiatives to expand access to formal financial services in underserved markets through SGs; multiple pathways to relationships between SGs and financial institutions have emerged; a more diverse product offering, and an emerging prioritization of savings products; and a rapid increase in the number of SGs engaging with formal financial institutions.

And by 2016, the State of Linkage Report? – the first global mapping of SG bank linkages – identified 95 FSPs offering financial services to SGs across 27 countries. The increasing interest in SG bank linkages is explained by both demand and supply. Increasingly, groups want a safe place to store long-term savings and excess liquidity, especially when large sums accumulate towards the end of saving cycles; and new business models, partnerships and alternative delivery channels are improving the viability of delivering formal financial services to SGs.

This webinar was hosted as part of the series, The Market for Commercial Relationships Between Savings Groups and Financial Service Providers.


Ross Nathan, CEO, Vision Fund Rwanda

Ross NathanAn accomplished Senior Executive and professional in Financial Inclusion, Social Development & Poverty reduction sector, Ross has over 19 years of hands-on experience in Development Finance with proven competencies in Microfinance, Banking, Project Management, Responsible Finance, Small holder Agriculture Finance, Client protection, Digital Finance, Savings Groups linkages, Training & Mentoring, Capacity Building. He has developed polices, procedure manuals and business strategies for five countries, lobbied widely for the development sector, and has significant experience in knowledge dissemination. Ross has served in various Executive and Technical Advisor /consultant capacities, including 13 years in Sub Saharan African countries (Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda & India.)

Hermann Messan, MicroLead Program Specialist, United Nations Capital Development Fund

Hermann MessanHermann joined the MicroLead programme of UNCDF in 2013 currently overseeing a portfolio of grantees in west and central Africa countries. Before joining UNCDF, Hermann worked as Marketing and Savings TA manager with Accion. Prior to that he worked in different capacities with MicroSave and CARE in the areas of marketing, financial services design, deposit mobilisation and microfinance programs management. Hermann has deep technical expertise in the areas of inclusive finance policies and financial sector assessment, financial institutions management especially savings related issues such as savings groups linkage.


Maude Massu, Independent Consultant, IDO

Maude MassuMaude Massu is an international development and inclusive finance specialist. She is currently working as a consultant as well as advising IDO - an NGO that helps rural communities in Congo and Chad build sustainable drinking water access - on the development of their financial inclusion strategy. From 2009 to 2015, she has worked for CARE International UK as a Senior Microfinance Advisor leading the financial inclusion strategy implementation, providing technical support and supervising the monitoring and evaluation of various VSLA (Village Savings and Loan Associations) projects. Previously she worked for the French NGO CIDR (International Centre for Development and Research), where she was in charge of East and West African portfolios, working with local MFIs to develop innovating savings-led approaches for smallholder farmers. Early in her career, Maude worked with NGOs and MFIs in Peru and Madagascar developing financial inclusion strategies for the most vulnerable.

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