2019 BAI Global Innovation Award Finalists
Innovation in Societal and Community Impact
Absa Group Limited (formerly Barclays Group Limited), in a tripartite partnership with fintech platform JUMO and MTN, a major mobile network operator in Africa, became the first commercial bank in Africa to champion mobile moneylending to underserved segments and small businesses. The offering was piloted in Zambia, where it is known as KONGOLA and provides financial access to millions. Through the partnership, Absa gained a mobile channel through which clients can be onboarded, credit scored and served a lending limit through a cost effective, convenient and easy-to-use medium..
In 2018, SpringFour collaborated with BMO Harris Bank, deploying SpringFour’s S4pro application in mortgage servicing, collections, and loss mitigation as well as the S4direct application on the BMO Harris consumer-facing website. BMO Harris customers now have access to local, vetted resource referrals assisting them on their path to financial wellness. SpringFour’s digital applications connect consumers to financial resources, tools, and products that are helping them save on average $250 per month, funds that can be used for other financial needs or put towards savings goals.
JUMO offers traditionally hard-to-reach customers a range of instant, affordable, high-quality borrowing choices via mobile phone. Its accessible financial services marketplace is interface-agnostic and uses the technology that has the widest adoption in each market. JUMO uses individual data to structure and fit products to suit a customer’s needs. Sophisticated data prediction and credit scoring methods allow JUMO to leapfrog prohibitive operational and risk costs. People who use the products are empowered to build businesses, make essential purchasing decisions, pay for emergencies and smooth over cash flow – opportunities that were previously unavailable due to the limitations posed by conventional financiers.
About 56% of Filipinos live in rural areas with limited access to the country’s financial ecosystem. Rural banks are cut off from the national payments systems and networks because of high barriers to entry, and the number of rural banks has dwindled from 1,400 in 1988 to 475 this year. This situation prompted UnionBank to utilize blockchain in helping rural banks and their customers in accessing the financial system. i2i, which stands for island-to-island, institution-to-institution and individual-to-individual, is a blockchain-based transaction and retail payment system built by UnionBank in partnership with ConsenSys. It aims to bring millions of unbanked Filipinos to the financial system by connecting rural and cooperative banks into the country’s main financial network, giving them access to transact with universal and commercial banks and access more products and services.