AccèsBanque Mobile/Branchless Banking Feasibility Study

2011-11-30 - 2012-01-31

AccèsBanque is the first MFI with banking license in Madagascar. Its shareholders are AccessHolding, IFC, KfW, the Triodos-Doen Foundation and BFV-Société Générale. AccèsBanque first developed its activities in urban and semi-urban areas (Antananarivo and Antsirabe) and is now expanding its branch network into the rural areas of Madagascar. In October 2010 AccèsBanque started agricultural lending, and is currently extending loans in 4 branches (semi-urban: Antsirabe, rural: Mahitsy, Betafo and Imertsiatoska) with 14 Loan Officers. With 80% of the Malagasy population living in non-urban/remote areas of the island and existing bad infrastructure conditions in Madagascar the existing branch network is not enough to provide for convenient banking both for the existing and potential client base. Therefore, the access to financial services for the majority of the Malagasy population still remains a challenge. The high investment costs for opening a traditional branch in areas remote from urban infrastructure and the limited business such a branch could attract present a challenge for financial sustainability. A Mobile/Branchless Banking Solution is perceived as a sustainable and secure channel for access to financial services. It could enable the Bank (i) to extend its outreach by providing banking services to the unbanked population of areas so far not covered by traditional banking, and (ii) to add new service delivery channels for the existing client base and underbanked clients in areas already covered by traditional banking. In a prefeasibility study that was carried out in March 2011 LFS assessed three options: (i) co-operation with a mobile network operator, (ii) deployment of automatic teller machines (ATMs), (iii) deploying a network of point of sale (POS) terminals in co-operation with one or several retail companies. The feasibility study (i) reconsiders these three alternatives, (ii) will give a recommendation for the most adequate Mobile/Branchless Banking Solution, and (iii) will develop an implementation proposal for the recommended solution. The ‘value’ of the proposed solution is perceived not only in offering an additional channel for banking services to the existing and potential client base at one point in time, but also in (i) the possibilities and options for its integration into the core banking system, (ii) its possibilities for upgrading to offer a broader range of banking products, and (iii) the possibilities for integrating several different Mobile/Branchless Banking Solutions later on.
Assessment of the available Mobile/Branchless Banking Solutions: (i) co-operation with a mobile network operator, (ii) ATMs, and (iii) deployment of POS terminals in retail companies; In parallel, analysis of the regulatory framework for Mobile/Branchless Banking and its implications for the three solutions; For each Mobile/Branchless Banking Solution where co-operation with a local partner company is necessary assessment of potential partner companies and recommendations for the selection of the partner company(ies); Analysis of the technical implementation and setting up requirements, and Mobile/Branchless Banking product definition, clarifying the collaboration and the sharing of the development costs with the partner company(ies); Investigation of all clearing options, and recommendation for a clearing option to be adopted; Estimations for technical testing and its analysis.