IFC / MasterCard Foundation –Scaling Microfinance in Africa - AccessBank Tanzania

2012-06-30 - 2015-11-30

AccessBank Tanzania (ABT) was founded in 08/2007 by AccessHolding, IFC, KfW, AfDB and BIO. ABT has visibly shaken up Tanzania’s banking sector by introducing simple, transparent and low-cost banking products and services. With a minimum opening balance of TZS 1,000 (EUR 0.5) for a savings account we have reduced the entrance barrier to the banking sector substantially and many other banks have since copied this approach. ABT intends to scale up and diversify its operations to reach unserved clients especially in semirural and rural areas. The expansion strategy is based on three separate but interlinked projects: i) geographical expansion into rural areas; ii) new product development in terms of agro lending; and iii) channel diversification in terms of mobile banking. The objective is to reach about 130,000 new customers over a 3-year period. In this view, ABT will leverage on its branch network to open four additional branches in semi-rural and rural areas, introduce a loan product tailored for farmers and launch mobile banking. The agro-loan product will be designed for individual businesses and will be based on cash flow analysis of the past and future crop plan and calendar declared by the client with a flexible repayment schedule. The new mobile banking services will be based on a seamless mobile account linked with the customer bank accounts allowing direct access to all mobile banking services plus airtime recharge and selected payment. Technically, the connection will be established by interfacing the ABT’s banking software with the integrator SELCOM who in turn connects to the four largest telecom operators and the single biggest portfolio for billers for utilities and prepaid airtime. Thus complete interoperability can be offered to the client.
Long term experts: Regional Manager will set up the Regional Office in Mwanza, coordinate branch openings and supervise the portfolio development upcountry. Project Manager Agro Loans is responsible for developing the product, setting up the structures and processes during the first 12 months (inclusive of pilot phase) before handover to local staff and parallel roll out. Project Manager Mobile Banking is responsible for developing the business model, setting up the technical infrastructure in cooperation with the external partners, introducing the necessary bank-internal processes and procedures, training the staff and coaching one local staff on the position of mobile banking coordinator. Short term experts: Agricultural Finance specialist is responsible for evaluating the implementation of the agricultural loan product. Mobile banking specialist is responsible for conducting a project review and product review and for evaluating the development and pilot phase of mobile banking. IT Software development expert is responsible to integrate the IT/MIS system of ABT with the SELCOM software through an ISO bridge and develop the interface.