African start-ups opt for cloud based core banking platform
Three African financial services start-ups have signed to use a cloud-based core banking platform from Berlin-based Mambu.
In Nigeria, One Credit aims to provide better access to consumer credit for the unbanked, by offering simple cash loans to individuals and partnering with retailers to provide point of sale financing for consumer goods and household appliances.
“Nigeria is the seventh most populous country in the world, yet it remains largely ‘unbanked’ with nearly 80% of the adult population having no access to basic banking services,” said Chijioke Dozie, chief executive of One Credit. “One Credit’s mission is to provide short-term and affordable consumer credit to these individuals and Mambu is helping us to do that, quickly and cost-effectively, by providing a scalable platform that allows us the flexibility we need to service this significant and growing client base.”
In Kenya, new financial services provider Premier Kenya offers individual loans and group lending, and plans to progress to small business lending. Premier Kenya went live on the Mambu platform in January and is already servicing 1,800 customers. The company plans to open operations in Uganda by mid-2014.
“As a new financial services business, we needed technology that would be quick to deploy, easy to implement and scale with us as our business grows,” said Tim Carson, chief executive of Premier Kenya. “Mambu provided the perfect solution and we were able to get up and running in less than two weeks, which has been a key factor in helping grow our business rapidly since launch.”
In Angola, Mão Solidária Microfinança is a new microfinance organisation that aims to give individuals, groups and SMEs access to loans. Mão Solidária Microfinança is Mambu’s first customer in Angola. The company secured its microfinance banking licence in April 2014 and will launch on the Mambu platform in May 2014. Its focus is on serving women in remote rural areas, many of whom are currently excluded both financially and socially.
“The challenge of servicing the underbanked is particularly acute across Africa, where physical distance makes the ‘bricks and mortar’ approach of traditional banking just too expensive,” said Eugene Danilkis, co-founder and chief executive of Mambu. “New financial innovators, such as One Credit, Premier Kenya and Mão Solidária Microfinança, are turning to cloud technology to deliver previously unavailable financial services, and are seeing rapid growth as a result. Together with our clients, Mambu has helped extend access to basic financial services to more than half a million individuals and businesses in more than 30 countries worldwide.”
Mambu has previously been active in other areas of the developing world. In South America, loan company Kueski is supported by Mambu, which provides the technology and computing power for its services. Mambu supplies the customer relationship management platform, accounting and systems integration. The firm keeps its data onto Mambu’s cloud platform; it has also helped Kueski connect its payment gateways with banks.
Mambu has 10 customers in Mexico, the majority of which are mobile phone companies rather than deposit-taking institutions. “Mexico is seeing a professionalisation of the lending segment,” says Eugene Danilkis, chief executive and cofounder at Mambu. “The country has good internet coverage, but poor physical distribution. We wanted to build a cloud-based banking platform that would help banks and other financial services firms to leapfrog the physical stage.”