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‘Microfinance institutions must tap technology to grow’

BY: Daily Graphic
•Mrs Harriet Yartey

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have been urged to make the most of the opportunity that technology has created in the financial ecosystem to grow their businesses.

A director at CWG Ghana, a technology development company, Mr James Agada, said MFIs could utilise the benefits of technology to grow their businesses at a much lower cost, which would go a long way to extend their reach in the country’s financial ecosystem.

At a meeting of the Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN), the umbrella body of MFI associations in Ghana, Mr Agada stated: “MFIs in the ecosystem can increase their profitability and competitive advantage by acquiring the right technology.”

In his presentation on the topic “Joining the Financial Ecosystem: An MFI Imperative,” Mr Agada noted that incorporating the right partnerships and technology platform that would keep their channels and processing costs lower than the bigger banks would result in business efficiency for the industry.

According to him, the financial ecosystem was a community of financial service providers in conjunction with the components of their environment which comprise customers, merchants and firms interacting as a system. 

He reaffirmed that CWG Ghana had developed a platform that would enable MFIs to optimise their proficiency – the platform takes away the burden of acquiring and maintaining technology infrastructure that these MFIs cannot afford at their present level, while making it available for them on a subscription basis and lower rates.

The Country Manager of CWG Ghana, Ms Harriet Yartey, said the role of MFIs in the country could not be overemphasised, and thus her delight to make available such a platform that could enable the industry to enjoy the full benefit of technology infrastructure at an affordable price. 

Mrs Yartey added that focus was required for business growth, hence the provision of this platform to enable the MFIs focus on their core business while CWG Ghana provides and supports the technology that ensures growth in their business.

CWG Plc, the parent company of CWG Ghana, in partnership with MTN Nigeria, launched the same platform – christened MTNXaas for MFIs in Nigeria in 2012, which it has extended to Ghana and Uganda.