Continuing our series of blog posts celebrating the success of organizations using the Musoni System, our focus this time is on Inclusive Financial Services (IFS) in Zimbabwe, who have been using Musoni since 2014 to provide “inclusive” (as their name implies) financial products.
Founded in 2012 as a financial organization focusing on micro lending, IFS seeks to provide innovative and diversified financial services to financially excluded individuals and businesses in Zimbabwe. This includes agriculture financing, solar power financing, small scale mining financing, low cost housing finance, “same-day-approval” consumer loans, insurance and advisory services. Through a range of uniquely designed products, IFS is able to address the needs of the under-served population in-line with their mission to improve the livelihood of their clients both economically and socially.
Asides from the core microfinance activities, as a firm commitment to their mission of improving lives, IFS also support a number of children’s homes in Bulawayo (Emthunzin Wethemba and the Sandra Jones childrens’ home). As a result of their socially driven model, IFS was recognized in the 2014 Megafest Business Awards where they received awards for the Most Outstanding Organization of the year and Business Excellence. More so, on the 29th of May 2015, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC Matabeleland) awarded Gerald Zhou, the Managing Director of IFS, the Business Man of the Year Award. Gerald Zhou received the award as a testimony of his business acumen and business excellence which has become synonymous with the IFS brand.
We’ve experienced significant improvements in our operations and data quality due to the flexibility of the Musoni system and an amazing support team. The support team responds quickly, helping us to organize our work and making using the system a pleasure.Gerald Zhou, CEO
To manage their microfinance operations, IFS switched to Musoni in September 2014. Prior to that, IFS faced numerous challenges emanating from rigid software and limited support from the software provider. IFS recognized that working with Musoni would improve the efficiency of their operations, data quality and lay the foundations for their future expansion plans in Zimbabwe. Since then, the organization has expanded by more than 100% and now serves approximately 3,800 borrowers through 9 branches in Zimbabwe namely; Royal Arcade branch, Parkade Centre branch, Sharon’s Haven Mall Branch (in the Bulawayo Province), Masvingo Branch, Mutare branch, Zvishavane branch (in the Manicaland province), Kwekwe branch, Gwanda branch (in Matabeleland North) and Hwange branch (in Matebeleland South).
To further increase their outreach, IFS is planning to start using the Musoni Tablet App, enabling loan officers to travel into rural areas (with limited or no connectivity) to easily carry out key tasks while in the field, reducing the amount of paper work, and increasing the speed of processing loan applications. In addition, IFS has taken advantage of Musoni’s integration with Ecocash in Zimbabwe, enabling their customers to make loan repayments via mobile money transfer (MMT). This has resulted to a significant increase in the processing speed of payment transactions as users are able to process large numbers of transactions at once.
Gerald Zhou, CEO at IFS said “Users quickly adapted to the new system and this has greatly increased efficiency in terms of data entry and data quality. The fast nature in which the Musoni System does its processing has proved to be an advantage to the organization as transactions are posted in real time, helping us to provide excellent services to our clients.”
Cameron Goldie-Scot, the CEO of Musoni added, “Both IFS and Musoni share a common goal of using innovative technology to promote financial access in rural communities. Musoni will continue to support IFS by offering a robust platform which improves their efficiency and guarantees the quality of their data. We look forward to working with them for many years to come.”