At Musoni we aim to promote the successes of the many fantastic MFIs across Africa using the Musoni System, and today we focus on Neema HEEP, our longest standing partner. Neema HEEP (Health, Education & Empowerment Program) started its operations as a Kenyan NGO in October 2010 with the goal of reducing poverty and empowering low-income Kenyans (you can see a few of the businesses they support in the photos below). Alongside microfinance, the company also support their community through health and education programmes, distributing mosquito nets to low-income households and providing secondary school scholarships to orphans in Embu County. To manage their microfinance operations, in July 2013 Neema HEEP started using the Musoni System. Since then, the organisation has grown to serve more than 3,800 clients across Embu, Meru, Kirinyaga, Tharaka and Nithi Counties.
Explaining the impact that the Musoni System had on Neema HEEP’s operations, Pattedy Nyagah, Neema HEEP’s CEO, said “working with Musoni has enabled us to reach clients in far flung areas who otherwise would not receive financial services, in addition to minimising risk and saving time for group members.”
One of the ways in which they’ve been able to do this is by taking advantage of Musoni’s integration with M-PESA, which makes it easy for clients to send and receive funds over their mobile phones and for these repayments to be automatically processed in the Musoni System. For Neema HEEP, reducing cash payments has reduced the amount of back office manual work, which in turn has improved efficiency and minimised the risk of data entry errors. Clients have benefited from the flexibility of being able to pay from anywhere, at anytime, and of course from the additional security that not having to carry cash to group meetings brings.
Neema HEEP started promoting mobile payments to their clients in January 2015, and already over 40% of all repayments made each month are made over M-PESA (see graph below).
Lawrence Kiura, Neema HEEP’s COO, believes that this rapid adoption can be explained by the fact that prior to launching mobile payments across all of their groups, Neema HEEP first conducted a two-month pilot with nine carefully selected groups in order to better understand the impact mobile money would have. At the end of the pilot the company made some small changes based on client feedback, and then rolled-out mobile money to the rest of their groups. Lawrence added that “people embrace change differently and so we have been careful to allow clients to switch to mobile money at their own pace. At the same time we have sustained our campaign explaining the benefits of using M-PESA to the clients and are very pleased with the successes so far. With almost half of all our repayments coming in over mobile money, we now have a good foundation to build upon and grow the business further.”
Over the next 12 months, Neema HEEP will continue to use technology to improve their efficiency and extend their outreach into underserved communities, in particular adopting the Musoni SMS module to send automatic payment reminders to clients. In doing so, they expect to double their client numbers to over 6,000. Cameron Goldie-Scot, Musoni’s CEO said “Neema HEEP are a perfect example of an MFI who have embraced technology and in doing so improved the efficiency of their operations. Its been an absolute privilege to support their growth, and indeed to get to know Pattedy, Lawrence and the rest of the team. I’m excited about the potential or our continued partnership over the coming years.”
Learn more about Neema HEEP on their website.