Savings Groups’ Linkages Toolkit
This toolkit offers practical guidance to financial service providers (FSP) which are already providing or intend to provide formal financial services, including digital financial services (DFS), to savings groups. Insights and lessons offered in this toolkit are based on the experiences of six FSPs, which are UNCDF’s MicroLead partners in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania. The toolkit is organized into five chapters: 1) Introduction; 2) Business opportunities and savings groups’ linkages models; 3) DFSs; 4) Business case parameters and analysis; and 5) A step-by-step guide for FSPs. The toolkit explores various technological solutions deployed to link FSPs and savings groups; offers the value proposition of using digital technologies to enable savings groups’ linkages; and presents key considerations for services that may be digitized, such as customer onboarding, group transaction records, financial transactions, account information, and consumer empowerment. The toolkit emphasizes that FSPs need to adjust their business models, operational processes, and products and services to become more accessible and convenient to savings groups members, the majority of whom are women and low-income earners living in rural or peri-urban areas.
FSP directors, managers, and financial officers will find this toolkit helpful. Savings group-facilitating non-governmental organizations, FinTechs, governments, and donors can also benefit from this toolkit to understand the factors that FSP should consider as they build their savings groups’ linkages.