Grameen Foundation USA
Non-governmental organization (NGO), technology service provider
LedgerLink is an Android-based digital savings group platform that enables groups to digitally record their meeting information as well as savings, loan, and social fund transactions via a group smartphone, and automates loan repayment and share-out calculations. LedgerLink was developed by Grameen Foundation USA, a global leader in digital financial services, digital agriculture, and women’s economic empowerment. Through the application, data on group performance, savings, and loans are stored on the cloud and readily available to non-governmental organization (NGO) program staff, financial institutions, and any other stakeholders of the group’s choosing for remote monitoring.
Developed in 2012 through a human-centered design process, LedgerLink was piloted and refined with Barclays Bank Uganda. Grameen is now using LedgerLink to link refugee savings groups to formal credit in four refugee settlements in two regions of Uganda.
LedgerLink offers the following benefits for savings groups:
- Improves the ease and accuracy of group recordkeeping and reduces group conflict by automatically calculating loan payment and share-out transactions.
- Establishes alternative credit history for groups without formal credit histories, enabling them to link to formal financial institutions for loans.
- Reduces time and monetary costs associated with group monitoring for NGO staff and allows NGOs to immediately identify groups experiencing challenges and offer targeted technical support.
- Currently available in three local languages as well as English, LedgerLink utilizes a video-based training curriculum directly integrated into the app and designed to provide appropriate technical support to low-literacy populations. It also has a Practice Mode to ensure users can continue to learn to use the application at their convenience and without the time and money costs associated with refresher trainings.
SERVICES TO NGOs AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Specifically, Grameen offers the following services to NGOs and financial institutions:
- Digitizing savings groups’ records and making these records available on the cloud to NGOs and financial institutions via an online dashboard. This provides the organization visibility into the groups, their overall performance, and technical support needs.
- Linking groups to formal credit by leveraging information collected by LedgerLink to generate an alternative credit score for the groups. The Credit Scorecard is customizable based on the needs and credit assessment approaches of the financial institution.
- Providing targeted financial education and digital financial literacy training (LedgerLink use and troubleshooting, Financial Linkages, and Digital Financial Literacy).
In the next three years, Grameen plans to complete technology upgrades for enhanced functionalities, translate LedgerLink to additional languages, expand to additional refugee settlements in Uganda, and reach at least one additional country.