Emergent Payments Ghana
Technology service provider
ABOUT EMERGENT PAYMENTS
Emergent Payments is a global payments services provider in emerging markets. With operations in over 50 countries—across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East— Emergent Payments integrates hundreds of local payment methods around the world and provides digital merchants a diverse suite of products and services. This includes agency banking, mobile banking, social media payments, Interactive Voice Response (IVR)-enabled payments, custom-made applications, bulk SMS, point-of-sale (POS) devices, and Maximus.
Maximus is Emergent Payments’ solution for the informal sector in Ghana. It is a free-to-use mobile money-based savings group platform that interacts with all mobile money providers in the country. Maximus improves the efficiency of savings groups and provides access to a broad range of formal financial services. For financial services providers, Maximus expands the geographically viable market from physical branch locations to all mobile money wallets in Ghana and any of the 190,000 plus mobile money agents across the country.
HOW IT WORKS
Maximus is built on USSD (unstructured supplementary service data). The dominant channel for mobile money services with or without internet access, USSD makes it possible to reach the most excluded market segments. Maximus is user-friendly. The application is built around the existing processes of savings groups. Customers dial a short code, get access to a simple menu (e.g., savings, loan repayment, or check balance), and proceed with the transaction. Maximus is secure and adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
Maximus brings formal financial services to excluded populations in peri-urban and rural areas. It provides members access to a full suite of financial services, including other payments and savings products supported by Emergent Payments. The platform:
- Enables savings groups and their members to manage risk and, save and invest for short and long-term goals
- Reduces the cost and time of meetings
- Improves transparency
- Fosters inclusivity. Not all group members own a mobile device or have access to a mobile money service. Maximus allows members to perform transactions on behalf of a member who does not own a phone or a mobile money account.
Financial Service Providers
For financial service providers (FSPs), especially those with a limited capacity to manage emerging technology, Maximus reduces the technological barriers to reach new customers. Emergent Payments provides FSPs the technology and support needed to migrate and digitize existing and new savings groups onto Maximus. The platform helps FSPs to:
- Sustainably serve Savings Groups in rural and peri-urban communities
- Expand product and service offerings
- Reduce the cost of transactions
- Increase its customer base and deposits
- Increase profitability
Mobile enrollment application
Emergent plans to develop a mobile application that will allow agents to onboard new groups and members onsite.
Emergent is developing a portal called ”Marketplace” on the mobile applications, where groups can transact with each other. If a group needs funds, the group leader can submit a loan request on the portal. Another group, with excess liquidity for instance, can then accept the request. When the agreement is completed, the instruction is given to the FSP, which intermediates the transaction between the groups.
Integrated voice response and robocalls
Emergent has the capability to collect data and disseminate information to savings groups and their members through IVR (inbound calls) and robocalls (outbound calls), in a language they can easily understand. Emergent offers this service in diverse local languages such as Twi, Ga, Ewe, and Dagbani. A portal in Maximus will soon allow the FSP call center to send and receive calls from members.