MOBIS for Savings Groups
Established in 2014, Ensibuuko is a women-focused fintech company based in Uganda. The organization offers a software-as-a-service, microfinance platform for Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) and MOBIS for Savings Groups, which is a digital ledger solution for Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs).
Ensibuuko has established a broad ecosystem of services, including integration to mobile money systems, payment platforms, and financial institutions, enabling end users to activate accounts and access formal financial services, and agents to manage e- money and physical floats to process cash-in and cash-out operations. As of the end of 2021, Ensibuuko served over 250,000 customers through 120 SACCOs and 5,000 VSLAs, across 30 districts in Uganda. The company is a member of the Financial Technologies Service Providers Association (FITSPA) and the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Uganda (AMFIU).
ABOUT MOBIS FOR SAVING GROUPS
MOBIS for Savings Groups is a digital ledger solution for VSLAs, digitizing records and transactions, automating processes and reporting, and enabling access to digital payments. MOBIS for Saving Groups includes three key components:
- MOBIS App – an android-based smartphone app as an alternative for paper manual records for saving groups
- Web platform – a web-based data management and reporting platform that aggregates all groups’ data from the application into a simple, analytical dashboard for reporting
- USSD (unstructured supplementary service data) code – a protocol that enables savings group members to deposit, withdraw, and check savings balances via mobile money system.
HOW IT WORKS
The MOBIS for Savings Groups application requires one shared smartphone per group. Through the USSD member portal, members can make savings deposits, withdraw funds, request a loan, and verify savings and loan balances using a basic feature phone. The key features of the platform include:
- Member management – member registration, member profiles, meeting attendance
- Savings – member savings account, account configuration, digital savings deposits, and tracking
- Credit – member loan account, account configuration, digital loan application process, loan repayment, and tracking of outstanding loans and payments
- Welfare management – contributions to group welfare fund, tracking of contributions, and management of welfare payments
- Digital cash box – group mobile money wallet replacing a physical cash box and allowing the group to earn interest on savings balance
- SMS notification – members receive SMS notification of transactions
- USSD member portal – members can make savings deposits, withdraw funds, request a loan, and verify savings and loan balances using a basic feature phone
- Marketplace – access to digital services
- E-learning – VSLA training materials and continued learning in audio, video, and visual formats in multiple languages.
Ensibuuko has completed 360 integrations with financial institutions and mobile network operators. This enables savings groups to access a broad range of formal financial services, without ever stepping into a physical banking outlet.
DIGITAL COMMUNITY ENTREPRENEURS
Ensibuuko works through a network of over 300 Digital Community Entrepreneurs (DCEs). DCEs are young, entrepreneurial farmers who promote the uptake of Ensibuuko and improve digital literacy in their communities. They perform services such as member enrolment and account activation, and sell products such as phones, airtime, data top-ups as well as mobile money services in their communities, on which they earn a commission. In addition, the DCEs serve as role models or peer educators tasked with training and supporting farmers in the use of new digital solutions. By driving the uptake of digital financial services and improved digital literacy, the model contributes to increased farm productivity for VSLA members, improved farm management, access to energy, improved access to markets, and consequently increased incomes for rural farmers.