19 February 2018

Our partner ADA is taking action with the “Digital Finance Initiative” (or DFI) which aims to facilitate and co-finance the implementation of digital solutions by microfinance institutions in 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Covering a period of 5 years, from 2017 to 2021, this ambitious project will provide fast, cheap and secure access to banking services.

3-step support

1st step: initial workshop to identify priorities
The DFI workshop brings together senior MFI executives for a week. It aims to give them a complete vision of the different challenges, opportunities and constraints represented by new technologies. It gives them the keys to analyze all the possible scenarios for integrating digital into their strategy and to assess the expected impacts in technical, but also operational, financial and regulatory terms. The goal is for the participants to come out of the workshop with clear ideas on the digital strategy they wish to adopt.

2nd stage: pre-project phase: definition of a digital project
MFIs who wish to continue the adventure first validate their new project by their governance. Then, supported by the ADA manager in charge of the “Digital Finance Initiative” project and local consultants, they can launch their action plan. This plan provides for the establishment of specifications, the publication of calls for tenders and the selection of technical service providers, the establishment of a schedule and finally the drafting of a co-financing file which will be submitted to a selection committee, composed of members of the Board of Directors of ADA, Deloitte Digital, POST Luxembourg and LuxFLAG. The file, if approved, is co-financed by ADA (and possibly other donors) up to 70% of the investment costs, up to a limit of € 100,000.

3rd stage: pilot phase: implementation of the digital project
After acceptance of the file by the Committee, the implementation of the project can start with a pilot on the scale of one or two agencies. At this stage, ADA offers the MFI financial support, as well as support in all areas impacted by the project: redefinition of procedures, training need for staff and clients, risk management. As soon as the testing phase is completed and proves conclusive, the MFI deploys the project throughout the network. It is at this point that the support of ADA stops, which then considers the institution as autonomous.

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