In Carrefour, one of the poorest regions of Haiti, a group of FINCA clients is excited about what their mobile phones can now do. The Eagle Village Bank group is the first set of FINCA clients to ever receive a loan via their mobile phones. The group received a USD 1,955 loan in early February 2017.
FINCA has been offering mobile financial services to clients in Haiti since 2013, initially to collect payments of loans. The treasurer or secretary of each Village Bank would travel to a nearby banking agent. The agent would process loan payments via the group’s account on the mobile phone. Banking agents are local merchants and shopkeepers in areas where FINCA doesn’t have a presence to provide basic banking services to remote clients. More than 6,000 Haitians have so far opened accounts with MonCash, FINCA’s mobile money app.
Now, Haitians will be able borrow using rapid and secure digital transfers through their mobile phone accounts. This will significantly cut down on the travel time to a branch.
For members of the Eagle Village Bank group, this will be a big improvement. They risk losing money from time traveled to the bank branch, which is an hour from their businesses and homes.
“We really love this new service because we feel so secure while receiving the loan. Now, we don’t have to travel to the branch or pay transportation fees,” says Felix, the secretary of the Eagle Village Bank group. “We used to spend 30 gourdes to get to the branch. Now, we are paying only 5 gourdes to visit a MonCash agent.”
The group will also save time in receiving loans. The loan approval process on the mobile money app is quicker and easier.
FINCA client Dieutena Benjamin said, “I am tremendously happy to finally be able to spend less time during the disbursement process at the branch.”
Nathanael Delcy, the FINCA loan officer of the Eagles Village Bank group, is pleased to see the smiles on his clients’ faces. “The branch is less crowded now that clients are able to receive loans via their mobile phones. There’s less risk that their money gets stolen too,” he said. “It’s a big day for our clients and for FINCA Haiti.”