ICT and AG Profile: Opportunity Bank Malawi

  • Date Posted: January 8, 2013
  • Authors: Chris Statham, Kirsten Pfeiffer, Lee H. Babcock
  • Organizations/Projects: FHI 360
  • Document Types: Primer or Brief, Other
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency

Supported by USAID’s Fostering Agriculture Competitiveness Employing Information Communication Technologies (FACET) project under the FIELD-Support LWA, this profile discusses Opportunity Bank Malawi (OBM), a commercial microfinance bank owned by Opportunity International. They occupy a unique space in the Malawian financial system, as unlike microfinance institutions, they take deposits. OBM targets Malawian populations in peri-urban and rural areas where commercial banks do not operate. Farmers who use OBM’s mobile services can benefit from lower transaction costs by no longer having to travel to distant branch locations. In addition, a traceable audit trail can be used to create a financial identity and history for users to determine credit worthiness. OBM also benefits from reduced side-selling and loan disbursal/repayment costs.

The FACET project aims to help USAID missions and their implementing partners in sub-Saharan Africa use information and communications technology in sustainable and scalable approaches to improve the impact of their agriculture related development projects.

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