3IntroductionsSoftware Group is a technology company focused on solutions and consultancy to strengthen the financial sector.Since 2009, Software Group has worked in the VSL sector on a range of technology initiatives including:MIS appMISSAVIXFor agencies that promote the Savings Group methodology, an MIS is used to track data for the groups under their control. The system is web-based and is integrated with the SAVIX site.Associated with the MIS, is an android application developed to allow for offline, field based data capture of group data. This application syncs to the MIS and allows for collection of data at the point of interaction with the group itself.E-recordingA mobile application that is designed for the groups themselves to eliminate the need for paper based bookkeeping. It helps groups record their constitution and manage their meetings, ensuring that bank and cash is balancing. It also assists groups conduct share out computations and syncs data to the cloud for safekeeping.M-chamaA mobile solution that helps support linkages between Savings Groups (SGs) and a commercial bank. This solution helps to ensure that groups have direct access to a savings account, which is replacing their current practice of storing physical cash in a safe deposit box.The SAVIX (www.thesavix.org) is an online reporting system that provides a consolidated view of the performance of community-managed microfinance.The system collects and validates financial and operational data from over 75,000 savings groups representing 2million members in all regions of the developing world.
4Sector challenges and potential IT solutions Bookkeeping- how to do it?, accuracy of records, safety of files, transparency within the groupStorage of funds- alternatives to the safe deposit box for securityGroupsMonitoring of field staff- performance measurement, cost effective means of training and monitoring staff, accuracy of data collectedReporting to donors- cost effective means of data collectionFA’sMonitoring impact- accessing data on how interventions have impacted size/quality of sectorEducation on the sector- learning about size and scale of the sectorDonors/PublicE-recordingLinkages3. MIS4. MIS app5. SAVIX
5Group Level Solutions: E-recording Android app to allow groups to do their bookkeeping on a mobile phoneDevelopment sponsored by FSD KenyaOperates on low cost Android smart phones that the group should purchaseWorks in ‘offline mode’ so no Internet connection required to use, unless when backing up for security reasons.Associated with a portal that stores the information synced from the mobilePiloted with Care and CRS in 2013 and now being scaled up to broader usageWork planned to translate interface from English to most common local languages
6E-recording- Functional Overview Group and Member Registration- register to use the app and record the members of the group, specifying who can record data on the app and creating PINs for all to access.Create cycle and constitution- setup the cycle and the constitution applicable for that cycle. Constitution includes share values, social fund contributions, loan/share ratios, loan interest rates and all applicable fees/fines.Meeting management- record the following: member attendance, savings/share purchased, social fund contributions, fees/fines charged and paid, bank/cash balances rolled over, loans disbursed, loan repayments, loan rollover, group income and expenses, fund payouts/withdrawals and closure of meetings with balancing of all cash.Share out- at end of cycle calculation of all amounts due to members and processing of these payments.Reporting- app based reporting as well as group and member statements available from web .
8Group Level Solutions: Linkages Goal is to encourage groups to store funds in a savings account at a formal financial institution as an alternative to the physical storage boxesKey design components for the linkage are:Proximity- account opening and cash in/out locations needs to be convenient for the group- Agent networks!Cost- groups will be particularly sensitive to fees levied on the accountSecurity- need to replicate the security measures available with the physical box- ie multiple keys, ability to confirm balance easilyCultural fit- ensure the linkage partner is genuinely interested in working with these groupsAlternatives exist in terms of the provider- could be m-wallet provider, microfinance or a bank
9Linkages Example -M-chama Supported by FSD Kenya in partnership with Postbank, Care and CRS.The solution is made up of several components including:Agent mobile app used to register and open accounts for new groups and their membersUSSD service for agents and groups to transact on their accountsWeb portal for members to view group accounts as well as to provide a web interface to the same functions available via USSDSupports real time integration and synchronization between the M-Chama application, Mobile Money providers and the Core Banking System (CBS) at Postbank.The solution operates with the three major mobile money providers including; Mpesa, Yu Cash and Airtel money.
10FA Level Solutions: MIS Management Information System available for use by the FAs to help them manage their Savings Groups programsTraditionally based on the concept of doing a periodic data collection from the groups to a collect pre-defined set of standard data points that summarizes the groups performanceData is input to the MIS and a series of reports are then available for monitoringData can be aggregated across multiple projects and countries if FAs are part of a networkCurrently available free of charge from fromWork in progress to integrate E-recording and the MIS so data could be uploaded directly by the groups.
11FA Level Solutions: MIS App As an alternative to paper based data collection for MIS data, an android app is availableWorks in offline mode so data can be captured in the field and later synced with the MISEases the burden of data collection and enforces data integrity by applying validations at the point of input.
12Donor/Public Level Solutions: SAVIX Public website (www.thesavix.org) that is designed to report on the size and preformance of the sectorHistorically has relied on the FAs uploading data from their MIS quarterly to the SAVIX website although now MIS integration is availableCurrently only a few of the larger networks contributeA revision of the Savix metrics is required to ensure they remain relative to the sector.Why contribute to Savix? Donors may require you to, but also helps build awareness of the size and success of the sector.
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