Mobile Banking Supports Ghana Saving Groups

პარასკევი, აგვისტო 20, 2021
Savings group ghana
პარასკევი, აგვისტო 20, 2021

A year ago in March, COVID 19 posed a threat to the survival of savings groups. To overcome this, VisionFund Ghana rolled out the Mobile Money Transaction (MOMO) facility, where groups need not carry physical cash to the bank and could repay and apply for loans right at the comfort of their communities. A new addition to the facility is expected to be rolled out in early 2022 to allow savings group members to monitor the status of loans through a mobile app.

The sustainability of the Anyinasu Ogyefo savings group depended on the ability of the members to make weekly contributions and also repay their loans. VisionFund Ghana educated the members to venture into other economic areas. A plan was implemented to increase the loan amount disbursed to the group in its third cycle. Here, members could apply for a higher amount to alter their line of businesses. Nearly a year after, when the group applied for their fourth loan cycle about 80% of the members had switched occupations and/or added another occupation to what they already did; to face the pandemic.

Group member Cecilia had been trading second-hand clothing before COVID 19, and now she trades in rice to the capital city of Ghana. In an interview, she disclosed that she would have been unable to support her pregnant teen daughter, adding that VisionFund Ghana intervening during the pandemic gave her a new purpose. Now, her daughter is back in school.

When plantain trader Joyce’s beloved husband passed on, COVID added fuel to the fire. Three months later, her son was to join the university and she knew that her entire savings would not be able to support her gifted child. During her third cycle loan, she applied for emergency funding (known in the Ghanaian parlance as Atoremkyem) to get him to school. “The savings group is a life support for people like us, VisionFund by heart is the life provider. If they had considered the pandemic and refused to disburse to us, I would’ve gone ten times backward in my life,” she says.

Mama Rebecca had been a farmer all her life. The financial education provided by VisonFund Ghana prompted her to venture into other economic areas during the pandemic. She started a table-top-grocery with a loan she took from the group. Presently, she has built a container to house her growing empire; serving her community while making ends meet. 

An untold story of the Anyinasu Ogyefo group is the farmer society organized within the group. These farmers offer communal labour to their fellow members during the cocoa and rice seasons to voluntarily cut down the operational cost of hiring labourers.

The concept of ‘participation for development’ is key to the general goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The call for community development goes beyond political connotation; financial independence is an inevitable reality in the developmental process. VisionFund Ghana is earnestly striving to ensure that Goal one (1) of the Sustainable Development Goals is made possible in the lives of the Ghanaian people through the Village Saving Groups.


Story By Abban Enoch Johnson, VisionFund Ghana