Top officials of the Ministry of Finance of Madagascar have visited HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited, one of the leading MFBs spearheading grassroots financial inclusion drive in the country, to understudy the bank’s operational model with a view to using the experiences gained for MFB capacity building in their country.
The National Coordinator of Microfinance Bank in Madagascar and leader of the eight-member delegation, Mr. Rajoelina Francis Blaise, said the visit to HASAL MFB was aimed at understanding its operational model and possibly using it as a guide in his countryâ€™s efforts to deepen financial inclusion in the grassroots.
The fact finding mission, which lasted for about six hours, featured presentation by a team of HASAL Bank on financial inclusion strategy and the innovative technologies, including the Point of Sale (POS) and POC (Point Of Collection) terminals being deployed by the micro finance bank, to provide door-to-door cash mobilisation and disbursement to both small and medium entrepreneurs and micro customers of the bank.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of HASAL MFB, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, said the bankâ€™s advantage over others is its competitive edge in innovative product development and service delivery, adding that the deployment of technological tools has impacted positively on all areas of the bankâ€™s operations, especially in meeting the expectations of its growing customers.
He specifically listed the use of POC for effective cash collection by HASUSU Sales Executives and sustained deployment of POS terminals to serve the needs of the customers, amongst some of the innovations introduced by the bank to promote the use of debit cards for payment and other transactions by the customers.
Nwoke explained that the huge investment on POC terminals and other service delivery platforms was informed by the need to reach customers in rural areas of the Federal Capital Territory, who without leaving their homes or shops now have access to financial services.
He further demonstrated how HASUSU Sales Executives use POC to credit depositors account without the customers visiting the conventional banking hall.
Reacting to the HASAL MFB Chiefâ€™s explanations on products and services delivery, the leader of the Madagascar delegate, Blaise, thanked HASAL MFBâ€™s management for giving them the opportunity to understand the operations of the bank and its role in Financial Inclusion.
Another member of the team and the Director of Statistics, National Coordinator of Microfinance Bank Madagascar, Rafiringa Soamialy, said that she was excited about the level of technological advancement the Nigerian MFB had made in financial inclusion drive to reach out to the grassroots and empower the poor and the vulnerable groups in the country.
â€œI am very happy to be in Nigeria and to learn about POS and POC which we have similar technology in Madagascar but HASAL MFB technology is more advancedâ€, Soamialy said.
It would be recalled that the Madagascar delegationâ€™s visit to HASAL MFB was the third in the past 18 months by global MFB policy drivers in their efforts to learn from Nigeria how best to develop their countriesâ€™ MFBs.
The Bank was visited by HRH, then Princess Maxima of the Royal Kingdom of Netherlands for facts finding on Financial Inclusion during her visit to the Nigeria during the launching of the National Inclusion Strategy by the CBN in 2012.
Also, officials of the Central Bank of Liberia had also visited the Bank for facts finding on financial inclusion, thereby making the HASAL Bank as the only MFB in the country to have the privilege of sharing its experiences and successes in financial inclusion in the country.