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Chicago, IL 60607

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© 2017 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Opportunity International'sSMART Certified Partners

SMART Certification

SMART Certification is an extremely high standard of best practice in microfinance and is achieved when an institution is compliant with all of the Client Protection Principles, which are the minimum standards that clients should expect to receive when doing business with a microfinance institution.

The 7 Client Protection Principles

  1. Appropriate product design and delivery
  2. Prevention of over-indebtedness
  3. Transparency
  4. Responsible pricing
  5. Fair and respecful treatment of clients
  6. Privacy of client data
  7. Mechanisms for resolution of client complaints

The Certification Process

SMART Certification process offers an independent objective seal of confidence that a financial institution is doing everything it can to treat its clients well and protect them from harm.

As of August 2017, less than one percent of the 10,000 microfinance institutions globally have been issued this certification. Of the 80 certified institutions, six are Opportunity partners. Through its SPM program, Opportunity is supporting its partner organisations in becoming compliant and certified. Opportunity puts the people living in poverty—our clients—first in everything we do, and we remain focused on providing the highest standards in the design of our services and the way they are delivered.

Learn more about the SMART certification process here, and read about our certified partners below.

Opportunity's
Certified Partners

Certified Partners Map

Click a marker on the map to learn more about our SMART Certified Partners

Serbia

Learn more about Opportunity Bank Serbia

Indonesia

Learn more about KOMIDA and
Bina Artha Ventura

Colombia

Philippines

Learn more about ASKI

India

Learn more about Cashpor

KOMIDA

Indonesia

Koperasi Mitra Khuafa (Komida) was started in 2004 as an NGO and is one of the largest microfinance organisations in Indonesia. In 2009, it transformed into a cooperative in order to increase its outreach to more low-income and financially excluded women. Komida now serves nearly 400,000 clients and takes a holistic approach to providing both financial and non-financial services to achieve better outcomes for client households in the areas of income, health and education. Through the SMART certification process, completed in May 2017, Komida established an effective system for monitoring and resolving complaints. Effective handling of complaints increases clients’ confidence and leads to improvements in the design and delivery of the products and services clients receive.

Bina Artha Ventura

Indonesia

Bina Artha Ventura (BAV) is a dynamic venture capital enterprise operating in Indonesia. BAV was established in 2011 and received SMART certification in April 2017. BAV provides specialized financial services to low-income clients. They often work with women who have limited access to the formal financial sector, and they provide socioeconomic inclusion tools to them as well, including small business loans and insurance services. As part of their certification process, BAV developed a privacy policy that guides how the organization manages and protects client data, which helps protect clients from fraud or mistreatment.

Opportunity Bank Serbia

Serbia

Serving more than 78,000 clients, Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS) has grown rapidly despite increasing competition in a market that limited microfinance due to legal restrictions on lending. Receiving SMART certification in March 2014 affirmed OBS’s commitment to the “double bottom line approach,” which measures success by both financial and social performance. The certification also created a renewed sense of identity and increased company loyalty among OBS staff members as they gained greater understanding of their work’s value within the community.

Opportunity International Colombia

Colombia

Opportunity International Colombia began its microfinance activities in 1971 and now has more than 13,000 loan and savings clients. Since its inception, it has been working to provide stable financial systems and solutions to reduce unemployment and social unrest within the country. Becoming SMART certified in September 2016 further established the bank’s commitment to improving Colombia’s communities and infrastructure. To comply with the certification process, the Board of Directors and Management now constantly monitor the quality of the credit portfolio and have taken action to avoid over-indebtedness. For example, they have reduced the size and number of loans issued where there were signs that clients could not repay loans.

ASKI

Philippines

ASKI has more than 103,000 loan clients in the Philippines and was SMART certified in July 2015. The institution is driven by a social mission of creating holistic, lasting transformation in their clients’ lives. ASKI works to not only support clients’ economic security, but also their physical, social and spiritual wellbeing and transformation. ASKI has worked diligently to update its pricing policies and to heighten transparency about their service fees. Going through the certification process has helped them outline ethical practices and learn better ways to engage with their clients.

Cashpor

India

Cashpor was client-protection certified in January 2013 and serves more than 850,000 clients at more than 500 branches. It identifies impoverished women in rural areas and motivates them to take charge of their financial futures by offering access to honest and efficient financial services that go beyond microcredit. The certification process strengthened Cashpor’s policies around over-indebtedness. The Board and Senior Management now only consider expansion into areas where clients have limited access to other sources of finance. This ensures that Cashpor is only providing additional debt where it can be safely handled by the clients.

Client numbers shown are valid as of March 2017