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“Hitting the Road” to Reach Rural Clients

By Opportunity International

Today, we are reaching the most marginalized families with a fleet of 23 mobile banking vans!

Cocoa farmer Beatrice Boaten (left) and her loan officer Abena Sarpong at an Opportunity Ghana mobile bank in the Ashanti region.Opportunity invests in mobile banks to deliver high-impact financial services to the most marginalized Africans living in rural areas. For many, this is their first experience with banking. With nearly all the capabilities of a bank branch, the armored vehicles enable clients to deposit their savings and access their accounts within walking distance of their homes or businesses. They don’t have to travel long distances to urban bank branches–which saves them valuable time away from their businesses and their hard-earned income for transportation.

With the addition of a new van in Ghana, Opportunity’s mobile fleet is 23 vehicles. Each mobile “bank-on-wheels” has the capacity to serve between 1,800 and 5,000 clients in rural villages. Uganda and Mozambique plan to add additional vans to their fleet soon. Mobile routes and schedules are planned around local market days to allow more families to take advantage of loans, training, savings and insurance products through these vans. Strategic stops allow clients to save time and travel costs by bringing the bank to their doorsteps, neighborhoods and marketplaces.

The vans empower rural families and farmers like Beatrice Boaten by providing them the peace of mind of having a safe place to deposit the day’s earnings. Beatrice has accrued $30 in savings, that is now safe from being lost or stolen–plus, it’s easily accessible during regular stops near her farm in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Though the vans face spiking fuel and maintenance costs, we know how critical they are to bring these services to our clients, so we’re determined to support them.

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