For families that live in rural communities, financial services and training can be difficult to access. Traveling to an urban center is costly and takes time away from a business or farm, so many rural families remain unbanked or choose informal options.
Digital solutions allow Opportunity International to reach even the most remote communities with financial resources, training, and support. Using high-touch, high-tech solutions like agent banker networks and mobile banking, we provide reliable financial services to families who have been excluded from formal financial services.
Agent Banker Networks
Agent bankers operate in rural communities and are trained and supported by financial institutions to accept cash deposits and withdrawals on behalf of the bank. In communities where women may be less confident using financial services, such as in many parts of India, female agent bankers put clients at ease, allowing them to conduct digital transactions with someone they trust.
Opportunity International partners with financial institutions to develop agent banker networks, training local leaders in remote communities and providing them with tablets or other digital tools they need to serve their neighbors.
Mobile Banking Services
The proliferation of basic-feature phones throughout Africa and Asia over the last decade continues to unlock new ways for Opportunity International to connect vulnerable families to vital services. Globally, two-thirds of unbanked adults have a mobile phone. By leveraging technology families are already using, Opportunity International can accelerate financial and digital inclusion to bring more services and economic opportunities to those who need them most.
Clients can use their phones to complete basic transactions and payments. They can also apply for loans through a mobile form, or receive loan disbursements directly on their phones. Through a simple menu-item interface, clients can check their balances, transfer funds, and sometimes pay electricity or water bills.
Opportunity International also offers Interactive Voice Response (IVR) services to serve clients who cannot read or utilize text prompts on their phones. These voice recordings allow us to include even more marginalized groups in the financial services we offer.