Tuesday 31st August 2021
Updates from Alliance members and partners this summer showcase the diversity of women-centered products and services being developed around the world, from new digital banking services for the underbanked in the Philippines to specialized loans for women in Costa Rica to cancer screenings for women in Nigeria.
Tyme’s new digital bank license was officially approved in the Philippines. GOtyme, which Tyme developed in partnership with major Philippines conglomerate Gokongwei Group, is part of a select roster of digital banks approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as part of the regulator’s policy to bring 70 percent of Filipino adults into the formal financial system and have 50 percent of all payments done online by 2023. Tyme’s digital banking service onboards through both an app and digital kiosks located in malls and retail shops. This is the same hybrid model that has made Tymebank a success in South Africa — particularly among women, who make up 53 percent of the customer base there. GOtyme is slated to launch in the second quarter of 2022.
Banco Solidario received the “Platinum Country Award for Financial Innovators” from Fintech Americas 2021 for its Virtual Agency that allows clients to connect with an advisor virtually with one-click.
Diversity and Inclusion
Ficohsa launched its Community for Gender Equity, part of their new D&I strategy, at an event with guest speakers including Steven Puig, President of Banco BHD León, gender champion and member of the Board of the Financial Alliance for Women, who shared BHD’s D&I journey and its impact.
Financial Inclusion and Literacy
CDC Group and Northern Arc have jointly structured and invested in a Pooled Bond Issuance (PBI) transaction. Through the ~$43m USD Pooled Bond Issuance commitment, CDC Group will invest in the non-convertible debentures (“NCDs”) of six leading Indian microfinance institutions, supporting an estimated 630,000 new loans to primarily underbanked female and rural borrowers.
Centenary Bank worked with local authorities to host two events in rural Uganda, training more than 250 women on financial literacy.
Banco Nacional Costa Rica has launched the second edition of its Mujeres 360 program to support promising female entrepreneurs. The bank will select 300 women business owners for a series of virtual training sessions and the 50 most high-potential businesses will take part in a three-month individualized counseling program. Business counselors will work with the women to identify areas for improvement, create an action plan and give professional advice on topics such as sales, business management, expansion to new markets, diversification and personnel management.
Access Bank’s W Initiative is partnering with RCCG (a Lagos-based church) on its Women’s Empowerment Scheme, a program providing funds and information to women-owned businesses in the Lagos province to alleviate poverty. The W Initiative is training women entrepreneurs on demystifying bank loans and introducing them to Access Bank’s specialized financing opportunities for female entrepreneurs. W Initiative also partnered with the Optimal Cancer Care Foundation to provide free breast and cervical cancer screenings, including treatment for 1,000 women.
BAC Credomatic Costa Rica introduced a new financing offer for women seeking home and car loans. Women can now access vehicle financing at a fixed rate from the third year through to the full loan term, and home financing (mortgages) at a fixed rate for the first seven years of the loan term. The bank put these unique terms in place “to give support to those women students, workers, entrepreneurs and professionals who have dreams and goals,” said Vice President of Corporate Relations Laura Moreno.