The M-asca Model
Mobile Money Platform Procedures
Mobile ASCA is an indiscriminate mobile phone based accumulating savings and credit association that aims at bringing community members together in order to improve their livelihoods. The organization targets every adult Kenyan irrespective of their background (youths, women, small scale business people, the unemployed, private institutions etc) interested in saving in order to access capital for investment, business start ups, old age savings or any other viable need. M-ASCA now a registered SACCO society, is a pure electronic system that enables users to register as members, save, apply for loans, request guarantors and get guaranteed on phone, get disbursements to M-ASCA phone based accounts, check balances and exit from the system among other functionalities. M-ASCA deliberately recognizes groups (Chamas and family support systems) and allows common kitties and management through confirmation by signatories. A pure electronic process allows people with irregular income to submit small amounts little by little; it also provides access to marginalized populations nurturing a saving culture as well as well as ensuring financial inclusion. It fosters transparency and streamlines the informal sector by providing affordable credit to those who do not have access to traditional financial services for their self-sustaining business activities.
- 1.3. The M-ASCA Model
Mobile ASCA is an indiscriminate mobile phone based accumulating savings and credit application (M-ASCA) that allows members to accumulate savings little by little and borrow up to three times their savings after one month.
The organization targets every adult Kenyan irrespective of their background (youths, women, small scale business people, the unemployed, private institutions, groups and family support systems etc.) who may not hold any collateral and are interested in saving in order to access capital for investment, business startups, old age savings or any other viable need.
The segment targeted is excluded from formal financial services and henceforth exposed to the informal financial sector characterized by exorbitant interest rates for credit and poor management of group activities.
The targeted segments engage in small businesses, with equally small margins of profit as a result of saturation of similar activities and limited capacity for alternatives. As a society, members will be able to access credit at 1% per month.
M-ASCA mobile money enables the society to serve its members in the entire country, breaking infrastructural and other logistical barriers as well as geographical limitations, and by minimizing the costs of operations such as cutting down on agents and facilities being set up all over the country. This does away with over reliance on agents and enables members to directly access services via their phones. The services are all inclusive from self-registration to loan application, saving money, request for guarantors, guaranteeing members, checking balances, statements and loan repayments among others.
The model is deliberately designed to eliminate wasting crucial time for members in meetings at the expense of working choosing to empower them to take charge of the management of their financial affairs. The model also avoids tying members to a circle of friends and anyone anywhere can be an M-ASCA member and a guarantor can be anyone in any part of the country. It encourages people to know each other and socialize from wherever they are.
The model is in cognizance of the fact that convenience is critical in nurturing the saving culture of lesser off segments. Though there is a viable economic ecosystem at the base of the pyramid, saving is one among many competing needs, hence the need to avail opportunities for saving close to sources of income and as conveniently as possible. Supported by the m-pesa network of outlets (with over 40,000 agents across the country) and the equitel infrastructure (over 20,000 agents), the design puts into consideration the fact that people in the informal sector may not have regular income but access some money anyway, it is necessary to tap this resource at the earliest opportunity. The M-ASCA model allows members to save any amount; as little as Ksh 50, which the system can accept anytime and as many times as one wishes in a day. It also allows them to repay loan installments bit by bit anytime within the month as long as by the end of the month the whole installment has been paid.
M-ASCA recognizes the different social support structures in the country and factors in group saving, where members of a family or an organized group like chamas come together and save into a common kitty here referred to as “super guarantor”. Members of the group get guaranteed from the common kitty, and any money leaving the common kitty (super guarantor) must be confirmed by the signatories. The system also helps in mobilizing savings either through the temporary account or the loan savings account.
This is made possible by the USSD (unstructured supplementary service data) based platform. The design is considerate of the heterogeneous demographics and hence simplified to make it easy to use, enabling members to follow a step by step procedure that allows them to navigate services offered by the association.
Extend affordable credit to the financially excluded through an electronic member’s savings and credit association, nature a saving and borrowing culture and encourage entrepreneurship for self sustenance, empowerment and self employment.
To become the preferred model for financial inclusion in Kenya and beyond.
1.5. M-ASCA’s Aim
M-ACSAs aim is to dignify and empower the lesser off segments in society through a credit and loan facility that unleashes their potential through active participation, freedom associated with convenience and transparency occasioned by real-time update of transactions; hence the slogan: Financial Inclusion with Dignity.
1.7. The Difference
Open to all Kenyans of adult age, anytime anywhere mobile based transactions, Paperless association, allows for group or family saving, guaranteeing and confirmation by signatories, no meetings, no fines for absenteeism, can submit any amount acceptable by the system e.g. Kshs 50, friendly guarantor system of anyone anywhere in the country, across network access (currently on safaricom but working on integration with equitel), creates a Kenyan virtual community.
1.8. M-ASCA Procedures
Registration is done via the phone by dialing *645*86#. The electronic registration prompts members willing to register to first read terms and conditions and then step by step enter their personal details
- The M-ASCA Menu
Dial*645*86# and enter the m-asca pin The following modules open:
- Send money
- My account