Geraldine O`Keeffe presentation at SG best practices workshop

Technology Solutions for Savings Groups
Jan, 2014
Lusaka, Zambia
Sector Challenges/IT Solutions
Group Level solutions
Facilitating Agency Level Solutions
MIS app
Donor/Public Level Solutions
Software Group is a technology company focused on solutions and consultancy to
strengthen the financial sector.
Since 2009, Software Group has worked in the VSL sector on a range of
technology initiatives including:
( is an
online reporting system
that provides a
consolidated view of the
performance of
The system collects and
validates financial and
operational data from over
75,000 savings groups
representing 2million
members in all regions of
the developing world.
For agencies that
promote the Savings
Group methodology, an
MIS is used to track
data for the groups
under their control. The
system is web-based
and is integrated with
the SAVIX site.
MIS app
Associated with the
MIS, is an android
application developed
to allow for offline, field
based data capture of
group data. This
application syncs to the
MIS and allows for
collection of data at the
point of interaction with
the group itself.
A mobile application
that is designed for
the groups themselves
to eliminate the need
for paper based
bookkeeping. It helps
groups record their
constitution and
manage their
meetings, ensuring
that bank and cash is
balancing. It also
assists groups conduct
share out
computations and
syncs data to the
cloud for safekeeping.
A mobile solution that
helps support linkages
between Savings
Groups (SGs) and a
commercial bank. This
solution helps to ensure
that groups have direct
access to a savings
account, which is
replacing their current
practice of storing
physical cash in a safe
deposit box.
Sector challenges and potential IT
• Bookkeeping- how to do it?, accuracy of
records, safety of files, transparency within the
• Storage of funds- alternatives to the safe
deposit box for security
1. E-recording
2. Linkages
• Monitoring of field staff- performance
measurement, cost effective means of training
and monitoring staff, accuracy of data collected
• Reporting to donors- cost effective means of
data collection
3. MIS
4. MIS app
• Monitoring impact- accessing data on how
interventions have impacted size/quality of
• Education on the sector- learning about size
and scale of the sector
Group Level Solutions: E-recording
Android app to allow groups to do their bookkeeping on a mobile phone
Development sponsored by FSD Kenya
Operates on low cost Android smart phones that the group should purchase
Works in ‘offline mode’ so no Internet connection required to use, unless
when backing up for security reasons.
Associated with a portal that stores the information synced from the mobile
Piloted with Care and CRS in 2013 and now being scaled up to broader
Work planned to translate interface from English to most common local
E-recording- Functional Overview
Group and Member Registration- register to use the app and record the
members of the group, specifying who can record data on the app and
creating PINs for all to access.
Create cycle and constitution- setup the cycle and the constitution
applicable for that cycle. Constitution includes share values, social fund
contributions, loan/share ratios, loan interest rates and all applicable
Meeting management- record the following: member attendance,
savings/share purchased, social fund contributions, fees/fines charged and
paid, bank/cash balances rolled over, loans disbursed, loan repayments, loan
rollover, group income and expenses, fund payouts/withdrawals and closure
of meetings with balancing of all cash.
Share out- at end of cycle calculation of all amounts due to members and
processing of these payments.
Reporting- app based reporting as well as group and member statements
available from web .
E-recording -Demo
Group Level Solutions: Linkages
Goal is to encourage groups to store funds in a savings account at a formal
financial institution as an alternative to the physical storage boxes
Key design components for the linkage are:
Proximity- account opening and cash in/out locations needs to be
convenient for the group- Agent networks!
Cost- groups will be particularly sensitive to fees levied on the account
Security- need to replicate the security measures available with the
physical box- ie multiple keys, ability to confirm balance easily
Cultural fit- ensure the linkage partner is genuinely interested in
working with these groups
Alternatives exist in terms of the provider- could be m-wallet provider,
microfinance or a bank
Linkages Example -M-chama
Supported by FSD Kenya in partnership with Postbank, Care and CRS.
The solution is made up of several components including:
Agent mobile app used to register and open accounts for new groups
and their members
USSD service for agents and groups to transact on their accounts
Web portal for members to view group accounts as well as to provide a
web interface to the same functions available via USSD
Supports real time integration and synchronization between the M-Chama
application, Mobile Money providers and the Core Banking System (CBS) at
The solution operates with the three major mobile money providers
including; Mpesa, Yu Cash and Airtel money.
FA Level Solutions: MIS
Management Information System available for use by the FAs to help them
manage their Savings Groups programs
Traditionally based on the concept of doing a periodic data collection from
the groups to a collect pre-defined set of standard data points that
summarizes the groups performance
Data is input to the MIS and a series of reports are then available for
Data can be aggregated across multiple projects and countries if FAs are
part of a network
Currently available free of charge from from
Work in progress to integrate E-recording and the MIS so data could be
uploaded directly by the groups.
FA Level Solutions: MIS App
As an alternative to paper based data collection for MIS data, an android
app is available
Works in offline mode so data can be captured in the field and later synced
with the MIS
Eases the burden of data collection and enforces data integrity by applying
validations at the point of input.
Donor/Public Level Solutions: SAVIX
Public website ( that is designed to report on the size and
preformance of the sector
Historically has relied on the FAs uploading data from their MIS quarterly to
the SAVIX website although now MIS integration is available
Currently only a few of the larger networks contribute
A revision of the Savix metrics is required to ensure they remain relative to
the sector.
Why contribute to Savix? Donors may require you to, but also helps build
awareness of the size and success of the sector.
How are you
going to use technology?
Thank you for the attention
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[email protected]
Reference slides
E-recording Solution- Constitution
E-recording Solution- Member Registration
E-recording Solution- Meeting Management
E-recording Solution- Meeting Management
E-recording Solution- Meeting Management
E-recording Solution- Meeting Management
E-recording Solution- Meeting Management
E-recording Solution- Meeting Management
E-recording Solution- Meeting Management

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