Prosper: A Product Innovation to Link PAYGo Customers to MFIs

A Conditional Rebate to Help Customers Light Up, Grow and Prosper

By Daniel Waldron

Source: Michelle Hassan, BFA

Source: Michelle Hassan, BFA

How can two institutions work together to create a pathway for PAYGo customers to become MFI clients? BrightLife, FINCA Uganda, and FIBR did just that by creating a product Prosper that allows clients to build a credit history that will enable them to access financial services. Learn how.

How Unbundling of the PAYGo Business Model is Driving Market Expansion


Just five years ago new entrants to the PAYGo market had to be vertically integrated: under one roof, they had to be a direct to consumer sales and distribution business, a consumer financing business, and proprietary hardware and software. But times have changed. The core enabling PAYGo technologies are unbundling into standalone offerings that were not previously feasible to sell separately. There are now dozens of PAYGo-ready solar products on the market, multiple PAYGo technology platforms that are interoperable with a range of hardware providers, and unbundled software applications for inventory, call centers, accounting, and even smartphone apps available on a service or subscription basis. These changes have made it easier than ever to launch a PAYGo business, sparking a second wave of PAYGo operators who are able to specialize and focus on more difficult markets, and create opportunities for intermediaries throughout the value chain. 

Join this BFA / GOGLA webinar and panel discussion on how unbundling is playing out, the opportunities and challenges it presents to second generation PAYGo operators, and what the future might hold. The webinar covers insights from BFA’s work in the PAYGo sector through the FIBR Project, experiences of a second generation PAYGo operator (PEG Africa) and a leading PAYGo platform provider (Angaza), and perspectives on the implications of unbundling on the sector’s growth and future technology and business model innovation. 

Who are the Small Merchants Who Make a Real Living Instead of Just Making Some Extra Money?

Certain behaviors can help providers unmask a business’ readiness for financing

Credit: Adam Wiseman

Credit: Adam Wiseman

Financial service providers should focus on a business’s readiness for financing when considering what type of financial services to offer. Michelle Hassan explains why it’s important to distinguish between two business types: side hustles and livelihoods. Learn what FSPs should look out for.  

FIBR’s Next Generation of Linkages to Financial Services: Betting on PAYGo

The Promise of Tangible, Flexible and Sustainable Services

Co-authored with Sushmita Meka

FIBR Project director presenting FIBR’s portfolio of PAYGo partners

FIBR Project director presenting FIBR’s portfolio of PAYGo partners

Reflecting on two years of FIBR’s strategic investments and technical assistance. What we’ve learned so far:

Insight 1: Fintech companies need to create incentives to digitize by providing immediate, tangible benefits

Insight 2: Fintech companies need tools to analyze and derive insights from the data

Insight 3: Fintech companies need assistance and tools to develop customer-centric, mobile-based apps with accessible user interfaces to expand their services

Insight 4: Fintech companies need support to develop relationships with FSPs to convince them to leverage their digitized channels to deploy digital financial services.

Continue reading our reflections.

What if We Offered Business Support to Small Merchants Over WhatsApp?

Micro-consulting to Provide MSMEs with Practical Advice

Photo Credit: John Won

Photo Credit: John Won

At FIBR, we’re interested in the promise of micro-consulting, a new way of offering practical advice and know-how to address the specific challenges and aspirations small merchants face through a digital messaging channel. These micro-consulting services can be used by small merchants when they need in small, discrete blocks of time. Through digital delivery, the service can be availed at lower cost and over a larger scale than traditional consulting services. Read our post on providing business support to small merchants over WhatsApp.

Making Business Work for Dukas

Understanding the Financial Health of Small Shops in Africa

Photo: Anne Gachoka

Photo: Anne Gachoka

Juma*, a small shop owner in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, is in a bind. Despite having run a business for the last five years, he is still unable to get a loan from a bank to grow his business to meet increasing customer demands and diversify his stock. Juma is locked out of the formal financial system. He is neither able to access digital loans because he is not smartphone-ready. His only remaining option is to source cash from friends. What next for Juma? Read our post on making business work for dukas

Hitting the Sweet Spot: What Do Small Merchants Need to Survive and Grow Their Business?

Photo Credit: John Won

Photo Credit: John Won

MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium enterprises) need capital. They need startup capital, they need expansion capital and they also need working capital to manage their day-to-day operations. The small merchants in Africa that we’ve been researching at FIBR, these shopkeepers, need several types of financing to manage the ups and downs of a small and often informal, retail business. And yet, the offering between traditional and digital tech lenders is still missing the mark for the financial needs of merchants. How can we better design financial solutions that are relevant for the way small merchants manage their operations and finances to keep their business going and growing?

Join FIBR’s webinar and panel discussion on small merchants and what they need to succeed. The webinar covers our insights from designing and piloting a credit solution for merchants and our research on the financial ecosystems of merchants. Following, the panel discussion will help us explore the current challenges and realities that providers and investors face in closing the gap for MSME financing.

Meet the Speakers

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