By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Comviva and Cassava Fintech have been announced a joint winners of the GSMA GLOMO award in the ‘Best Mobile Innovation for Women in Emerging Markets’ category for the EcoCash Savings Club service powered by Comviva’s mobiquity Money platform.
The award was presented to the winners at the MWC 2018 held in Barcelona, Spain on February 27.
Judged by a panel of world-leading industry experts, EcoCash Savings Club developed and managed by Cassava Fintech and powered by Comviva was recognized for its ability to increase digital & financial inclusion for women in Zimbabwe, as well as supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular SDG 5: “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. The competition this year was huge, with strong participation from across the globe. In judges opinion “Increases access to savings and financial security for women. Innovative, with a clear business strategy, commercial viability, sustainability and thoughtful implementation” made EcoCash Savings Club a wining product.
“We are truly honoured to win this prestigious award second time in a row. The award recognizes our technology leadership in digital payments as well as our continuous effort to innovate and make an impact towards the overall betterment of the society,” said Manoranjan Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer at Comviva. “Moreover, the win is especially significant, as it coincides with mobiquity Money’s ten-year milestone. It marks a decade of hard work and leadership in the digital payments space and will motivate us to do even better work in the future.”
Darlington Mandivenga, Group Chief Executive Officer at Cassava Fintech said, “The impact of community-based savings schemes on the well-being of African communities cannot be overstated especially in resource-poor environments.
“The concept of savings clubs is well established across Africa. Supporting such initiatives, which promote a savings culture has become an economic imperative as the money proceeds from these savings is used to feed and educate children.
“As a business, which has its roots on the African continent, Cassava Fintech is committed to supporting these groups by providing them with innovative ways of strengthening their saving clubs, making it easier and convenient for them to operate not only in Zimbabwe but also in the rest of Africa.
“Whilst we are grateful for having been recognized for this award the real accolade belongs to the Women who strive each and every day to create a better life for themselves and their communities.”
Congratulating the winners of MWC 2018, Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA said, “The GLOMOs recognise the best of the best in mobile, highlighting the technologies, products, companies and individuals that are pushing the boundaries of ingenuity and innovation and creating a better future for all of us.”
Across the world and in Zimbabwe, women with small-savings save and borrow through informal savings group. In Zimbabwe, these savings groups are locally called ‘mukando’ or ‘maround’.
While the practice is widespread, informal savings groups face multiple challenges related to cash-handling, security, transparency, records keeping and zero-interest.
To overcome these challenges, EcoCash, Zimbabwe’s largest mobile money service launched country’s first digital Savings Club ‘EcoCash Savings Club’ in May 2015. EcoCash Savings Club provides inclusive, secure, transparent and convenient way for people to pool funds using mobile money (EcoCash) and meet their financial needs.
EcoCash Savings Club provides women with access to far larger pool of money than possible on their own. EcoCash Savings Club is helping multiple women groups to become financially independent, women entrepreneurs to get start-up funds and money to purchase stock, pregnant women to meet medical expenses during delivery, homemakers to save money to make big-ticket purchases like second hand car et al.
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