Asante Financial Services Group, An African Sunrise Fintech Advancing MSMEs Access to Credit

By Soko Directory Team / Published June 7, 2022 | 3:17 pm




KEY POINTS

Since its launch in Kenya in 2018, Asante has strived to ensure the accessibility of multiple services in the financial value chain for the past three years and has designed robust, secure systems that allow them to be used safely.


Asante Fincial

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Asante is well-positioned to fast-track scale and deepens its impact across operating markets, particularly for MSMEs, especially those in the informal sector, which have long been held back by a lack of responsible lending from traditional financial services providers.


Over the past few years, financial technology has revolutionized the financial sector in Africa and across the globe. In many ways, fintech, as it is commonly referred to, has essentially disrupted how people save, invest, transfer, and borrow money.

Across the globe, various breakthroughs involving information and communication technologies (ICTs) have enhanced the development and improvement of fintech. Sub-Saharan Africa has long seen the development and the implementation of new technologies, which continue to change the competitive landscape in the financial industry.

It goes without saying that access to financial services is a convenient tool for promoting credit creation and enhancing capital accumulation. This, in turn, increases the levels of investment and economic activity of a particular region. As a technological enabler, therefore, fintech improves financial inclusion, and it catalyzes the emergence of innovations in other sectors, such as agriculture and infrastructure.

Unsurprisingly, given the unique environment for financial services in the continent, innovative fintech players are capitalizing on these opportunities to disrupt or leapfrog established business models to make financial services more affordable, accessible, and profitable. One such fintech entity is the Asante Financial Services Group.

Since its launch in Kenya in 2018, Asante has strived to ensure the accessibility of multiple services in the financial value chain for the past three years and has designed robust, secure systems that allow them to be used safely.

ALSO READ: US Dollar Shortage in Kenya Means Job Losses for Thousands of Kenyans

Asante Financial Services Group provides an ecosystem-based lending platform that uses alternative data and a proprietary AI loan decision-making management system to approve loans to MSMEs.

The fintech company works directly with ecosystem channel partners to ensure every loan is tailored to every merchant. Asante Financial Services Group’s channel partners include Africa’s largest telcos, mobile-based marketplaces, airlines, retailers, payment processors, insurance companies, smartphone phone OEMs, and large FMCGs.

This strategic partnership has positioned Asante as the go-to solution to addressing the credit gap and accelerating its rollout. It has so far executed more than 16 strategic corporate channel partnerships, giving it direct access to about 2 million Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with a monthly lending opportunity above 200 million dollars.

Asante is well-positioned to fast-track scale and deepens its impact across operating markets, particularly for MSMEs, especially those in the informal sector, which have long been held back by a lack of responsible lending from traditional financial services providers.

MSMEs play a significant role in a country’s economy, especially in emerging markets where they represent 90 percent of all businesses, 66 percent of all jobs created, and 50 percent of the world’s GDP. Sadly, data from the World Bank indicate that the annual SME credit gap in Sub-Saharan Africa is about US$330 billion.

This is because lenders often neglect MSMEs due to different factors. These factors include the high cost of customer acquisition and due diligence, insufficient data availability for accurate credit assessments, and lack of collateral. Also, uncertain customer lifetime values and the high costs of distribution and servicing are among the barriers for MSMEs to access credit.

Asante, however, through its innovative digital platform and ecosystem approach, has solved most of these problems. An excellent example of a product for MSMEs offered by Asante is Bloom Loan, born out of a partnership with Safaricom. Bloom Loan is a simple solution to meet the merchant’s immediate capital needs since every business deserves the opportunity to expand.

The product gives the customers quick financing solutions for their expansion, working capital, and operational needs. It is tailor-made for Safaricom Lipa Na M-PESA merchants, making it easy to access fast and convenient credit for their businesses for up to 200,000 Kenya shillings.

This helps such small businesses address the problem of liquidity and provides them with an easy channel to access float with speed, on affordable terms, and from a trusted lending partner.

Asante’s other financial products for MSMEs include partnerships to empower eCommerce merchants, travel agents, and smartphone financing.

Meanwhile, Asante is currently piloting other products in its Business Lending Platform to further extend and benchmark its lending services to small business owners and individuals in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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