Through UNCDF’s MicroLead program, in April 2015, Caisse d'Epargne et de Credit du Cameroun (CEC) began rolling out digital financial services using a proprietary agent network. Their agents offer real-time account openings, deposits and withdrawals using smart phones. Based on the success of the pilot, CEC purchased 100 additional point-of-service (POS) devices, and it is deploying them across its branch network. In 2016, CEC rolled out its new alternative delivery channel, training, equipping, and deploying 85 agents in the field with smartphones and Bluetooth printers. The use of agents has enabled CEC to reduce operational risks such as fraud, to optimize operating costs, and to increase outreach and the percent of women served. Read the interview with CEC about its agent network here. You can read even more about CEC in MicroLead's Digital Financial Services Toolkit #4: Develop Your Own Agent Network.

MicroLead partner A3C received its license from the Ministry of Finance in 2007 to undertake financial intermediation. The overall objective of the project is to facilitate access of financial savings and credit services for the underserved populations excluded from the formal financial system. To this end, A3C’ refined its existing savings product, making it more customer-centric and resulting in a 25% increase in the compound annual growth rate of voluntary savers, as well as the percent increase in women clients..

A third MicroLead partner, UCCGN, operates in Cameroon’s two northern regions through 52 village banks with over 433 groups. Through MicroLead, UCCGN developed a special savings plan for women and computerized the MIS of their member village banks.
Many of the village banks, however, have stopped functioning, due to the actions of Boko Haram in the Cameroon “red zone.” Despite this, UCCGN has achieved a compound annual growth rate among its voluntary savers of 21% and has increased its percentage of women clients.

Read about the MicroLead-sponsored study visit to Benin and Cameroon here.

Photo (top) courtesy of Eric Kenkolla, CEC

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