Ecobank Ghana’s micro loans product, XpressLoan on MTN Mobile Money, has achieved a significant milestone, disbursing nearly US$600 million to 3.2 million Ghanaians. This digital financial success was disclosed by Elhanan Owureku Asare, a Senior Banker and Digital Transformation Specialist at Ecobank, during the FinTech Summit at the Mobile World Congress Africa 2023 in Rwanda.
Ecobank Ghana, in collaboration with MTN MobileMoney Limited and Jumo, launched XpressLoan approximately four years ago. This initiative aimed to provide affordable and collateral-free microloans to petty traders and individuals through the MTN MoMo platform. The loans, with an interest rate of 6.9 percent, are refundable within 30 days.
Achievements and Challenges
XpressLoan has benefited approximately 3.2 million Ghanaians, with an average loan of about US$34.71 per person. However, challenges arose as some customers defaulted on repayments, affecting the overall success of the microloan initiative. The non-performing loans (NPLs) rate stood at 3.99 percent, equivalent to US$23.94 million.
Measures to Address Challenges
Despite the challenges, Owureku Asare highlighted that the NPL rate has seen a significant decrease due to measures implemented by Ecobank and its partners. While the loans remain collateral-free, the quality of customer data collected and strategic measures put in place have contributed to achieving over a 95 percent refund rate.
Building on the success of XpressLoan, Ecobank is piloting a US$5,000 digital loan product in Rwanda. This initiative is set to expand across all 33 operational markets, providing small businesses with access to larger loan amounts on the mobile money platform. The success and replication of XpressLoan have paved the way for innovative digital financial solutions.
Digital Transaction Milestones
By the close of 2022, Ecobank recorded an impressive US$84 billion worth of digital transactions, with US$59 billion recorded in the first months of the year. Over 94 percent of transactions across the 33 markets of Ecobank are digital. The bank anticipates surpassing US$120 billion in digital transaction value by the end of 2023.
Ecobank’s commitment to building a formidable digital ecosystem has transformed the financial landscape, making digital transactions seamless for customers across diverse markets. The success of XpressLoan and ongoing initiatives demonstrate Ecobank’s dedication to leveraging digital solutions for the benefit of businesses and individuals across Africa.
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