Microfinance body embraces technology to ease service delivery

The microfinance (MFI) sector is looking to technology to improve service delivery and consumer protection practices. According to the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), the move will help ease feedback to customer complaints, which is tipped to reduce the challenges faced by the sector.
SEEP's Habyalimana (left) explains how the platform works during the meeting. (Joan Mbabazi)
SEEP's Habyalimana (left) explains how the platform works during the meeting. (Joan Mbabazi)

The microfinance (MFI) sector is looking to technology to improve service delivery and consumer protection practices.

According to the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), the move will help ease feedback to customer complaints, which is tipped to reduce the challenges faced by the sector.

AMIR senior programmes manager Jean Pierre Uwizeye said the grievance resolution mechanisms software seeks to improve customer protection and customer experience at any MFI countrywide.

The application is going to be set up in conjunction with Small Enterprise Education and Promotion Network (SEEP).

Uwizeye said: “Since the software will have contact details of different SACCO managers, the moment we get clients’ complaints, we will inform the concerned manager about the complaints and request that they find a solution to the grievances raised promptly.”

He was speaking during a stakeholders meeting in Kigali, which attracted MFI managers, partners and AMIR officials.

According to Straton Habyalimana, the SEEP senior programme manager, the app will help MFIs in the collection, storage, analysis and giving of feedback to clients. The platform is expected to go live on March 22.

Felibien Hirwa, the AMIR advocacy, membership and communications officer, said the number of customers with grievances has been going up at different SACCOs, calling for a mechanism to address the challenge. “We conducted a field survey last year, which recommended setting up of a well-established mechanism to handle such issues. That’s how we came up with technological-based system, which we hope will be more effective as there will be continuous follow ups on clients,” he explained.

Previously, MFIs used traditional systems of collecting client complaints or suggestions using suggestion boxes, letters or during general meetings.

How the platform works

Uwizeye said the platform will have a provision where customers will enter information about them, including name, contact address - email and phone number; their SACCO branch and then the complaints of the client. 

The platform will also have a toll free number that customers can call to register their complaints, he added.

 In case the SACCO fails to address complaints, AMIR will then forward them to central bank (sector regulator) and Rwanda Cooperative Agency for further action, he added.

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