It is no more news that redundant performances of marketers and field officers in microfinance institutions across the globe have been checkmated through mobile financial technology. The good news is that many microfinance banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria are growing and developing swiftly at a steady pace through embracement of mobile financial technology in paying and collecting money from their respective clients.
Prior to invention of financial technology, it was worrisome and counter-productive to experience marketers and field officers abandoning their core duties which were being for, to pursue their personal businesses for selfish interests. It is even more suicidal to collect monies meant for loan repayment from customers, or daily remittances without remitting into the bank coffers because there was no tracking system in place.
Over the years, this abysmal performance of field officers and marketers of microfinance institutions recorded low productivity due to under-utilization of human resources. Hence, it resulted in low profitability margin or consistent losses over a period of time.
In practical terms, during my active service as an employee in microfinance banks at management level, I witnessed and experienced different scenario which led to many of these personnel being laid off as a result of financial malpractices. Some of these corrupt personnel implicated and exposed themselves through ostentatious and extravagant lifestyles.
The most annoying scenario was when I was multi-tasked to head the Finance & Credit department in 2015. One of our bank drivers reported to me in confidence that he usually take one of the marketers to his fiancé residence during official working hours at the bank’s expense.
In addition, female marketers habitually used the official vehicle assigned for marketing to shop for foodstuff at local markets intermittently.
Often times, marketers and field personnel indirectly borrow money from the bank without any interest. This is done by not remitting to the bank in full all monies collected through default customers (Delinquent and Bad loans) as at when received. The monies are channeled to meet their personal financial commitment. In today microfinance practice, all these ugly incidences have been checkmated through mobile financial technology in real-time.
As a microfinance practitioner, in craving for how to continually contribute to the growth and development of microfinance banks in Nigeria, I had an encounter with Mr. Mike Nwaogu, the CEO of CellCore Ltd who specialize in a branded mobile app technology (PAYCOLLECT) for microfinance institutions in Nigeria and across Africa. He stressed that PAYCOLLECT can be used for deposits, withdrawals, account creation, Know-Your-Customer (KYC), Short Messaging Service alert (SMS), and Microloan management on the online portal. Further, he said that the cost effectiveness and affordability of PAYCOLLECT makes it standout from the competition, and no hidden cost is charged.
In a recent article publication, Nwaogu (2017) states that the potential of PAYCOLLECT app is limitless as it harnesses the potential of becoming the cutting edge product in microfinance industry for the banked and unbanked clients.
Conclusively, the pivot or lifeblood of all microfinance institutions is Marketers and Field personnel. They are likened to a King in the game of Chess because of their crucial role in income generation. Their activities are now closely and properly monitored using a tracking system through mobile application technology in real time.
The deposits base, the loan repayments, daily remittances, and other specialized accounts will increase in volume which will pave way for liquidity to invest in other income-generating ventures. The resultant effect of this innovative technology is tremendous high profitability to microfinance institutions.