One-line solution summary:
Naa Sika is a Micro Bank Account with no maintenance fee, no minimum balance & no deposit required to aid savings, lending, investments etc
Pitch your solution.
Digital finance services are designed for mostly high-income people with salaries, to people with some very different financial needs. These formal services remain uncompetitive with many of the informal money management techniques that have been used by the mass market for years. Low-income earners have more volatile incomes and expenditure that need a complex financial management technique.
Provide an Electronic Micro Bank Account with No monthly maintenance fee, No monthly service fee, No minimum balance & No deposit required to offer two types of personal accounts; Wallet & Savings Account.
We are looking out for the unbanked/underbanked, to serve disadvantaged or low-income individuals who are ignored by mainstream financial companies.
Our aim is to offer services that will integrate tech into finance in order to provide new or improved micro banking services with ease which will aid financial inclusion.
Film your elevator pitch.
What specific problem are you solving?
In most African countries, 80% of the population are in the informal sector and about 40% are unbanked. Most digital finance services have designed products relatively for high-income people with salaries, to people with some very different financial needs
In Ghana for example, registered mobile money subscribers increased from 3.8million to 13.1million in 2017, now subscribers are about 20m.
Although Mobile money services have increased, this development has given digital finance access to financial services to hundreds of millions of new customers but only a small products of that population opt for it.
Those in the informal sector need complex financial management systems that are different from the usual and can be accessed with ease. Naa Sika will fill this gap for the rest to be able to achieve financial freedom.
These figures are relatively similar to other African countries and they all share especially in WURI select countries.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Since the majority of people in the informal sector such as smallholder farmers, petty traders, artisans, and other entrepreneurs have mobile money wallets, Naa Sika understand their needs and has designed a digitized savings platform traditionally called “susu” to help grow their business, reducing the lengths of transactions as well as the associated risks and costs and inculcate a savings habit which will help with poverty alleviation.
Naa Sika provides a micro Bank Account with no maintenance fees, no minimum balance & no deposit required. For savings duration of 90 days or more clients get to enjoy no charges but gain interest.
Our platform has been made in such a way that you can save as low as less than a $1 and top-up anytime, any day and anywhere.
Unbanked/underbanked, services that seek to serve low-income individuals who are ignored or underserved by traditional banks or mainstream financial companies.
Customers are engaged periodically in their communities through mobile bankers and are assisted with financial tips and advise on a daily basis.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Mission Billion Challenge WURI West Africa Prize and your selected dimension.
Most people in the informal sector have no access to financial management systems or any form of savings that they can rely on times of difficulty. Naa Sika Micro Savings solution allows a user to save as little $1 anytime and lock funds that can only be accessed at a maturity date set by the customer or the platform.
This plan like others is specifically designed to instil financial discipline among our customers, thus incorporating behavioural change that incentivizes and helps financial freedom.
The lending product also helps small businesses in the communities to access credits to boost their operations in times of need.
Where is your solution team headquartered?Takoradi, Ghana
What is your solution’s stage of development?
Who is the primary delegate for your solution?
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
In Ghana "Susu" and also mostly in West Africa is a form of rotating savings and credit association, a type of informal savings club arrangement between a small group of people who take turns by "throwing hand", as the partners call it, is micro savings has being around within the informal sector for decades and Naa Sika is proud to be the first to digitise susu savings in Ghana. We took an old savings idea and made it better to be mobile and easy to access.
We have also have new products in testing to be added apart from savings like, lending, investments, funds transfer and payment at point of sale.
In all we are making available technology that is only for the "privileged" to be accessible to all and also be counted as financially inclusive.
Provide evidence that your solution works.
Our main idea is to first deploy Bots into existing chat apps like Telegram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as well as USSD. Telegram (https://core.telegram.org/bots) is already out and we are testing the rest of the platforms. This makes it easier for the customer not to download any new app but can choose any of these platforms to activate his/her account and use it anytime.
The final stage of platforms deployment will be iOS and Android apps so those who also want them can also have access through them to their account.
We are also in a testing phase to allow customers to hold, receive, transfer and exchange cryptocurrency and we are starting with three coins; bitcoin, lite coin and doge.
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
What is your theory of change?
Savings is critical to households in developing countries. It allows households to improve their standard of living in the face of volatile income. It can also facilitate the investment culture. Even though they know the benefits of saving, yet their attitude of savings is still said to be poor as they attempt to set out of the cycle of object poverty, poor attitude towards savings is attributed to the meager incomes. Low savings might also be a consequence of poor access to safe, flexible, convenient, and affordable savings products.
Ghana has a lower savings culture than most countries in the Sub Sahara. Between 2001 and 2009, the gross national savings as a percentage of the total goods and services produced in the country (GDP) averaged about 13.3 per cent (or $16.3 billion) compared to over 30 per cent for South East Asia economies such as Malaysia. The economy also had high levels of population outside the banking system.
Over the years it has been noted that the savings in Ghana is not a patronized economic activity. The inefficiency of mobilizing saving is very evident in Ghana as the banking system indicates a low rate of savings as compared to the population in Ghana. The savings culture in Ghana is not much to write home about as most Ghanaian are not into savings. Majority of the Ghanaian population do not have a savings account to more or less save extra income or out of their meager salaries. Majority of the few people with bank accounts are people in the urban areas and are government or corporate employees whose salaries must be paid through the bank.
This negative attitude towards savings needs to change especially in the informal sector so to create financial freedom for the marginalised.
Describe how 'user friendly' your solution is to incorporate into social protection programs and delivery systems in West Africa.
Naa Sika is designed with the low to semi illiterate people in mind so we started with rolling out Chats Bots which simulates a chat with a human being using simple language. We are in the process of researching into inculcating speech into the bots to speak to customers in their chosen Language.
Susu like many other savings solutions in other African countries are similar. Such solutions which are already known makes it easier to push social protection agenda to more of the population.
Explain how your solution is interoperable with existing technologies and open standards.
Mobile money is mostly used by many especially in the informal sector. Naa Sika platform connects anyone with a Mobile Money wallet to have a micro bank account with us.
Our system is connected to all the mobile money networks in Ghana (and Africa) through known APIs and this can be replicated or connected to any other mobile money network in Africa.
How does your solution account for low connectivity environments and for users with low literacy and numeracy levels?
Although our system is made to be easily used by all, we have also made available Mobile Bankers who are located at various locations of cluster of people.
These mobile bankers go round the community to help those who have difficulty in using the system and also educate them on the benefits of saving and especially using a digital platform. They also help savers to learn the best practices of keeping records of the business that in the end will help them to access credit when necessary.
The mobile bankers help solve issues with customers on the field who might not Know how to connect to the customer care personally at HQ.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Do you already operate in one or several countries in West Africa? If so, which ones?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
current number of people: 851
the number serving in one year,: 50,000
the number serving in five years: 1,000,000
This can be achieved when we get fully regulated with a Medium Fintech Licence from the regulator in Ghana.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
Financial literacy is lacked in most informal sectors and rural folks. We see education as key thing to break the jinx of savings and to make people realise the benefits of the habit of saving.
Financial inclusion which is the ultimate goal and will impact the livelihood of households, as in Africa lives are based on households and communities they live in.
If one person benefits from financial literacy he or she takes in home to his community and others can learn from him/her and the cycle of education continues.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?
The main barrier to our operation for us to scale up nationwide Ghana is a regulatory requirement of a new Fintech licence that we now asked to acquire before the end of this year 2020. Our current licence restricts us to just operate within our local registered office and we are not allowed to advertise in any form such as social media or traditional media. This has impacted on our growth traction, so if we don't get funds to get the new licence we might not be able to achieve our growth target.
We need about $200,000 to meet regulatory licence requirement and possibly $800,000 to keep us afloat for about 2 plus years until we begin to make meaningful revenue.
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
We are at the moment looking for funding by equity or other means, and we believe if we win this program we can use this price money as a seed to cross this barrier.
What type of organization is your solution team?
How many people work on your solution team?
full-time staff: 5
How long have you been working on your solution?
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
Ralph Menz Ralph Menz is a Multimedia Technologist and an Engineer with a strong flair for Design and Tech. He has been the main brain behind several startups in the broadcast media with over 15yrs in management positions in several businesses.
Chelsy Sey Brands Influencer, an Event Organizer and a Broadcast Journalist, Holds a Bachelor of Technology in Procurement and in Textile Design and has years of experience in Sales and Marketing. She has also managed and consulted for some companies within the food and beverage industry (Hospitality) mostly in the Western Region of Ghana.
NANA KOFI boateng Over 15yrs in the field of Software Engineering in web, desktop, mobile apps and a team leader in many banking projects -private and government led projects and an Ethical Hacker (CEH)
KHALED HOSSAIN Product of Southeast University in Bangladesh, A free-thinking developer, with over 15yrs in the field of Software Engineering in web, desktop, mobile apps
KWAKU ASANTE With a rich banking expertise in the Consumer, Commercial and Retail Banking space culminating beautifully into a career which spans over a decade, Kwaku Asante has gained a wealth of mastery in the banking industry. Possessing a strong relationship management background, his versatility was brought to bear when he managed the largest consumer portfolio of a top tier local bank for six years resulting in enviable revenues and profitability growth year on year.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
Only our partner banks who turns around our money so we can generate interest to give back to our customers.
What is your business model?
Charge commission on
1. Matured savings less than 90 days: 2%
2. Matured savings more than 90 days generates by our partner bank and not charged to client: 2%
3. Using the Naa Sika at POS: 0.5%
4. Lending fees
5. Investment fees
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?
What is your path to financial sustainability?
The business will be sustained by itself as we intend to make money with our business model most especially as fees generated from all products will be enough to sustain it when we scale out Ghana or Africa wide to get more customers.
If you have raised funds for your solution or are generating revenue, please provide details.
At the moment the project is being bootstrapped by the Founder.
If you seek to raise funds for your solution, please provide details.
how much funding we seek: $1m
type of funding: grant, debt, or equity
by when to raise the money: November 2020
What are your estimated expenses for 2020?
What are your estimated expenses for 2020: $35,000
Why are you applying to the Mission Billion Challenge WURI West Africa Prize?
We are applying for this Mission Billion Challenge as we need funds seriously to scale up, as the product is ready but we don't have enough funds to scale.
When we win this price money it will be an addition to make a bold move to affect more people with our product.
We also believe it will open us up to other funding agencies to get to known us so to support us through Equity or grant finance to achieve our ultimate goal.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?