SaveAct has a vision of using technological advancements and access to markets to build an improved “ecosystem” with financial and other services designed around the needs of savings groups and, more generally, the rural poor, who continue to be largely excluded from the dominant development path of South Africa’s so-called “dual economy”.
SaveAct is using technological advancements in the following key areas:
Last-mile communication with bonding platform: SaveAct is building a communication platform with content designed to foster a shared knowledge and collective identity across savings groups and their members. In this way, SaveAct not only increases its outreach but also broadens the service portfolio available for members.
Excess liquidity management: the introduction of debit or gift cards alongside a group account has the potential to improve member’s access to liquidity and familiarise members with digital banking systems.
Mapping financial profiles: using mobile technology in e-recording, SaveAct aims to better understand financial service needs by introducing financial tracking for individual and group accounts.
Enterprise focus group/SCG payment capability for enterprise and social good: a key factor in making rural enterprises more viable is training in improved farming methods and enabling access to the right inputs at a reasonable cost. Through bulk buying, SaveAct aims to exploit economies of scale to provide preferential access to inputs for remotely located smallholders.
Innovation with farmers: farmer’s livelihoods, especially smallholder farmers are vulnerable to risk and experience difficulties accessing markets. EFGs offer opportunities to lift several farmers out of a relatively marginal existence.