MFIs & Mobile Banking ; which possible impacts on the customer experience?

On our previous post, we had a look on the different services offered by Mobile Banking for MFIs. We will today focus on the possible impact of Mobile Banking for the customers. The whole paradox is to offer conveniences and new services to MFI clients without deteriorating/breaking the fundamental link that exists between the client and its Loan Officer (or more globally with the MFI).

Let’s assume that a lambda person wants to get a loan at an MFI. He has never contracted a loan before but would like to contract one individually (not interested in group lending). He will, most of the times (and according to the MFI organization), needs to deal with a 7 step process;

(1) He receives information (marketing) about the MFI

(2) He applies for a loan

(3) His loan request is evaluated

(4) The committee in charge of his folder grants him the loan. If not, the customer experience ends here.

(5) He collects his loan

(6) He is followed up by his dedicated  loan officer

(7) He repays his loan and at the end of this one may apply for another loan [going back to step (2) or (3) according to MFIs]

This is the typical journey of a customer willing to contract a loan. And the main question is, how this journey may be facilitated by Mobile Banking? We believe, it may be facilitated at most of the steps;

(1) He may be aware of the MFI by receiving a SMS

(2) The loan application may be done by the client on his USSD menu / STK application. This request can then be integrated in the MFI MIS.

(3) The pre-evaluation may be done with a scoring that defines if the client may get a loan.

(4) The committee approval needs to be held in person. The technology shouldn’t here replace the human brains.

(5) Once the client get his loan, he may get access to the liquidity at an agent’s [this step needs acceptance system such as e-wallets]

(6) The follow up may be facilitated with SMS sent that reminds the client he has to repay his next installment.

(7) The client may repay his loan directly with his cell phone [this step needs acceptance system such as e-wallets]

(8) The collection may be done using SMS to remind the last installment.

That is most of the ways to improve customer experience. Once more, it is primordial to see the new function of loan officers. They still need to be the key contact to the clients and possible ways to keep it are multiple. For instance, the loan officer may still go to the client’s after the repayment of his installment to deliver him a receipt. That way he still gets contact with the client and talk about his possible concerns. This link has to be kept according to the MFI history and background of dealing with its clients.

Our customer now has contracted to his loan and repays with his mobile phone. He now wonders if he could save with his mobile phone. The answer is yes, and the customer experience is easier than the credit one. In this case, the MFI can advertise on his saving account to the client on his phone (1) who will be then (once the registration completed) able to credit (3) and debit (4) his account with his mobile phone.

Interesting ways of enhancing customers experiences...Feel free to share your thoughts with us there