As part of the Centre for Financial Inclusion’s (CFI’s) ‘Financial Inclusion Week’ held in Washington DC, 4G Capital announces the initiation of a special working relationship with the CFI’s Smart Campaign to define global standards for client protection across the digital financial services industry.
The Smart Campaign works globally, uniting financial leaders to create an environment in which financial services are delivered safely and responsibly to low-income customers by maintaining a rigorous certification program, elevating the customer’s voice and convening partners to effect change at the national level.
Headquartered in Mauritius, 4G Capital has supported self-employed traders and micro-enterprises in East Africa for over 5 years by providing essential financial literacy and business training along with working capital credit to help informal MSME businesses grow sustainably.
New digital financial services, products and delivery methods help bridge the enormous gap in financial inclusion and offer life changing opportunities for customers worldwide, but they also introduce additional risks.
4G Capital is working with the Smart Campaign to create standards that can support the evolution of a dynamic industry while ensuring client protection is paramount. As a member of Smart’s Fintech Protects Community of Practice, a forum for providers to discuss responsible digital finance, 4G Capital has been instrumental in supporting the Smart Campaign to develop a digital credit certification to be released in 2019.
The Smart Campaign concluded an in-depth site assessment of 4G Capital’s Kenyan operations, and found that 4G Capital’s practices and unique approach of blending advanced artificial intelligence analytics with human-centric customer services delivered high positive social impact and customer loyalty.
Smart Campaign’s new standards for digital credit will provide next generation guidelines to accredited Digital Financial Services with the aim of strengthening customer relationships and increasing retention, reducing financial risk and increasing returns for providers.
Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, CEO and Founder of 4G Capital said, “We are incredibly proud and honoured to have been selected by the Smart Campaign to benchmark fintech industry best practice. Digital data protection and customer protection affects us all. This is the new challenge to deliver access with fairness and security.”
Isabelle Barrès, Global Director of the Smart Campaign said, “The industry perspective is crucial to developing standards that will be embraced by digital financial service providers. 4G Capital has shown a deep commitment to client protection by sharing best practices and helping the Campaign set the bar for responsible digital finance.”
4G Capital’s mission is to address the Finance Gap across Africa. According to the SME Finance Forum, this now stands at over $19bn for Micro and SMEs in Kenya alone, yet this important segment accounts for over 30% of GDP. High collateral and data requirements create insurmountable barriers for such businesses to access credit. Over 72% rely on family capital to run their businesses and 30% of small businesses fail due to lack of funding.
A recent survey by TechnoServe (who also partner with 4G Capital) found that 4G Capital’s customers experienced an average of 82% increase in revenue over a one year period.
4G Capital is forecast to lend over $40m to small and medium size business by 2019. Uniquely, 4G Capital consistently achieves over 94% collection rate without having to refinance or collateralize its customers.