The innovation challenge: people, processes and technology

The microfinance market offers excellent growth prospects, and CreditAccess’ strategy is tailored to exploiting opportunities in both established and greenfield markets. To achieve the stated growth targets, however, it is essential to maintain a competitive edge, which in turn requires effective innovation.

To successfully compete with both existing and new microcredit providers, it is important to improve the quality and efficiency of processes. It is also crucial to build on the Company’s strengths, identifying areas in which the Company is uniquely positioned to add value for its clients.

CreditAccess’ innovation programme for the next five years addresses these challenges. It is shaped by two key insights:

  1. Microfinance is a people and process business
    Most financial service providers’ primary concern is managing credit risk effectively. However, microfinance is first and foremost a people and process business. CreditAccess employs a vast network of field staff, who are responsible for millions of small transactions. Success largely depends on the ability to design and execute streamlined processes, to hire and train the right people and to monitor and manage their performance effectively.
  2. Fintech innovations will transform microfinance
    The financial sector, and especially the retail credit segment, is undergoing radical change, driven by innovative financial technology. Many of these innovations will also transform microfinance. They offer unique opportunities to streamline back-office processes and to develop new ways of finding clients, assessing their creditworthiness and interacting with them. The challenge for CreditAccess is to identify and adopt crucial innovations, outpacing competitors.

Against this background, CreditAccess has formulated an innovation strategy targeting four areas:

  • Developing smart, innovative credit methodologies.
  • Maintaining and strengthening the focus on the client relationship.
  • Building a wider, innovative product portfolio.
  • Developing HR tools for more effective recruitment, selection and talent development.