By Yankuba Jallow and Fatoumatta K. Jallow
‘Software Group’has signed a memorandum of understanding with Lasting Solutions on Financial Inclusion using alternative delivery channels or Agency banking options.
Financial Inclusion is a process that ensures an ease of access, availability and usage of Financial Services to the public. Financial Inclusion is often considered as a critical element that makes growth inclusive as access to finance can enable economic agents to make longer-term consumption and investment decisions, participate in productive activities and cope with the unexpected short-term shocks.
‘Software Group’ operates in over 65 countries that are engaged in providing software solutions to those countries they are operating from. The Group has now chosen to partner with the Gambia’s Lasting Solutions who endeavours to empower its clientele with ICT solutions that can transform their business processes.
Lasting Solutions providing services computer equipment, consultancy in Information Technology, Network Design and Security, Disaster and Data Recovery, Application Development, Offsite data storage solutions and IT Outsourcing.
‘Software Group’ is a specialised IT company providing technological services and solutions to a range of players in the financial sector. It is particularly focused on addressing the needs of commercial banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), co-operators, credit unions, payment network operators and mobile operators. The Group is dedicated to developing and delivering products that enable financial institutions expand their outreach through the use of appropriate technologies.
Gambia unlike many countries of the world, does not adopt to the new technologies to service clients more conveniently and cheaply, through more diversified delivery channels. The Digital Revolution and increased competition are the driving factors behind many of the changes we are witnessing within the financial services industry. For most organisations, achieving a competitive advantage requires the adoption of new technologies to service clients more conveniently and cheaply through more diversified delivery channels. With unlimited option, from mobile to internet and branchless banking, being able to identify the right solution to take you forward with minimum risk and effort, is an art.
The ‘Software Group’ offers many services such as Agent Banking, Anti Money Laundering, ATM/POS Network Management, Bank Reconciliation, Branchless Banking (Bank in a Box), Card Management System, Data Warehouse and Reporting, Field Operations, Front End for Banking System, Mobile Wallet, Mobile Banking, Internet Banking, SMS Alerts and Inquiries, Social Performance Management and many to other services.
All these services according to them are designed based on latest technologies, designed to guarantee high multithreading performance, smooth work under pressure and auto-resolution of problems. The services also include the UnderTree (UT) Route which is a high performance and incredibly flexible EFT switch that enables financial institutions to connect to various financial payment networks and devices.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr.Seku A.K. Jaabi, the First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia, said financial inclusion is at the centre of government’s development policy agenda and the Central Bank of the Gambia is leading stakeholders in driving the course.
“At global and national levels, policymakers have been embracing financial inclusion as an important development priority” he said.
Mr. Jaabi said financial inclusion means drawing the “unbanked” population into the formal financial system so that they can have the opportunity to access financial services ranging from savings, payments and transfers to credit or insurance.
In his recommendation for the financial inclusion to contribute positively to financial stability, Mr. Jaabi said greater diversification of bank assets as a result of increased lending to smaller firms could reduce the overall riskiness of the bank’s loan portfolio. He added that increasing the number of small savers would increase both the size and stability of the deposit base, reducing the bank’s dependence on ‘non-core’ financing, which tends to be more volatile during a crisis. Finally, he recommended that greater financial inclusion could also contribute to a better transmission of monetary policy, also contributing to greater financial and economic stability.
The day was graced by Business Development Manager and also the Sales Manager of ‘Software Group’, Lasting Solutions, CEOs of Financial and Mobile Companies, partners in Financial Inclusion and other protocols.