Business and Economy

Bboxx launches financial inclusion to accelerate inclusive economic development across Africa

Bboxx, a next-generation utility, is ramping up the promotion of greater financial inclusion in Africa through a series of new initiatives. Among these is a cash loan and affordable financial services pilot aimed at positively transforming lives in Kenya.

The pilot has secured access to finance for customers who would otherwise struggle to obtain it elsewhere. These cash loans will help to significantly support people, from improving financial capacities to invest in businesses like farming to paying school fees, medical emergencies, among other uses. Bboxx acts as the platform between the customer and the lender, using its platform Bboxx Pulse® and its credit scoring algorithm capabilities to identify customers that may require a loan. Bboxx has partnered with a Kenyan Fintech company, a financial services provider to conduct this pilot. Since the launch of the pilot, Bboxx has recorded a repayment rate of 80% and a low NPL (Non-Performing Loans) at 2%. This is a positive indication of what can be expected when scale happens.

The opportunity to transform lives for the better through providing access to financial services is huge, with over half of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa not currently banking or borrowing from a regulated financial institution*. Bboxx’s customers are often building digital credit histories for the first time through paying for their solar energy Pay-As-You-Go via mobile money. Despite being excluded from mainstream financial services, Bboxx’s data backs up that these customers are highly reliable. Bboxx is looking to roll pilots out further in 2022 in Kenya and other markets, working with financial institutions, fintechs and traditional banks.

Bboxx CEO and Co-Founder, Mansoor Hamayun said: “We believe that technology is the key to unlocking inclusive and sustainable development in Africa. The launch of our latest cash loans pilot in Kenya is part of our wider strategy to continually innovate and to promote financial inclusion throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a significant untapped market opportunity here to enable people who have been previously unfairly cut off from finance to reach their full potential.

“Through leveraging our scalable technology platform and decentralised distribution network, we have a growing pipeline of opportunities where we can significantly help customers across a variety of sectors and services. We look forward to keeping up momentum as we accelerate our pilot launches throughout 2022 and beyond, working with a range of partners to put this vision into action.”

The launch closely follows Bboxx’s recent signing of the first ever Memorandum of Understanding (‘MoU’) to sell smartphones in Togo, in partnership with the Togolese Government. The MoU will improve digital inclusion and the delivery of digital public services, with the smartphones made available to the public via more affordable financing options.

Both initiatives form part of Bboxx’s broader vision to build a digital marketplace for all underserved customers across a range of essential sectors and services. Bboxx’s roots lie firmly in clean energy driven by its purpose to tackle energy poverty. The business is investing in IoT technology solutions and using its innovative proprietary Bboxx Pulse® platform to scale clean energy access in Africa. Pulse® software is now evolving further in response to customer demand for wider products and services, including pay-as-you-go LPG clean cooking systems, solar-powered water pumps and irrigation systems for farming, through to TV content, internet and smartphones, all of which can be delivered once people have access to clean energy and built up a track-record of online bill payments.

Access to energy brings people into the digital economy and fosters greater financial inclusion. Bboxx impact analysis has found that thousands of people have undertook more economic activities as a result of using Bboxx’s energy products and services, generating entrepreneurship and $30m of income within hard-to-reach communities who have previously been overlooked.

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