Grameen Foundation is recognized for high-quality, cutting-edge leadership in developing and implementing transformational savings programs with financial institutions around the world. We work with commercial banks, telecommunication providers and microfinance institutions to innovate and scale new products and services.
We provide the framework and tools to create safe, convenient and accessible poverty-focused savings programs while building sound financial, organizational and institutional practices that align with a financial institution’s needs.
Grameen Foundation’s Microsavings Initiative, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working with Cashpor Microcredit, Ltd, in Varanasi, India, to broaden access to safe, flexible and convenient savings accounts. We are supporting Cashpor in its transition from a microfinance institution dedicated exclusively to credit into an organization offering a range of financial services to the poor. Key elements of the project are market research and product design, marketing and financial literacy, information technology support, social performance, data analytics and change leadership practices.
In 2011, Cashpor, ICICI Bank — the largest private commercial bank in India — and technology firm Eko launched a three-way partnership to provide savings services. In this model, Cashpor acts as the banking correspondent for ICICI Bank using its extensive field network to provide saving accounts to its customers through the use of Eko’s mobile application.
Grameen Foundation’s Microsavings Initiative is working with CARD Bank, a microfinance-oriented rural bank in the Philippines, to increase access to safe, flexible, convenient savings accounts for poor households. The bank used to offer savings accounts, but was not able to achieve the desired outreach or portfolio volume. We have supported CARD Bank with market research and product design, marketing and financial literacy, information technology, human resources, financial risk management and social performance management to help create a more robust savings program.
To help it reach rural customers, we helped CARD Bank implement an ATM-based savings product, along with a mobile financial services solution. The combination of these two technologies enables the bank to meet its customers’ needs, while transforming how it operates as it moves from being a credit-led institution to a customer, demand-driven institution.
Grameen Foundation launched The Livelihood Pathways for the Poorest project in partnership with The Livelihoods School (part of the Basix group of companies) to demonstrate a model for helping those living in extreme poverty. The integrated livelihoods model offers a suite of strategically sequenced products and services to enable extremely poor clients to engage in productive, stable livelihoods, and to gradually generate increased income to lift themselves out of poverty. The product and services include savings, psychosocial support, livelihood promotion and livelihood financing. The project, which was funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, is now operated by the Basix team in Bihar, India.