The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic was a clear warning that all was not well with the way we dealt with money and the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic was a planetary impact we were all ill-equipped to deal with. Despite overwhelming health services and almost bringing the world economy to its knees, the coronavirus pandemic also gave us an opportunity to rebuild in a new direction. In particular, the pandemic emphasised the importance of cooperation and convenience when it came to saving and lending.
MOMBO SACCO, Kenya’s premiere app-based, digital Sacco, had turned on the headlights beforehand. It saw the challenges most people would face when it comes to financial security without co-operation – challenges that were inherent within the existing financial system. The Sacco recorded growth in all its performance indicators: membership, asset base, loan-book, and revenue. According to the Sacco Society Regulatory Authority, deposit taking Saccos recorded a 14% growth in total assets when compared to 2019. It was at this period that MOMBO SACCO recorded a 118% growth in its total assets. This underpins the viability of the Sacco’s strategy for the period, which has been action beyond platitudes. MOMBO SACCO now sees the path back to a safe place, to a more resilient future. The Sacco believes that this is achievable.
In addition, in the Third World, Savings and Co-operative societies have traditionally been associated with lower-income communities and mostly rural-area based groups. But MOMBO SACCO is for all, including the upwardly mobile, urban based youthful population, most of whom had been neglected by the Sacco movement. From inception in 2015, MOMBO SACCO is not only offering an alternative to traditional Saccos, but also applying the best financial technology to create the convenience that is required for the way we live now.
Through its member-interface platform, the MOMBO App, the Sacco is putting the tools its members need to feel secure and confident about their savings in their hands. MOMBO SACCO has also used financial technology to deepen the values of self-help and solidarity, and the ethical values of social responsibility and concern for community in a new way. Relying on its primary focus on innovative financial solutions, the Sacco was inadvertently prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cutting-edge financial technology, coupled with a system of Customer Success Reps (CSRs), created a financial institution most people could trust, regardless of their economic background. Both the MOMBO App and the Sacco’s CSRs provided an effective feed-back loop, making it possible for the Sacco to put the concerns of its members at the centre of its day-to-day operations, its mission and its vision for the future. ‘To emerge stronger from this crisis, we need to deepen our values of cooperation, that need to be guided by solidarity’, says Peter Mcharo, the Chairperson of MOMBO SACCO. ‘We can all do our part to build a stronger and just future so that everyone can live with dignity’, Mr. Mcharo continues.
At a time when many businesses were collapsing, and financial institutions were turning away from them, MOMBO SACCO disbursed over 70% of its loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Given the significance of SMEs to the Kenyan economy, MOMBO SACCO, as such, has played a crucial role not only in cushioning small businesses from the adverse effects of the pandemic, but also increased levels of financial inclusion.
During this International Day of Co-operatives, we encourage more people to join Saccos. At MOMBO SACCO, we have created a platform that has enabled us to flourish from the values of financial co-operation, especially during the global pandemic. This has shown us the true value of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies. As we strive to become a sophisticated, diverse, well managed, and innovative Sacco, we welcome everyone to join our movement.
We wish you a Happy International Day of Co-operatives!
To join MOMBO SACCO, simply download the MOMBO App from either google play store or Apple Store and follow the easy steps to enrol!