Africa as a continent is on the up and up. With many sectors showing good recovery from the recent economic slump, consumer spending in particular is picking up. This has created a need for quality credit management solutions as individuals seek to improve circumstances and take advantage of optimistic economic climates.
Local credit providers and established micro financiers are faced with certain challenges inherent to operating in Africa. Connectivity is not always up to scratch. Getting the right infrastructures in place to provide a stable and reliable service can be expensive and time consuming. The remoteness of some locations can make it difficult to penetrate effectively into certain areas and provide acceptable service levels.
According to Miles Hern, Managing Director at Ké Concepts, many IT solutions, particularly those developed for American or European markets have been designed to operate in a first-world environment. Unfortunately these don’t always translate well into an African context. “This is why partnering with a technology partner with not only an understanding of the African technology environment, but also proven performance in this space can be a huge advantage to African-based companies,” say Hern.
Ké Concepts have been assisting their clients to expand their operations into Africa since 2002 and have been operating in the Ghanaian financial sector since 2006. Currently, clients include micro financiers such as African Financial Services (AFS) and other Ghana-based premier financial services providers. “Ghana is a logical choice for a number of our clients,” explains Hern. “Its stable economic and political climate is attracting a lot of interest and we’ve been doing our part to bring top-class credit management solutions to the country.”
Instead of being deterred by obstacles presented, Ké Concepts merely reassessed customers’ needs and sought workable solutions. Most notably, Ké have successfully modified their end-to-end credit management solution to enable off-line functionality, providing solid performance even in the absence of a stable connection. “Many of our existing customers in this market are providing loans to salaried employees, many of which are working outside of city centres. We paid particular attention to our origination and disbursement modules so that credit can be approved and disbursed even when off-line, which are the most critical areas in terms of customer-facing interactions,” says Hern.
Ké’s solutions are available on a subscription basis, despite bandwidth eccentricities. This makes their solutions easily accessible as there is no need for large capital expenditure in extensive infrastructures and software licensing.
This delivery model also offers a number of business benefits. The service is delivered out of a world-class data centre in Johannesburg allowing companies based in African locales such as Ghana to leverage first-world technologies for their service delivery. Easy to deploy, short to-market lead times, and affordable pay-per-user pricing models are making Ké’s solutions extremely attractive to Ghanaian lenders. In addition this enables Ké to provide support without having physical presence in the respective countries.
“Ké’s ability to adapt so effectively has enabled our African clients to really gain a foothold in areas that have been inaccessible until now for great market penetration,” says Hern. “We are really looking forward to facilitating future growth and engaging more and more in these markets.”