MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC to Advise FINCA DRC on Boosting Access to Credit, Mobile Banking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with Funding from The MasterCard Foundation

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently agreed to provide two years of advisory services, valued at USD 1 million, to FINCA DRC, a unit of US-based FINCA Microfinance Holding Company that provides savings and credit services to 256,000 customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The goal is to “strengthen its ability to offer access to credit…and to expand its mobile banking operations” to serve 200,000 additional microentrepreneurs and others with low incomes. The project is part of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, through which IFC and The MasterCard Foundation, which is based in Canada, have raised USD 37 million to support mass-market financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The CEO of FINCA Microfinance Holding, Andree Simon, stated that “FINCA is dedicated to providing access to responsible and affordable financial services to low-income Congolese. This initiative will propel FINCA to better leverage the power of digital technology and put banking in the hands of our customers, no matter where they live.”

As of 2017, FINCA DRC has 20 branches and 900 eXpress agents offering paperless transactions that are secured by thumbprint. It reports to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange total assets of USD 86 million, a gross loan portfolio of USD 71 million and deposits of USD 32 million as of 2015.

FINCA International, also known as the Foundation for International Community Assistance, is the majority shareholder in FINCA Microfinance Holding, which serves 1.6 million clients – mostly women – through subsidiaries in 21 countries as of 2017. As of 2015, its assets were valued at USD 1.1 billion. IFC, KfW Bankengruppe, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), responsAbility, Triple Jump and Triodos Investment Management also hold shares in FINCA Microfinance Holding.

The MasterCard Foundation seeks to enable people living in poverty to improve their lives with increased access to financial services and education, primarily in Africa. The foundation was established in 2006 by a gift of shares from US-based payment processor MasterCard Worldwide during that company’s initial public offering. As of 2015, The MasterCard Foundation reported approximately USD 9 billion in assets.

IFC offers loans, equity investments, technical assistance and risk mitigation services to private companies with the intent of alleviating poverty and promoting open and competitive markets in developing countries. As of 2016, IFC has 184 member countries that drive its policies and approve disbursements, and it reported total assets of USD 90 billion.

Sources and Additional Resources

IFC, The MasterCard Foundation and FINCA Support Expansion of Financial Inclusion in the Democratic Republic of Congo
http://fmh.finca.org/news/agreement-expansion-of-financial-inclusion-in-the-congo/

FINCA DRC
http://www.finca.cd/

IFC
http://www.ifc.org/

The MasterCard Foundation
http://www.mastercardfdn.org/

MIX
http://themix.org/

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