The ongoing modernization of financial resources and efficient payment systems within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has provided new and innovative opportunities to promote accessibility to financial knowledge across the country. FINCA Canada, in partnership with the Government of Canada, continues to have a strong presence in the DRC, helping further develop financial prosperity among low-income women and men with financial services that are specifically tailored to their needs and unique lifestyles.
Last month, FINCA DRC met with members of L’Association Nationale des Institutions de Microfinance en République Démocratique du Congo (ANIMF-DRC), or The National Association of Microfinance Institutions, to further connect with local microfinance institutions and discuss best practices in financial resources and educational training within the DRC. Using experience-based results, FINCA DRC was able to garner local acumen and provide organizational highlights on the following topics:
- The integration of the National Money Switch;
- Women empowerment and obstacles in financial exclusion; and
- Financial education through FINCA institutions.
With several microfinance institutions sharing an array of practices on financial education training, this meeting provided FINCA DRC with the opportunity to gain further local support and insights in combatting financial exclusion across the nation.
The integration of the National Money Switch
In 2021, following a reform phase aimed at normalizing payment systems in the DRC, the Banque Centrale du Congo (BCC), or Central Bank of the Congo, announced the launch of its National Money Switch using the SmartVista solution. The solution digitizes traditional banking activities and services and has become the platform of choice by more than 20 national systems worldwide. The National Money Switch offers interoperability between the various economic players on both a national and global level as the current landscape continues to show saturation in segregated and privatized electronic payment solutions.
Subsequently, FINCA DRC was granted the opportunity to participate in the pilot phase of integrating the National Money Switch via the Mosolo card and was the very first microfinance institution in the DRC to take this step under the recommendation of the BCC. The Mosolo card (Mosolo meaning ‘money’), allows patrons to travel or trade internationally by gaining access to both the Congolese franc and multiple other currencies. These developments have solidified another building block in the traditional financial systems to streamline the use of FINCA products and services and further introduce technology into the economic landscape of the DRC.
Women empowerment and strengthening gender inclusivity
Gender equality remains a vital element in the development and sharing of financial resources through FINCA institutions. As women continue to face obstacles through financial and economic exclusion in producing accessible and inclusive materials, FINCA Canada continues to help women discover meaningful work, establish successful and lasting businesses, and achieve financial independence in the DRC.
With new advancements in digital banking services and its ongoing integration into the DRC, ANIMF-DRC provided their insights on the empowerment of women and the obstacles related to their financial inclusion during its meeting in August. Members of the ANIMF-DRC insisted on the fact that this is just another phase in the nation’s digital transformation, encouraging the traditional financial system to consider the unique needs of women in the use of products and services FINCA DRC provides.
Looking ahead: revolutionizing digital finance
FINCA DRC continues to make strong, positive strides in providing technologically advanced resources to better economic prosperity in the DRC. With the FINCA Financial Inclusion Project wrapping up after five years in operation, our team is committed to continue fighting for financial inclusion among low-income communities traditionally excluded from the formal financial system, to support self-employment and progress towards a better life.
At FINCA, we’re committed to working alongside local microfinance institutions of the DRC to provide further access and opportunities to financial resources, education and training and continue our positive momentum in helping to build local businesses and ignite economic vitality in communities across the country.
Click here to learn more about how the FINCA Canada Financial Inclusion Project has developed and promoted economic prosperity for low-income women and men in Haiti and the DRC through microfinance institutions, technology and training.