The performance of a Microfinance Institution (MFI) in Malawi improves thanks to the optimisation of the use of its information and management system

14 July 2022
MLF Malawi

In four months, MicroLoan Foundation (MLF) Malawi has improved the organisation of its day-to-day work and performance by optimising the use of its information and management system (IMS), the tool that manages all the bank transactions of its customers. The Musoni platform –the IMS cloud already used by the MFI– was previously under-exploited, according to a study carried out by ADA. The management of customers’ accounts was only limited to debit and credit operations without encouraging the use of digital tools that enable access to these accounts and their monitoring and updating.

ADA has assisted the MFI in its needs analysis, leading to a certain number of processes such as credit approval being transformed with the new configuration of the Musoni platform. The institution has also benefited from capacity-building and an improvement in personnel skills.
What has changed exactly? Agents on the ground can now complete loan registrations and applications directly with customers via a tablet. This reduces paper use significantly and favours access to data by any habitual user of the platform. At the headquarters and branch levels, the MFI employees can easily access information collected in the field without having to input data from paper into digital format, which means considerable time savings. Clients’ files are also dealt with more quickly; the credit approval process is shortened, on average, from twenty days to just one day. As the process is more efficient, the level of personnel satisfaction has also increased significantly. Obtaining premiums is also facilitated, as more clients are active at the end of the month. In order to protect its clients better, the MFI has been able to configure a certain number of procedures on the platform, such as the progressive nature of the projects granted, which prevents personnel from entering a loan that would be outside the rules for the responsible management of the clientele.

Thus, thanks to a better understanding of the potential of the IMS, it has been possible to rationalise the procedures implemented and improve agents’ efficiency. Better-adapted use of the technology has enabled the MFI to reduce its paper footprint and improve the productivity and level of satisfaction of its teams. Furthermore, the application of validation checks and the automation of manual tasks have reduced the risk of errors in data processing and the level of fraud. Thanks to the optimisation of the platform and the improvements made to credit management processes, the number of clients of the MFI has risen from 27,776 at the end of 2021 to 32,686 in March 2022. The Malawi MLF has also opened four new agencies in the first quarter of 2022 without this meaning additional resources at headquarters level. This is the direct result of more efficient internal processes and better use of the technology available.

“The optimisation project has increased efficiency for clients, staff and the organisation. Clients are getting their loans faster, staff are spending less time on administration, and the organisation has increased digital know-how and we have seen significant growth as a result of the project funded by ADA.”
Medha Wilson, Group CEO, MicroLoan Foundation