Digitizing Community Banking with Kwara's Cynthia Wandia

February 18, 2021

In this episode, we talk about savings and credit cooperative societies, or SACCOs, and the outsize role these member-owned community banks play in African and emerging markets. While millions of Africans belong to SACCOs, it's an industry that Kwara's Cynthia Wandia calls "as analog as it gets". Kwara is a Kenyan startup building software to digitize SACCOs, and in this episode, we talk to Cynthia about the role SACCOs play in these markets, the product and design principles employed to ensure proper utilization of the platform, Kwara's impact for members, the company's origin story, and more.

[04:23] - First question, what are SACCOs, and why are these types of member-owned community institutions so prevalent in markets like Kenya?

[10:20] - An introduction to Kwara and its products.

[16:54] - What product and design considerations went into building Kwara to ensure high utilization of the platform?

[21:06] - On Kwara's SACCO onboarding processes.

[27:42] - We explore Cynthia's background and Kwara's origin story.

[36:34] - Looking ahead, how does Kwara look at product and geographic expansion, and the opportunity to be an embedded finance platform?

This episode is part of our conversational series sponsored by MFS Africa. MFS Africa's competition is with cash, and throughout this series, we'll feature other startups and entrepreneurs who are digitizing, better organizing, and aggregating analog and fragmented industries.

This episode features:

Episode Artwork by Chileshe Tembo – The Zig

New episodes straight to your inbox.

Get them as soon as they're published.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Join thousands of subscribers.

Transcript