(A partnership between UKaid Sakchyam and Kisan Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd)
One of the major components of the UKaid Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme is to work with Nepal’s Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to make financial products and services affordable, available and accessible to the disadvantaged populations of the country. Sakchyam has worked closely with MFIs to improve financial inclusion by focusing on interventions such as branch expansion, product and service development, alternative delivery channels, capacity building and financial literacy. Most interventions are set in priority districts where better financial services have the potential to empower rural communities by making them financially independent.
Nepal’s far- and mid-western regions (Karnali, SudurPaschim and Province 5) are the least developed regions – most of the people have limited or no access to formal financial services and the poverty rate is also high.
Majority of households are located in the rural and mountainous areas with agriculture and remittance from India being the major sources of income.
The first partnership between Sakchyam and Kisan Microfinance BittiyaSanstha (KMF) helped the financial institution extend its services to the remote regions of mid- and far-western regions by adopting mobile technology in its core banking system.
Sakchyam and KMF have partnered again to further increase the access to formal financial services among the population of the remotest areas of the least developed regions. Under the second project, KMF will establish new branches in Bajhang, Humla, Jumla, Achham, Darchula, Baitadi, Dailekh, Jajarkot and Kalikot. A new loan product called project loan targeting the graduating clients will be developed in this project.
Financial literacy training will also be provided to the members at centre meetings to encourage savings, productive usage of loans and financial security to tackle unexpected risks. Tablets and portable projectors, flex prints and street dramas will be used for financial literacy initiatives.
As of March 2020, Kisan Microfinance has:
- Established 11 new branches in remote locations, reaching over 8,000 people
- Disbursed over NPR 429 million in loans and collected more than NPR 54 million in savings
- Deployed more 130 tablets to scale up tablet banking
- Launched the Project Loan product