This study identifies challenges and opportunities of using mobile money with savings groups as it assesses:
- The opportunity and demand for savings groups to be linked to formal financial institutions via a financial service adapted to their needs
- The interest of NGO partners implementing programs to link savings groups with financial institutions
- The existence of local financial institutions interested and equipped to accommodate the needs of savings groups that are ready and willing to link with financial institutions.
Due to a growing need for both greater security for their funds and increased access to financial services for savings group members, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have started programs linking groups to formal financial services. After completing a promising feasibility study in late 2012, Freedom from Hunger initiated a pilot project to facilitate financial linkages to savings groups in Northern Burkina Faso (Passoré Province) via the Airtel Money product, in collaboration with Airtel Burkina and Ecobank Burkina. This pilot project has exhibited the eagerness of the partners involved and an increased demand for savings accounts by savings groups over time. Freedom from Hunger would like to replicate the experience in other countries in West Africa and assist other savings-group promoting organizations in developing financial linkages between savings groups and formal financial institutions.