For decades, SACCOs have played a key role in mobilizing savings and loans for millions of people in Kenya. Their importance in sectors such as housing, agriculture, dairy, etc., has increased tremendously. Many organizations, including the World Bank, estimate deeper reliance on these cooperatives in the coming years.
With the rising needs, these cooperatives have also shown themselves to be innovative and responsive to changing market conditions, including business needs, housing security, agricultural and non-agricultural produce. They also contribute significantly towards the socio-economic development of the societies, promoting self-development and reliance. However, SACCOs in Kenya have their own challenges that hinder their growth and retard their economic impact.
We aim to assess the challenges that SACCOs in Kenya face, and how technology can open doors to offer better products and services.
Lack of entrepreneurial vision
It is critical for any business to have an entrepreneurial vision to lead better growth and development. The cooperatives in Kenya lack the skills and vision required to meet the growing demands of members. This, consequently, hinders their process of building and offering personalized services for their members.
Members don’t understand their principles and values
Every member that connects with a SACCO might have a different purpose to serve. This can be true for millions of people connected to various cooperative societies in Kenya. It creates an awareness gap between them. A majority of members do not entirely understand the cooperatives’ principles and values, which may result in slower growth and disagreements in implementing various decisions.
Lack of focus on youth and gender equality
Women and youth in several African countries are a crucial part of the SACCOs economy. They comprise more than 60% of the members of a cooperative society. It may vary from country to country. However, many SACCOs fail to focus on the requirements of women and youth to offer them better services. It creates a critical impact on the growth of SACCOs as the majority of members remain unnoticed when it comes to developing and providing financial services.
Lack of innovation
Today, financial needs are growing at a much faster rate. Dependence on manual processes to perform day-to-day operations might not be sufficient to fulfill the rising demand. Furthermore, it will create chances of errors and mismanagement of data. SACCOs in Kenya suffer due to a lack of digital systems and updated technology.
As a fintech company, we believe technology can help SACCOs and their members to smoothen their processes and reduce the chances of errors.
How can technology help SACCOs?
We aim to digitize how SACCOs in Kenya operate with the help of technology and innovation. We have built a Credit Association Management System (CAMS) that thousands of SACCOs can use to manage their operations online. With CAMS, members can manage their loans and savings using their preferred mobile money network. Sending and receiving money can be done easily through mobile phones.
CAMS is an innovative solution that uses technology to offer a faster, safer, and more transparent payment system. Our solution uses the already running mobile payment network and helps millions of people to manage their funds. Read more about CAMS and how it can enable better financial inclusion in Africa.