Logiciel’s unique gKudi platform is helping Unicorn Happy Investment Microfinance Limited boost revenues for their business.
- gKudi is Logiciel’s cloud based core banking platform for the informal finance sector. One of the users of the gKudi platform is Unicorn Happy Investment (UHI) Microfinance Limited, who is a microfinance institution with 10 branches spread out across southern Ghana.
- UHI began discussions with Logiciel in June, 2013. In July 2013, UHI signed a deal to migrate from their existing server based banking system to Logiciel’s gKudi platform: Logiciel’s comprehensive, integrated en-to-end core banking platform.
- Logiciel successfully migrated UHl’s 17,000 customers across 5 branches in July 2013. Each branch was set up within 3 days of the branch data being available. As an integral part of the platform, Logiciel also provided a real-time collection system using mobile phones and blue-tooth printers as Point of Sale terminals for 64 Mobile Agents.
UHl’s key requirements were to get up-to-date visibility of all their banking operations and achieve faster resolution of any systems issues that they encountered.
UHI was operating five branches spread across southern Ghana with headquarters in Koforidua - the capital of the Eastern region. UHI previously used a banking system that was installed in each branch as a stand-alone system on a server. Each branch physically sent their back-up disk drives to the headquarters every Friday. This meant that transactions for branches were invisible to management until the beginning of the following week. This caused major challenges for UHl’s management. For example, any mistakes in branch postings were discovered and resolved after being in the system for at least one week. UHI wanted to see the status of transactions across all branches using a centralised database application.
With the previous banking system, resolution of any software issues meant that the supplier had to send a software expert to the branch to analyse and then resolve the issue. Since the supplier was based in Accra (Ghana’s capital), this sometimes meant that it could take two days even before the supplier could identify the problem let alone produce a solution.
At the start of the project, Logiciel and UHI agreed an implementation plan to migrate their existing customer balances to Logiciel’s gKudi platform. Logiciel’s implementation team travelled to Koforidua to work with UHl’s team at headquarters. They were able to extract the customer balances from headquarters database in a format that allowed manipulation of data. This was then re-formatted to make it compatible with Logiciel’s gKudi platform before being uploaded automatically into the single gKudi database. Staff at UHI headquarters were then trained in how to use the gKudi system.
For the remaining four branches, UHl’s internal team worked on getting the data in a similar format and; within 3 days of data being available; Logiciel set up new branches on the central database for UHI allowing UHl’s team to go in and train branch staff on the use of the gKudi software.
At each of the branches, UHl’s mobile agents were given mobile phones that had been adapted so that they could record transactions on the gKudi platform and trained on how to record customer transactions and provide a receipt to the customer’s with a connected blue tooth printer in real time when they went out to the field.
Logiciel Unicorn Happy Investment MFI Case Study
In all, approximately 17,000 UHI customers were migrated across the 5 branches and this provided for visibility to UHI of all branches’ transactions in a single database, from anywhere there was an internet connection. UHI management can now make decisions (e.g. Loan authorisations) based on real-time data from anywhere and management can institute better control over the branches. This has boosted revenue for UHI.
The deployment of the gKudi web-based platform also meant that UHI achieved their objective of improving responsiveness to resolution of software issues. Any software issues identified by UHI are analysed immediately by Logiciel and resolved without having to go to a particular site.
The solution offers other benefits to UHI. One particular notable benefit is the boosting of the Mobile agents sales by about 30% since gKudi was rolled out due to better monitoring and visibility of agent daily transactions. Also UHl’s weekly and monthly Bank of Ghana’s regulatory reports can now be produced at the touch of a button instead of the difficult challenge it was before gKudi was deployed.
Logiciel’s vision is to be the major IT facilitator for the movement of money in the informal finance sector to where investment is needed in Africa.
Logiciel’s gKudi platform has been designed and is run by a team with extensive experience of the banking, IT and telecommunications markets in Ghana and Africa. This deep knowledge means that the platform architecture is uniquely designed to:
- Provide low, predictable costs to Microfinance Institutions.
- Facilitate rapid microfinance institution growth through interfaces designed for operation by semi-skilled personnel.
Mr Alex Asante, Chief Operating Officer for UHI says: “UHI selected Logiciel because their solution was the most cost effective - on both our initial investment and monthly outgoings - and none of the other solutions we considered had the unique real-time agent monitoring system of gKudi.”
“The use of the gKudi platform has brought confidence to our customers as they know that as soon as they give money to any of our agents, their accounts are updated immediately the agent keys in the transaction on the phone. They also get immediate SMS confirmation of the transaction. In fact, gKudi has given UHI functionality at par with the commercial banks for a fraction of the cost” Mr Asante said.
Ultimately, the gKudi platform has increased UHl’s revenues, boosted the confidence of their client base and improved the productivity of UHl’s agents. The platform gave UHI a cost-effective solution to meet its growing needs, whilst also enabling the company to make real time management decisions from anywhere there is an internet connection.
Since the solution is based on cloud computing technology, it is future proofed. The gKudi platform provides UHI with a robust solution that can be expanded effectively to meet its evolving requirements as a microfinance institution.
As Mr Alex Asante said: “We have recently expanded our operation to ten branches since we migrated to the gKudi platform. Previously, systems availability was a huge headache for branch expansion but now, I do not need to think about that aspect as we expand.”
Now that that UHI has secured a more flexible and robust banking system, the company can turn its attentions to further improving other aspects of its services to its customers.
About Unicorn Happy Investment Microfinance Ltd
Unicorn Happy Investment Microfinance Limited is a subsidiary of the UHI HOLDINGS and one of Ghana's fastest growing microfinance companies. It was first registered in August 2009 under the laws of Ghana as a micro finance company and is fully licensed as a deposit taking institution by the Bank of Ghana. With ten (10) branches and a good number of agencies developed within four years and focused dedication to its Motto: "we grow with you", UHI is positioning itself even closer to its customers and target market. Website: http://www.uhighana.com