Eclectics International: Delivering Financial Inclusion through Innovation
Enter Eclectics International, a pan-African information and communication technology company that offers a solution suite to assist financial institutions in digitalizing their banking services, including account opening, bill payment, fund deposits and withdrawals, and more, to every customer irrespective of their location and financial status.
According to Paul Mbugua, Group MD of Eclectics International, the goal behind the development of Eclectics’ portfolio of financial solutions is the mitigation of the prevalent challenges in the African banking ecosystem. The company provides solutions that enable remote account opening, real-time tracking of funds, and expeditious loan processing, among others. At the same time, to drive financial inclusion and help farmers avail banking services, Eclectics has developed a database for farmers that aid banks in tracking their credit score and providing suitable bank service. In light of this development, the company is driving the introduction of ‘minimum KYC’—a concept that replaces the document-heavy KYC prerequisites with a simpler version where a consumer only needs to show their national ID data. By doing this, Eclectics’ wants to enable bank account opening for individuals that were previously unable to complete their KYC process. “We are currently working with the Central Bank of Kenya to develop a minimum KYC offering, which will allow farmers to gain the benefit of banking services without the need for information such as address proof, email ID, and more,” adds Mbugua. The company is also working with leading African banks to install processing data quickly (PDQ) machines to allow instant cash deposits and withdrawals. In case of bill payments, Eclectics is providing solutions that enable customers to pay their bills even if they do not have an active bank account.
Eclectics collaborates with top technology giants such as Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, among others to develops services that help banks roll out major tech-driven initiatives for customer relationship management, marketing, and more.
To drive financial inclusion and help farmers avail banking services, Eclectics has developed a database for farmers that aid banks in tracking their credit score and providing suitable bank service
In the social media arena, Eclectics has partnerships with WhatsApp, Facebook, and LinkedIn, which facilitates its clients to provide chatbot solutions for its customers. These collaborations are also helping Eclectics offer their services to major savings and credit co-operatives (SACCOs) across Africa, including SACCOs for teachers, police officers, and others. Mbugua elaborates that, traditionally, SACCOs planning to expand their numbers had to invest a significant sum of money and wait for years before gaining a positive ROI. But, with Eclectics comprehensive portfolio and strong technical competencies, SACCOs can grow quickly and cost-effectively. “In one instance, we were able to help a SACCO hit 5.7 million accounts in two years, which had previously peaked at 2.1 million users in the same period,” boasts Mbugua.
What makes Eclectics a cut above the rest is its two-pronged client engagement approach. “We approach each client on two fronts, technology—to ensure that the best-suited technology solution is deployed, and strategy—to ascertain that the deployed solution can reach every customer,” explains Mbugua. Today, the company has gathered a team of 207 highly-competent programmers capable of recognizing the changes in the technology landscape and developing solutions best suited for a client’s demands. Alongside, Eclectics sponsors top schools across Africa to drive the awareness of financial inclusivity. The company also organizes free banking services to large communities and collects data to further innovate its offerings. And on the regulatory side, the company always ensures that its offerings are PCI DSS certified and up-to-date with the latest financial mandates.
Moving forward, the company plans to expand its operations by penetrating all the Anglophone countries with solutions that incorporate emerging technologies and provide inclusive and efficient banking. Moreover, to sustain its current growth rate, Eclectics is aiming to release a new solution every six months and continue their innovation by working with leading vendors and technology firms. Mbugua also mentions his strategy to enter Francophone countries within the next three years through the establishment of strategic collaborations with leading technology leaders and banking giants in the West African region. Above all, to assist banks in deploying cost-effective and next-gen banking experience, Eclectics’ is currently driving additional collaborations with emerging FinTech companies.