Empower Entrepreneurs in South Africa

by Opportunity International
Jan 8, 2013

Using Technology to End Poverty in South Africa

Serving Rural Clients in South Africa

Unlike many microfinance organizations, we believe that financial services should not be accessible only to those in the big cities. Many living in rural communities of South Africa live hours from the nearest bank, ATM, or store with credit access. That's why we're using innovative technology to give even the most rural clients acess to loans, savings, and credit. 

Using Available Technology

For decades, commercial banks have avoided serving people living in poverty, especially in rural areas, because of the high cost of processing small transactions. In contrast, Opportunity has invested more than $20 million over the last 10 years in the use of electronic and mobile technologies to reduce transaction costs and bring services to the most marginalized and remote clients. By establishing low-cost satellite branches and deploying ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) devices and mobile banks in outlying areas, banking services are provided to people in their own communities.

Capturing clients’ biometric information provides convenient and secure access to finances, even for those who are illiterate or lack formal identification. When clients open an account, their fingerprint is scanned and stored in the bank’s system, enabling electronic transactions at retail and ATM locations. New technologies use cell phones, and satellite and broadband Internet to further increase Opportunity’s reach in South African communities, as well as other rural communities across Africa. 

Thank you for your generosity that allows us to keep on reaching the most marginalized people!


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Organization Information

Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.opportunity.org
Project Leader:
Ally Lynch
Oak Brook, Illinois United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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