Before anything, let me introduce myself. I joined Access Microfinance Holding in February 2016 as banking advisor. I immediately started working for its Zambian subsidiary, AB Bank Zambia, to support organizational developments, especially in risk management. Following a Frankfurt School consultancy in 2017, I enrolled first in the Certified Expert in Risk Management (CERM) then in the Certified Expert in SME Finance (CESF). I became very enthusiastic about Frankfurt School’s Development Finance e-learning programs. This enabled me to quickly discover and understand the required concepts, adopt operational tools as well as build up strong practical knowledge, thanks to the case studies.
In 2019, I switched focus to become Program and Technical Assistance Manager and started coordinating the bank’s project portfolio.
AB Bank Zambia started the implementation of its digital journey in 2019 with projects including launch of its own mobile wallet, eTumba, integration with mobile money operators and introduction of credit scoring tools. Digital finance came on top of our agenda and I needed to swiftly scale up my understanding of digital finance technologies that we could adopt.
We were also aware that digitalising our products will not create value on its own and I sought inspiring examples of creation of business opportunities thanks to digital finance technology.
Additionally, the financial sector in Zambia has been experiencing tectonic changes, with mobile money users skyrocketing in terms of share of adult population since 2015, whereas the share of bank’s clients has been decreasing over the same period. Partnerships between banks and Fintech were flourishing and it soon became obvious that the entire ecosystem was changing. I wanted to learn more about how our bank could fit into this new ecosystem.
Eventually digital projects have specific requirements and I was interested in the best practice of digital strategy implementation.
Therefore, enrolling Frankfurt School’s Certified Expert in Digital Finance (CEDF) course was the perfect opportunity to learn about digital finance technologies and their impact on the financial industry. The e-learning format was also perfectly appropriate for active life since it enabled studying anywhere, anytime while guiding on the recommended milestones and highlighting the most important points to understand thanks to tests and case study.
This training has really helped me know what services we could introduce, how they are generally working and their business case. As a result, it has been much easier for me to conduct discussions with highlevel stakeholders to define our digital roadmap. Also, I have leveraged on this training to draft concept notes of use cases for this mobile wallet which have been used to approach partners and are translating into actual projects such as developments of digital loans, savings and our digital rural finance initiative.
Overall, this training was generally very interesting to follow and provided me with a comprehensive understanding of digital finance which has motivated me to get further involved in this field. As the MSME financial sector is transforming, I hope we will have more training from Frankufrt School to support our adaptation.