Kifiya Financial Technology PLC is working to build upon the digital finance options available to locals
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Stuart Parker
Kifiya Financial Technology PLC (Kifiya) provides innovative digital finance and payment services, utilising technology to build and enable the distribution of channels to make financial and non-financial services more affordable and accessible to those that currently struggle with these services.
The Company is well established in its local market with an integrated and scalable service that has come from the gradual development of sustainable technologies, as well as its distribution infrastructure.
“It is our primary aim to make a sizable contribution to improving the lives of our customers,” explains the Company on its website. “We are trying to simplify their lives by making transactions simple, affordable and easily within reach, unlike the services that available currently.”
At present the Company is working on developing new systems to match the aforementioned needs of the market, a prime example being its digital finance system. This system enables a woman that are located in a remote area to open up a savings account at a nearby Kifiya service point, providing an incredibly exciting move for the future of the Company.
“Alongside our digital finance systems we have also worked intensely on our micro insurance offering,” adds the Company. “This form of crop insurance product has emerged from satellite data and a digital platform that enables any small-holder farmers the access needed to manage their risks.”
Micro-insurance has become a large part of the Company’s portfolio, protecting lower-income customers from the difficulties that can often be encountered when obtaining insurance policies. In return the Company requires regular premium payment that is proportionate to the expected cost of the risks involved.
“Our micro-insurance cloud platform excitingly allows a multitude of insurance companies’ access to our products, therefore underwriting, selling and managing policies and payout claims can be handled digitally,” continues the Company. “Our digital payment platform allows for easy enrolment and premium collection, and has subsequently proven to be extremely popular in the market.”
Under the micro-insurance bracket there are four specific services available, including NDVI crop, index based livestock, hospital cash and funeral services.
“The only challenge we have encountered in this service is when it comes to the smallholder farmers in Ethiopia who rely on the right weather conditions to produce their crops,” states the Company. “Therefore we have had to create ways to get around this unpredictability and the impact of uncertainty on our customers’ income.
The Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) has provided us with a long-standing index that is used by agencies the world over, and an excellent way to monitor the occurrence of drought.
“The NDVI provides us with an output based index and measures the current state of green vegetation, as well as the impact on vegetation the weather will have,” explains the Company. “From this technology we have created an affordable crop micro-insurance product that we are able to deliver digitally, covering our customers for weather related risk.”
Single window service delivery
Amongst its recent developments is the Single Window Delivery Platform, based from the eService framework that was previously developed by CMC – a Tata Group Company – which Kifiya has gone on to customise and rebrand.
“Our single window delivery platform now ensures that any service can be delivered through a single point,” affirms the Company. “In order to achieve these integrated services, we have had to use three-tier technology, with our application server acting as a bridge between the various databases of each organisation.”
This newly created platform will allow anyone from governmental organisations to citizen and business to consumer to utilise the services, this is with thanks to the flexibility of the system.
“Each new breakthrough we are making at present is decreasing the costs associated with service our local market,” adds the Company. “Insurance companies such as ourselves are able to make the most of the new products available on cloud platforms, managing both claims and policies digitally.”
This newly embraced technology has allowed the Company to reach a market that was previously unreachable before its digital finance payment platform.
As it moves into the future with ever-changing technological advancements on the horizon, risk management is becoming increasingly important.
“Our exceptional risk management allows for the transformation of finance within the agricultural sector, as well as increased productivity of the farmers,” continues the Company. “We have found our new developments have also encouraged confidence in our services from our numerous stakeholders.”
Kifiya’s stakeholders are spread across a multitude of institutions which include the Public Financial Enterprise Agency (PFEA), Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) – which strategically leads the support processes for the Micro-insurance initiatives, while also developing rural insurance strategies to promote rural development – the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation (EIC) and Kifiya Financial Technology.
“At present we are working on the development and management of our micro-insurance technology platform,” concludes the Company. “We are happy with the progress being made currently and have no plans to expand beyond our current service offering for now, however, we are never far from the next big thing.”