Pan African micro financer, Letshego Group, is one among many local companies that have adopted the customer centric approach into their business model. Since the beginning of the year, the Group has committed itself to ensure an appropriate customer focus which they say will add value to the company by enabling it to differentiate itself from competitors.
Speaking at the financial results briefing held last week Friday, Letshego Group Managing Director, Chris Low highlighted that the customer journey that the group has embarked upon is divided into three phases each of which will be implemented within a period of a year for three years. The first phase, which started in 2016, is to establish the foundation of the service it envisages to provide. The second phase, to be implemented in 2017, will be to build scale of the experience regarding the provisioning of the service. The third and final phase, which is anticipated to be put in motion in 2018, will focus on creating growth opportunities through engagement with customers.
Low announced four categories of solutions that the Group will offer customers, being LetsPay, LetsBorrow, LetsSave and LetsLive. Under LetsSave Low alluded to the potential in group savings citing that Rwanda is the closest to such provisioning as well as Kenya. Regarding LetsLive Low mentioned a partnership with Sanlam, a financial services Group in South Africa, to assist in the distribution of micro finance for life cover insurance. He cited that the Group endeavors to change the customer journey by partnering rather than the Group doing it itself, to produce “a win for customers,” he said. Still related to customers, Low said that the Group has changed its sales and commission structures as to incentivise customer attraction by the sales staff.
According to Low, Letshego is the 5th Group to be granted licence to conduct banking activities in Namibia, a process which he, however, lamented to have taken a painstaking four years to complete. The results show that customer deposits came down significantly, which the Group attributes to maturity of some corporate deposits. Chief Financial Officer Colm Patterson explained that the trend may likely not be observed again as the majority of the operations where the Group is based have in comparison to corporate deposits a higher retail concentration. He specifically highlighted Tanzania which in contrast to other markets, he said, has a higher concentration on corporate deposits.
The Group which has taken on financial inclusion as its mantra, has five deposit taking licenses, to which Low clearly put it that “we don’t go for commercial licenses unless we have to.” The deposit taking license, according to the Group, enables Letshego to offer services such as money transfer, bill paymentand remittance services, but Low clearly put it forward that the micro financer has no intention entering the banking space.