With more data being created at a faster rate than ever before, it can be hard for financial service providers to know what to do with the plethora of data available to them. Providers are capturing large amounts of data on their internal systems and also have access to external data – as a result of improved connectivity and increasing smartphone penetration, as well as through publically available external data (e.g. national surveys such as FinScope Tanzania 2017).
“There has been a concerted effort at government, institutional and donor levels to increase the availability of relevant data through targeted research across Africa. Coupled with this, the growth of GSMA technology and the internet have enabled an exponential growth in data that can be leveraged to understand customers who were previously anonymous,” said Paul Musoke, Director Financial Institutions at FSD Africa during the launch of the toolkit.
Musoke said however, many service providers are not making full use of the data as they may not understand its full potential, have information overload, inefficient processes and systems and think it is expensive to make use of data. The toolkit aims to help FSPs understand the different data sources available to them and how to use them effectively to transform their business.
“By building the capacity of financial institutions to leverage this new resource we will enable them to more effectively build new and tailored products, delivery channels and improved levels of customer service to a much broader range of customers across the continent,” Musoke added.
The toolkit draws on the valuable learning gained through the FSDT, FSD Africa and IDRC funded DataDisrupt programme which has been working in Tanzania (as well as Sierra Leone and Zambia) to build the capacity of banks, insurance companies and FinTechs to use data more effectively across their entire businesses, including in the design of new financial products and improve existing products for their customers. DataDisrupt’s partners in Tanzania are NMB, Resolution Insurance and Edgepoint.
“This is the right time to think about how to best utilize data to optimize business growth and performance by innovating to reach new horizons. In doing so, we will disrupt the current and define the future through collaboration, innovation and flexibility that leverage on data usage,” said Irene Mlola who is Operations Director at FSDT.
She said for financial service providers, the data toolkit provides an opportune hands-on guide to start the journey. “Only through such efforts can Tanzania be capable of meeting its financial inclusion targets within the National Financial Inclusion Framework (NFIF 2018-2022) to amplify the role of finance for economic growth, wealth generation and improved livelihoods for all Tanzanians, with a deliberate effort on not leaving behind the most excluded, such as women, youth, farmers and rural dwellers,” Mlola noted.
The interactive toolkit is designed for online use and will be available on FSDT and FSD Africa’s website in December 2019.