Mobile financial services platform, Jumo has been awarded by the Mastercard Foundation as the most client-centric financial services company.
As a result, the company gets US$150,000 to support its operations.
The prize was presented on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
It also marks the third of Mastercard Foundation’s annual Clients at the Centre Prize.
According to Mastercard, the US$150,000 prize recognizes the innovative work of the South African-based company as a large-scale, low-cost financial services marketplace that serves poor people.
The Prize highlights best practices in financial services where client satisfaction is a priority.
Close to 100 financial service companies around the world submitted entries to the competition.
An international panel of judges selected three finalists who presented to the audience at the 2017 Symposium on Financial Inclusion (SoFI) in Accra, Ghana.
The 400-person audience then voted for the world’s most impactful and sustainable financial service provider that puts “clients at the centre” of its thinking and operations for the benefit of poor people in developing countries.
After being awarded the Prize, Buhle Goslar, Director of Customer Intelligence at Jumo said,
“For anybody in a customer function, this is probably the most exciting prize to win because of the people who are voting for it. They really know about customer centricity; for them to vote for us is a great acknowledgement of the work that we’ve been doing.”
The platform facilitates digital financial services such as credit and savings in emerging markets by way of USSD short codes.
On her part, Director of Financial Inclusion at the Mastercard Foundation Ann Miles, said, “The Symposium on Financial Inclusion (SoFI) has focused on client centricity for the past five years.”
She added, “We are thrilled to award this year’s prize to Jumo for its exemplary work of putting clients at the centre of its business model. As we reflect on the past five years of SoFI, it is more important now than ever before to recognize companies such as Jumo and encourage them to continue providing access to financial products for those who need it most.”
The other two Prize finalists were ftcash, one of India’s fastest-growing financial technology ventures which aims to empower micro-merchants and small businesses with the power of digital payments and loans, and Destacame, a free online platform in Latin America that empowers users by giving them control over their data to build their financial capabilities and to access financial products.
The Mastercard Foundation believes that banks and other financial service providers in developing countries should focus more on the needs and expectations of people living in poverty.
Putting poor clients at the centre of the design of new financial products and services helps bring them into the formal banking system, improving their livelihoods and their ability to plan for the future.