About OFI

Financial Inclusivity forms part of the lifelong struggle for the poor in developing countries as well as developed countries. Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way. There are significant barriers to access finance and financial instruments.

Microlenders cater to small businesses and individuals whom for a variety of reasons do not have access to conventional banking and financial services.  Lending money to individuals and SMEs at entry level is a high-risk industry. This is due to economic and/or other circumstances of the borrower. It is not unusual to see total cost of lending rates ranging from approximately 80% to over 180% p.a. It is thus a contentious issue as to whether micro finance alleviates poverty or contributes to an inescapable vortex of debt.

Additionally, a whole industry has developed around debt collecting, debt administration, black-listing and credit ratings.

The Organisation for Financial Inclusivity (“OFI”) is a registered Non-Governmental Organisation (“NGO”) headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The OFI was founded with the purpose of developing and promoting best practice in the microfinance industry of developing countries.  This involves collaborating with Central Banks and financial sector regulators in the member countries. 

The OFI intends to promote a culture of providing micro-finance capital at a sustainable cost with a direct benefit for the end user and supported by the fintech of Payment Solutions International Limited (PSI) secured by OFI, realise its vision of promoting and securing financial inclusivity globally for the millions of previously excluded.

What We Do

The first focus of the OFI is that, as an NGO, it partners with institutions that provide no-interest or low-interest capital for micro finance. These relationships stipulate that such finance is subject to certain terms and conditions for access: namely sustainable credit margins, amortisation schedules, data access and ethical business practices.

Collection risk is the biggest contributor to high interest rates and an effective financial based interventions strategy has to successfully address the risk of collection to influence the cost of lending and subsequently make a significant impact on the fight against poverty and over-indebtedness. However, the fintech developed by PSI has changed the landscape dramatically. PSI’s fintech solution, currently operational in Africa, has reduced default debt repayments to less than 0.5%. This sets the table to achieve true financial inclusivity as many different financial services, from which millions of individuals have been previously excluded, now becomes a reality.  

Secondly, we do research on specific countries to make lending more accessible and to protect lenders as well as to advise both government and other stakeholders on law, policies, technology, the market, sustainability and growth.

We publish our research from time to time and participate at conferences and other related events.

Our Story

Once a person of little means is trapped into debt, often incurred to subsidise day to day living, escape becomes near impossible. A whole industry has sprung up to ensure the debtor pays the lender with complex legal proceedings, debt and administration, debt rating agencies and more, all making money off a destitute poor person who could not service his/her debt in the first place. Such are the challenges of the poor and without access to inexpensive capital, the plight will remain unchanged. The irony is that the poorest either can’t access credit or, when they do, it comes at huge expense, whereas the wealthy have access to limitless capital at very low rates. 

Imagine for a second that such a person of little means could have access to capital that does not cost him/her 150% p.a or even more in fees and interest, what a difference it would make. One would be able to finance small tools, seed, equipment and the like and take a step out of poverty.

Imagine the impact on a developing country where SME’s are allowed to get traction and prosper, where failure does not cause lifelong financial ruin and exclusion, imagine the impact on the lives of everybody and the potential to succeed.

Generally, players in the micro finance industry determine the interest rates changed by a mix of the risk, cost of capital, overheads, profit and tax. With the introduction of low interest capital, such lenders are coerced to reduce the rate they charge and to pass the lower interest on to the consumer.

We have partnered with PSI with its unique fintech solution that limits the debt risk exposure of an individual and this makes credit rating agencies, debt collectors and legal processes to collect debt obsolete. A true step into the future of financial inclusivity supporting and driving OFI’s vision and corporate philosophy, to become a catalyst for change not only in Africa but globally by spearheading true financial inclusivity. Our ambition is to create a bridge between under-banked, formal sector employees requiring finance and the formal financial sector providing these financial services.

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