Frontier Finance Innovation

Ayani brings deep practitioner experience in all current major areas of inclusive finance. We work with our clients to identify and adapt the latest innovations in the inclusive finance sector, and help them assess the solutions that will work effectively to achieve their goals.

We have built expertise in:

  • Supply and value chain finance

  • Savings product development

  • Remittance services

  • Low-income housing (micro)finance

  • Micro-insurance

  • MSME leasing

  • Access to finance for health, water and sanitation, energy and welfare solutions

  • Finance for displaced / returnees / youth

  • Microfinance in areas with high incidence of HIV/AIDS

  • Cash transfers (emergencies, orphans)

In order to successfully help our clients introduce these product innovations, Ayani structures technical assistance around the key areas of product development, as follows:

  • Review of existing products, processes and efficiency gaps

  • Development of market study tools

  • Development of customer profiles and competitor matrix

  • Process mapping and re-engineering

  • Design and development of delivery channels, policies and procedures

  • Assessment and recommendation of MIS improvements

  • Staff training on new products and procedures

  • Pilot testing of new products

  • Roadmap for roll-out of new products

  • Design and implementation of KPIs, incentive schemes and M&E frameworks

Of particular note, Ayani brings experience in supporting financial markets and MSME sectors in post-conflict and fragile state contexts. Through its work in Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Zimbabwe, as well as Haiti and Kosovo, Ayanihas developed expertise in and recognition for helping to rebuild SME business and financial sectors in fragile states.


Payments program for ebola response workers in Sierra Leone

The UNDP Payments Program for Ebola Response Workers, in partnership with UNCDF,was designed to provide technical assistance and operational support to the Governmentsin the three Ebola-affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) to ensure timely delivery of hazard payments to Ebola Response Workers (ERWs). Ayani was the implementing entity on the ground in Sierra Leone.

Ayani spearheaded the development of a range of products and distribution channels including cash, check, bank transfer and mobile money. Stakeholder collaboration included working closely with the Database Manager, iDT Labs to update the payroll information system ( after the biometric re-verification of ERWs.

Ayani conferred with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for execution of payments to ERW and monitored performance (e.g. agent liquidity). In total Ayani managed the delivery of a total of 51,600 payments to Ebola Response Workers (ERW) through 5 pay cycles; and directed broadcasts of SMS notifications and financial education messages.

Savings product development for a transformed microfinance institution in Zambia

REGMIFA supported a leading financial service provider to MSMEs with funding and technical assistance. The MFI had already transformed into a deposit-taking institution but funding mobilized through savings had not picked up.

Ayani provided technical assistance in savings product refinement and new savings product development. The work included updating an earlier savings product market study (including quantitative and qualitative market research on clients and non-clients), product prototype development, a training needs assessment and developing a roadmap, which resulted in a significant increase of the deposits mobilized by the institution.

Social housing fund feasibility study in Africa

Ayani conducted an in-depth feasibility study including a best practice brief, design, structuring and set-up of the Fund, product offering and eligibility, governance capital planning, and business plan for a Social Housing Fund. The purpose of the fund was to mobilize funds for the overarching purpose of alleviating urban poverty with specific focus on:

  • Providing grants and concessionary financing for housing projected targeted at low income groups in member countries - including slum and informal settlement dwellers;
  • Support for innovation research aimed at development of new construction methods and process with potential to reduce the cost of construction;
  • Capacity building including support for training and development of developer capacity and housing finance skills in Mortgage Institutions in member countries;
  • General charitable projects including support for schools in very poor areas of member countries, scholarships, relief for persons displaced from their homes due to natural disasters.

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