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Jumo uses data to design financial products

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DAILYMONITOR 10 MAR 2020

JUMO is a full technology stack for building and running digital financial services. We use advanced data science and machine learning to create the fastest and leanest financial services infrastructure. Since our founding in 2015, we have served over 15 million customers and disbursed over $1billion in credit.

Where are you operating currently? Any expansion plans?
We are currently live in Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Pakistan. We intend to expand into new markets in Africa in 2020 and deploy our tech stack in innovative ways to support major partners in the Indian market.

How does JUMO operate?
We partner with banks, mobile network operators, insurers and other consumer marketplaces to build and run financial services for entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Our partners use our technology stack to offer savings, lending and insurance products to new customers segments.

These next-generation products give anyone with a cell phone and mobile wallet access to unprecedented financial choice, enabling millions of people to prosper, build their businesses and drive economic growth.

In Uganda, we operate credit products, such as Wewole. We also hold a lending license from Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) and our business model allows us to partner with banks to lend into the mobile money space.

What gives JUMO a competitive edge?
We build and run a full technology stack that results in ultra-lean financial services. We are able to deliver this in a channel agnostic way and at a fraction of typical banking costs, enabling our partners to reach customers where they are.

Our advanced data engine runs machine learning algorithms on millions of mobile wallets, cell phone, and transaction data signals every second.

We use these to build increasingly accurate credit profiles for people in emerging markets. These deep, data-driven insights allow us to shape services and product features to suit individual entrepreneurs and their specific circumstances.

Take us through the criteria of who qualifies for the services.
We serve users of mobile money. So at the very least, you need to be a registered user of mobile money services for at least six months and actively using services offered by the mobile network operator. For example, to use Wewole you need to be an Airtel Money customer and to have been an active user of Airtel Money services for at least six months.

This enables us to analyse your mobile behavioural data for the purposes of carrying out our credit scoring methods.



How is Uganda’s market responding to your services?
We are really happy with the Ugandan market’s response to our services. We have a strong partnership with Airtel Uganda and are pursuing additional partnerships that will enable us to provide financial choices to more Ugandans.

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We are also working with regulators to increase visibility around the important factors in digital financial services that will shape healthy and sustainable interactions for customers.

The regulators have been supportive of our efforts as part of the country’s overall financial inclusion agenda.

How many people/SMEs have benefited from JUMO’s services?
Globally, we have been able to reach 15 million customers and disbursed $1 billion in funds. Six in 10 of our customers are micro or small-scale entrepreneurs. In Uganda specifically, we have disbursed Shs550 billion ($149 million) since 2017 and served over 2 million unique customers.

A lot needs to be done to include many Ugandans in the financial system. How has JUMO contributed to this cause?

The challenge of financial inclusion is big but can be solved by technology. At JUMO, we believe a technology-driven, partnership-based approach is the best solution. In Uganda, as part of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, building digital infrastructure has been highlighted as key to granting access to financial services to meet people’s needs.

In Uganda, we are extending non-collateral-based credit to people and small businesses. Previously, their only lending options were from friends or formal institutions that are difficult to access. We have served over 2 million people in two years.

We work with banks, funding partners and mobile network operators in Uganda to grow opportunity for everyone, primarily by making working capital available to entrepreneurs who previously couldn’t qualify for any form of financial services at all.

As a fintech, what are your biggest threats?
Fintech is the new frontier of innovation. So, there is a need to build strong partnerships and bleeding edge technology. We are often wrongly perceived as a threat to banking. But we are simply a new gateway for delivering financial services and are enabling the next wave of banking solutions.

As a relatively new industry, fintech is being closely monitored for emerging regulatory approaches. However, regulators in Uganda have been receptive to the potential impact the industry can have and engages in ongoing dialogue to ensure we serve Ugandans fairly and in line with global best practice. FITSPA, an independent non-profit representing Uganda’s local and global fintech community has been indispensable in this regard.

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