Banking power to the people

Compartamos – a different kind of bank – partnered with SAP to tackle a long-standing problem with the low-income segment: reaching "the unbanked."

Millions of people in rural Latin America are without bank accounts. Working for cash, "the unbanked" are more vulnerable to theft. They can't establish a credit history, so it is impossible to secure bank loans for cash shortages or investments.

How can a bank help break this cycle and improve the lives of people? This is the question that Compartamos asked Mother Teresa.

Her response? "Look after them." The bank is doing exactly that, with help from SAP.

Going the extra mile – literally

For millions of Latin Americans in small communities, it's simply too difficult to go to a bank – with the nearest branch often a long bus ride away.

The bank Compartamos – "let's share" in English – was determined to find a way to reach more of these people. Working with SAP, they hit on a practical solution: "If people can't come to the bank, we'll bring the bank to the people."

Of the world's poor do not have a bank account [*]
Cost, travel distance and paperwork are the main barriers. [*]
Less likely to have an account than men, low-income women are particularly disadvantaged [*]
In many countries, women continue to be economically dependent on their spouses. [*]

A customer-shaped bank

Offering microloans to budding entrepreneurs, particularly women, Compartamos was quickly able to make a difference. But they had a much bigger goal – to eradicate financial exclusion – so they needed help from SAP.

Together, they made a plan to reach people where they live, often traveling to remote communities. The next step was to help the people adopt unfamiliar digital technology.

Now, supported by SAP mobile solutions, customers can bank from anywhere using their smart phones. The bank's customer base is growing rapidly – and the bank continues to offer new services, thanks to reliable and scalable technology from SAP.

An inspired solution

Together, SAP and Compartamos found a way to help people cross the digital divide: mobile banking. With bank accounts accessible from the palms of their hands, more people are able to take advantage of services previously beyond their grasp.

A better outcome

With access to micro loans and other financial services, people are improving their standard of living. Street vendors are transformed into shop owners. Entire communities prosper as individuals contribute more to the economy.

A better industry

Driven by purpose, Compartamos is setting an example for the industry – as a caring friend, not a faceless institution. Their customer-centric culture and use of innovative technology allows them to reach the previously excluded "unbanked" - and change peoples' lives.

A better world

When no longer "unbanked", millions of people stand a better chance to break the cycle of poverty. By taking care of the unbanked, Compartamos and SAP are following the advice given by Mother Teresa – and helping make the world a better place.

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