At a Glance
• Scalable, robust platform upon which to build and integrate innovative solutions
• Exceptional foundation that allows HOPE to continuously adapt and expand digital services
HOPE International is a leading Christian non-profit organization that invests in the dreams of families among the world’s underserved communities. Motivated by the teachings of Jesus Christ, Hope International provides microfinance services, savings programs, and training that help individuals and small- and medium-sized business owners to escape poverty.
Launched in 1997, HOPE International has served more than 2.5 million people worldwide since inception. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, USA, the organization’s microfinance operations and partnerships cover Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, and South Asia, and has disbursed over $100 million USD in loans over its 25-year history.
“Our microfinance institutions help underserved people to build better lives for themselves and their families. We do this through providing loans and savings opportunities to entrepreneurs. We also work alongside of the church to create savings groups in their communities.”Emmanuel Wuver, Managing Director at HOPE International
Clearing the way to growth
In Africa, HOPE International operates microfinance institutions in three locations: Rwanda, Burundi, and the Republic of the Congo. Recently, the organization has focused more on digital service delivery to reach communities in more remote regions and to create greater efficiencies in operations.
Emmanuel Wuver continues: “We now use our in-house built digital field applications to take customer registration, loan applications, and repayments to people rather than relying on them to come our branches. We are also pursuing an ambitious innovation program, featuring new services and an enhanced client experience.”
Previously, Hope International relied on a suite of legacy applications to develop products and process transactions across multiple microfinance institutions. The organization found tasks such as launching new services, preparing reports and tracking loan repayments complex and time-consuming, and supporting differing platforms was inefficient.
“We had gone as far as we could with our old systems,” adds Emmanuel Wuver. “We decided to look for an alternative that would support our innovation and outreach plans. For example, we were keen to integrate our digital field application and mobile banking channels with third-party solutions—including leading-edge fintech tools—to form a more user-friendly, accessible ecosystem of microfinance services.”
Implementing a platform tailor-made for microfinance
To improve operations at its three African microfinance institutions, HOPE International decided to deploy Temenos Financial Inclusion. Purpose-built to help non-bank financial institutions increase their outreach, the scalable, packaged Temenos solution provides integrated core banking, analytics, and digital channels functionality, and pre-configured workflows to reduce time to value.
Emmanuel Wuver explains: “The Temenos solution offers efficiencies to our work, along with configurable product development frameworks to accelerate innovation. We were also impressed with the open APIs, which make it easier to connect with our commercial partners. The extensive experience of Temenos in the microfinance space was another attraction.”
HOPE International implemented the solution with support from Temenos. The organization started in Rwanda, going live with Temenos Financial Inclusion in just 14 months. Next, HOPE International began the process in Burundi, using a remote deployment process due to pandemic restrictions. After a successful deployment in Burundi, the HOPE team used a hybrid deployment process to implement the solution at their operations in the Republic of the Congo.
“We greatly appreciate the support of the Temenos team throughout the challenges of each implementation. Applying the lessons learned in Rwanda allowed us to go live in Burundi and the Republic of the Congo much faster, despite the impact of the pandemic.”Emmanuel Wuver, Managing Director at HOPE International
Bringing financial services to people in need
Today, Temenos Financial Inclusion plays a key role in supporting HOPE International’s African microfinance operations. The organization uses the platform for supporting branch services, processing transactions across multiple application channels, managing loan disbursements and payments, and more.
“Our business teams appreciated the flexibility of the Temenos platform, including adding new menus and building product workflows to fit their needs,” adds Emmanuel Wuver. “We have especially appreciated the ability to build internally on the Temenos platform, enabling us to better equip our staff and significantly enhance our operations.”
The organization has launched internal applications for customer registration, loan applications, and loan repayments that have been integrated with the Temenos platform. Additionally, HOPE has been able to connect the Temenos platform with multiple third-party software applications, including mobile banking and government services.
The engagement with Temenos has also helped HOPE International achieve it’s goal to increase its outreach, as Emmanuel Wuver confirms: “Connecting the Temenos platform with our digital field application allows us to bring new services to people in remote communities. The solution really helps us in our mission to alleviate poverty and support people in need.”
Embracing leading-edge fintech solutions
Moving forward, HOPE International intends to harness the API capabilities of Temenos Financial Inclusion to continue to improve its microfinance services. For example, the organization is planning to integrate with innovative fintech tools for credit scoring and identity verification.
“Many of our strategic plans build upon the Temenos platform. We really value the responsive service we receive from Temenos, especially from the Temenos Product Director for Financial Inclusion. We’re grateful for the partnership and support the Temenos team has for our mission to help underserved communities.”Emmanuel Wuver, Managing Directorat HOPE International