By Adolphus Abraham
My experience in microfinancing has been very interesting. At times my training in commercial banking clashes with the tenets of microfinancing because both are distinctive. I get calls often from potential borrowers requesting for various types of loans but my microfinancing orientation and the type of model we have chosen to run as a bank rarely allows me to come to their aid. When I decline such request, I always hear a sigh of disappointment from the other side of the phone. It is not easy to say NO to a potential borrower with a juicy loan request. Naturally, I would say yes to all viable businesses but the microfinance business was designed to attend not to everybody or every business but a select and peculiar persons and groups.
The discussion this week focuses on identifying who a microfinance bank customer is. It is important for potential investors to know their customer’s profile before investing as this would determine the extent of investment on ambience. The quality and expectations of your clientele should determine how much you spend decorating your banking hall. I have seen where customers feel inferior in certain banking halls and they stopped visiting the bank. Conversely I have also seen where customers patronise a bank because of its quality and ambience. Should the microfinance bank serve everyone?
For a potential customer to qualify to be targeted by a microfinance bank, it should have the following qualities.
i. If you…