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Communities: the future of financial services & financial success

This article discusses the reason why we think communities are the future of financial services and individual financial success.

The average person is a product of their socialization, so it makes sense that being part of a community is central to the human experience. The Igbo term, Igwebuike (literally, there is strength in numbers) and the Zulu concept of Ubuntu (literally, I am because you are) are just two examples of how Africans have traditionally valued the concept of community. 

Communities provide connection, support and a sense of belonging that has been proven to strengthen our individual resilience. Members of a strong community recognise, and value, their interdependence. For the community to thrive, the individuals must do their part.

The foundation of any community is trust. Nigerians have long leveraged this trust to create wealth; from traditional savings schemes like ajo to investment clubs, to churches that provide low/no interest loans to their congregation. Even market women will pool resources to help a new member buy her first stock. Community members give because they know, and trust, the people they are giving to… and are confident that when their turn comes, their community will not let them down.

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Why communities?

Trust is also the bedrock of a relationship with a financial institution. Halo Financial Services is leveraging the trust that already exists within a community to help more people start and sustain their journey to financial freedom.

We use technology to make it easier, and more rewarding for community members to build wealth together. Halo offers savings, investment, credit, and other financial services as a service to communities; so that their members can more easily achieve their personal financial goals.

Halo’s focus on communities is a strategic decision which benefits the company, the community, and the individual members. Approaching communities, rather than individuals, will enable us to scale faster and broaden our impact.

Communities benefit from a dynamic revenue share arrangement and more engaged membership. Community members can use the size of their collective to get higher returns for each individual; interest rates are calculated on the value of the entire community’s portfolio.

How will they engage with us?

Part of our approach is to meet customers where they are. So, we offer communities (and their members) multiple ways to engage with us. For the digitally confident, who prefer self-service, we offer both a web and a mobile app. Communities can choose to have their own app – built and managed by Halo but branded to the community. They can also host their community in a branded environment on the Halo app.

For the informal market, who prefer to deal face to face, we offer access to our full suite of products via a nationwide agent network. For more affluent customers with more complex financial needs, we offer financial advisory and portfolio management.

In conclusion

The fintech landscape is increasingly competitive, and Halo’s community-based approach is a real differentiator and a valuable advantage. It is our mission to help as many Nigerians as possible build and sustain wealth. Connecting communities to high-quality savings and investments, and providing them with affordable, accessible financial management tools is how we plan to do it.

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