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ASA International

Enabling Digital Transformation in Microfinance Company Operating in 13 Markets 


Research & Development (R&D) Consultancy Strategy Application Development Regulatory & Compliance
Finance Regulatory

The client is a multinational microfinance organization that provides various financial services to low-income clients, particularly in 13 emerging markets.

Its services often include small loans, savings, and insurance, targeted primarily at micro-entrepreneurs and small business owners who lack access to traditional financial services.




Client’s Business Need

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Before ASA approached us, the lending process required a face-to-face meeting between a Loan Officer and a customer. The company saw a growing need for digital transformation to simplify the process and enable its customers to apply for a loan through a modern digital mobile application.

Additionally, it needed a second app for Loan Officers. They used legacy web-based software when meeting with clients, to which they must connect via VPN. Our task was to create a modern mobile solution that would enable them to serve customers more efficiently during meetings. The client ultimately wants to release these applications in all 13 markets, but first decided to pilot it in Ghana.

Our Approach

Our process from diagnosing the challenge to implementing the solution was divided into several stages. They required us to take both a strategic approach and hold responsibility for the entire product development path. 

Understanding the business

The first challenge was to gain a thorough understanding of the client’s business, such as what needs to happen in the system in order to grant customers a loan. The existing application was to be replaced by two others. We needed to know what operations would be managed by a given app backend, and which processes would be handled by the core banking system we were integrating with. We tackled this through workshops, meetings with the client, and later through an agile approach that allowed close collaboration with ASA representatives and knowledge sharing.  

Choosing the best solution

As we began working on applications for Ghana, we also thought about ASA International’s future development plan. Due to differences in local regulations, the app could not operate exactly the same in every market. For example, in some countries the application can be deployed on standard cloud platforms (such as Azure or AWS), while in some others it requires tailor-made solutions. For this reason, we advised the client to choose Kubernetes, which allows the installation of applications on a private or public cloud. As a result, in some markets, including Ghana, we will use Azure Kubernetes Services to embed applications on the infrastructure. At the same time, we will be ready to scale to other countries that require technology other than Azure. 



Based on the knowledge and experience gathered, we provided the client with a team for the app development for further markets, as well as recommendations for building support team for the software deployed in Ghana. We also planned to migrate the current solution to support multiple countries on a single Azure subscription. 

Results & Next Steps

For the moment, we have a good understanding of the client’s business and the requirements for target markets. We have prepared the backend for two mobile applications and one web-base application to meet the needs of ASA and its employees. Now, we are finalizing the integration with the central bank. The next steps await us:

  • Final User Acceptance Tests 
  • Hyper Care 
  • Maintenance 

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