From idea to innovation: revolutionizing banking and insurance in pursuit of smarter cities

Hilary Nicole Zainab Ervin, Nairobi Community Manager
Nairobi, 26 May 2016

Jamii Bora’s financial and insurance products are diverse and the Bank has undertaken a number of urban development and social service based interventions over the years. In 2001 the bank launched Jamii Bora Health Insurance (JBHI), a self-sustaining insurance scheme that contracts with over 70 public and faith-based hospitals to provide in-patient services to low-income and highly impoverished households. At a cost of 1,200 ksh per year, JBHI provides households with a critical public health service at a rate that is affordable. Premiums can be paid in installments of Ksh.30 per week over a 50-week period and do not discriminate or deny coverage to HIV+ individuals.

An adult and up to four children are eligible for coverage under the basic plan and a premium can be paid to include a spouse and additional children as needed. In 2010, the Pan African Medical Journal published a study that evaluated the impact of the Jamii Bora Health Insurance program on 420 households from Kiberia and Mathare slums that found the program to provide medical and health care services to households who would otherwise be unable to access life-saving and critical medical care.

JBB promotes itself as a diversified financial services company that provides access to savings and loan options for small- and medium-enterprise (SMEs) and agricultural producers. The bank offers Green House financing and Mazaoplus loans for dairy farmers seeking improved access to better breeds of dairy cows.

The Mazaoplus loan program goes well beyond simple cash transfer schemes and incorporates a diverse portfolio of technical assistance and training to compliment the program. Eligibility is based on prior dairy farming experience, at least six-months of milk delivery statements and a demonstrated ability to repay. In exchange, loan recipients benefit from competitive interest rates, up to 80% project financing and training opportunities to improve dairy farming skills in addition to market access to high yield dairy cows. Loans are offered at a minimum amount of 50,000KSH for up to two years.

Agriculture producers not interested in a loan still have the ability to benefit from one of JBB’s savings account options. For small-holder farmers the Mkulma Bora Savings Account requires an opening balance of 650 ksh and minimum operating balance of 500 Ksh. Interest earning is available on accounts with a balance over 100,000Ksh and clinics are available to farmers and cooperatives to boost production and serve as a pipeline to incorporate new SMEs into the agri-business industry. Savings account holders benefit from no ledger fees, have access to ATM cards and the Pesa Chap Chap service in addition to all Agri-credit facilities that partner with the bank.

Jamii Bora Bank has evolved considerably since its formation nearly 20 years ago. Its pro-poor focus and diverse selection of financial products have contributed to its growth. A commitment to integrating accessible technologies for low-income and impoverished households has allowed the company to continue to grow its customer base while also providing critical public health, agriculture and housing services to households across the country.

Photo: JamiiBora Bank

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