METLIFE FOUNDATION AND POSITIVE PLANET LAUNCH THE DIGITALIZATION OF RURAL MICROFINANCE PROGRAM IN CHINA
BEIJING, CHINA, March 30, 2016
Positive Planet, with the support of MetLife Foundation, announces the launch of the Digitalization of Rural Microfinance (DoRM) project. The project aims to make digital banking technology accessible to micro-entrepreneurs, helping them to avoid the risks associated with cash-based transactions, while also providing an entry point to convenient, efficient digital financial services.
To accomplish this goal, Positive Planet China will provide support to Ningxia Dongfang Huimin Microfinance Corporation (Huimin). Huimin is a leading Chinese grassroots microfinance institution focused on lending to economically-marginalized women in a remote region of Central-Western China; many of its clients are members of the Hui ethnic minority group.
“The Digitalization of Rural Microfinance project offers an important opportunity to help close the gap between China’s rapid technological advancement and the part of its population that remains financially underserved,” said Xavier Bertrand, CEO of Positive Planet.
To increase the adoption rates of new technology, Huimin staff will receive training on how to use point-of-sale (POS) devices, how to engage end clients in discussions about digital finance mediums, and how to understand and then address client concerns. The project will also implement a mobile payment pilot, exploring how MFIs in China can build on the high levels of smartphone penetration to increase access to financial services in remote areas. At the one-year project’s completion, Huimin will be equipped with a roadmap for continued digital development, aiming to produce a sustainable model that can be borrowed and/or adapted across the sector.
“MetLife Foundation is committed to advancing financial inclusion, and China has the world’s largest mobile network and the fastest growing e-commerce market. By partnering with Positive Planet, MetLife Foundation will bring local people with the digital technology to let them access to the financial services, and meet the growing needs of people from rural area in China,” said George Tan, CEO, Sino-US United MetLife Insurance Company Limited.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2015, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $700 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.