HelloGold and Baobab will jointly develop products for the latter’s 800,000 strong customers across nine countries in the continent.
Using its digital financial service infrastructure and experience, HelloGold’s gold-backed savings and products will support Baobab in expanding its financial inclusion services through an integrated savings platform in 2019.
The companies said users will be able to easily buy, save and invest in gold, directly on a mobile application, allowing instant and secure access to gold as an alternative savings product.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership, which will allow our clients to benefit from new digital services. The possibility to easily save and invest in gold is an additional key offered to our clients to unleash their potential.
“This collaboration with HelloGold will allow us to integrate this savings offer in the nine African countries we are working with”, said Arnaud Ventura, chief executive officer and founder of the Baobab Group.
Baobab operates 1,140 service points in Africa and has disbursed more than 940 million euros in loans to the underbanked and unbanked (including micro entrepreneurs, youth and women).
The company provides a wide range of digital and mobile solutions for customers in Africa and China to simply, quickly and safely manage their finances.
“Our partnership with Baobab demonstrates HelloGold’s capacity to provide financial solutions for our current and prospective partners,” HelloGold CEO Robin Lee said in a statement.
Lee said while bringing financial products on its technology, HelloGold supports its partners in the building of its own offerings, providing differentiated value and services on their platforms.
“We use blockchain technology to enable our customers to access affordable financial products and services, starting with gold,” Lee said.
“HelloGold’s mission is to democratise essential savings and lending products for the underserved and the unbanked in emerging markets through digitization. With this shared vision, Baobab is a perfect partner,” he added.
HelloGold’s products revolve around a unique business model which allows users to buy and sell gold and eventually other financial assets through an app where the physical gold placed in secure, insured vaults in Singapore and soon in Dubai, can be used for both savings and as collateral for loans.
With a strong presence in Southeast Asia, HelloGold recently launched in Thailand and plans to expand into Indonesia and the Middle East in 2019.
Accelerated by mobile phones and digitisation, financial inclusion is on the rise globally. The World Bank has a goal of Universal Financial Inclusion by 2020 and Africa has been at the forefront with mobile-driven financial inclusion growing by 20 per cent over the past six years.