The social and non-profit entity Grameen Costa Rica has just received the Gold Country Award in the Social Impact Innovation category of the 6th edition of the “Financial Innovators Awards of Fintech Americas“ .
“This is a recognition that goes beyond our borders, for which commercial banks and very large financial entities in Latin America compete. Being the institution in Costa Rica with the greatest innovation and social impact, fills us with great pride and motivation to continue working hard so that more women in the country achieve the necessary financial access to improve their lives and their economic, cultural and social development”, says Douglas Reynolds, General Manager of Grameen Costa Rica.
Revolutionizing the financial system
The Fintech Americas Financial Innovator Awards are intended to identify, highlight, and promote the people, teams, and projects that are revolutionizing the financial system in the Americas to make them faster, more efficient, and more inclusive. Since 2015, more than 150 awards have been awarded and nominations have grown more than 25% year-over-year.
Grameen Costa Rica helps women with limited economic resources to start or expand the entrepreneurship they already have. It has a Declaration of Public Utility of the Costa Rican State. Founded in April 2006. It follows the world standard of the Grameen Bank Bangladesh and its founder Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
The award recognizes the social impact of Grameen Costa Rica, since the organization goes beyond financing, accompanying and training women in the growth of their businesses and also includes them economically, banking the majority. It is always in constant communication with them, either in person or virtually.
“Our clients are part of our digital transformation, which we thought about, how to improve their lives and how to impact them socially and economically. For example, we automate all our processes, we change our physical branches to virtual ones, we do not handle cash (recognition granted by the Central Bank of Costa Rica as the only Microfinance in Costa Rica with zero cash), the credit book is virtual and at 95% of We have banked them and we have taught them to use digital media for their benefit. We used to do everything manual, which involved operational and process risk,” Reynolds explains.
Nearly four years ago, Reynolds adds, “our operating efficiency was 73% and today we are almost half of that. Staff productivity went from 45% to 95%. Also, by being more efficient, we were able to considerably lower the interest rate for our clients”.
Fintech Americas is a community and learning company focused on strengthening the financial ecosystem in Latin America and helping the financial services industry in the Americas to become a recognized global leader in digital transformation and 21st century management practices.
Over the past six years, Fintech Americas has recognized and honored the most innovative bankers and financial system leaders in Latin America who are leading the transformation of their organizations and positively impacting the lives and experiences of the clients they serve.