Malaysia's HelloGold enters Africa through partnership with the Baobab Group

  • HelloGold products to be integrated with Baobab’s mobile app
  • New app for an integrated savings platform to be launched in 2019

 

HelloGold co-founders Robin Lee (right) and Ridwan Abdullah

FINTECH savings platform HelloGold is entering Africa with digital financial inclusion group, Baobab, as a partner. Together, HelloGold and Baobab will develop products for Baobab’s 800,000 strong customers across nine countries in Africa.

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.

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 Baobab Group chief executive officer and founder Arnaud Ventura.

Baobab operates 1140 service points in Africa and has disbursed more than US$1.1 billion (EUR940 million; RM4.3 billion) 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. While we bring financial products on our technology, we support our partners in the building of their 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. HelloGold’s mission is to democratise essential savings and lending products for the underserved and the unbanked in emerging markets through digitisation. With this shared vision, Baobab is a perfect partner,” HelloGold chief executive officer Robin Lee, said in a statement.

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 also 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% over the past six years.

Through this partnership, Baobab and HelloGold intend to grow and explore financial inclusion in more markets on the continent.

 
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