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The Second Wave Of Mobile Financial Services In Africa And Asia: LeapFrog Announces Investment In BIMA, Bringing Insurance To Millions

"BIMA is leading the way with a disruptive, profitable and high-impact innovation. It reaches customers who have been excluded from the economy for far too long, whether because of their income, rural location or lack of a bank account," explains LeapFrog's founder, Dr. Andrew Kuper . "The company is a perfect embodiment of our profit-with-purpose approach to investing."

Case Study: Why mobile-based insurance matters – from a Ghanaian who relied on it

Nana YaaKonadu, a young Ghanaian woman, is one of BIMA's customers. A few years ago, she subscribed to a loyalty product offering free life insurance based on her usage of Tigo (Millicom) Mobile, a telecoms operator. Nana received an SMS message once per month to inform her of how much insurance cover she had earned based on her network usage. Nana regularly earned between 600 and 1,000 Ghanaian Cedis ( US$300- 500) as her monthly insurance cover, and was able to cover her own life and that of one family member: her father, Eugene. When he passed away on Christmas morning 2010, Tigo presented Nana with a cheque for 800 Ghanaian Cedis (US $420) at her workplace.

In a country where huge cultural significance and expense is attached to funerals, the insurance offered via her mobile phone allowed Nana to pay for her father's burial costs without crippling her financially. Tigo's network has 30 million customers globally and 3.7 million alone in Ghana, many of whom face risks and tragedies similar to Nana's.

The case for mobile-based insurance in emerging markets

Three billion mobile phone users live in emerging markets, yet according to McKinsey & Co., over 1 billion of them have no access to financial services such as bank accounts. The number of untapped potential insurance customers is even higher –analysis by Lloyds & Swiss Re estimates that as many as 3 billion emerging consumers would acquire affordable insurance if offered it.

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