Informal savings and welfare groups can now use a digital financial platform known as Malipo Circles to efficiently manage last expenses of their members’, without resorting to emergency cash withdrawals thus not depleting their savings.
UAP Old Mutual has partnered with Malipo Circles to launch a digital last expense cover for informal groups popularly known as Chamas, that comes with benefits of between Kes 50,000 to Kes 500,000 per member, for as low as Kes 2,625 and a maximum of Kes 26,250 in annual premiums.
Malipo Circles is an app-based financial platform that allows friends, families and savings groups to collect, lend, borrow and fundraise money virtually. The digital platform will also allow Chamas to streamline collections, disbursements, loan applications, record-keeping and reports management.
Group Managing Director UAP Old Mutual Life business, Jerim Otieno, said the Company last expense product now available on Malipo is designed to make it more convenient for Chamas to manage funeral expense benefits for their members and without reducing the value of the welfare fund.
“Chamas are akin to a second family to members. Upon the demise of a member, the groups resort to drawing a portion of their accumulated savings to give the departed member a dignified send-off and support the bereaved family. But through this last expense cover, now available on the Malipo Circles platform, they can access a funeral benefit of up to Ksh 500,000 per member without delay,”
explained Mr. Otieno,
However, to access the last respect benefits through Malipo, Chama members have to pay their premiums individually for the group cover to be activated. Also, the claims must be channelled through a designated group administrator.
According to Malipo Circles CEO Erick Oyugi, the platform not only empowers informal savings and rotational groups like chamas to prosper but also extract maximum value from monies saved and contributed by members. He cites the UAP Old Mutual last expense cover as one such product that Chamas can tap to optimize their members’ savings and benefits.
“The UAP Old Mutual last expense product is perfectly aligned with our aspiration of empowering our clients financially. This (UAP Old Mutual) cover gives groups one less thing to worry about when grappling with the loss of a friend or loved one and they can focus on paying their last respects,”
stated Mr. Oyugi.
He added that the biggest governance issues facing informal groups revolve around financial management and record keeping. And that many informal savings groups barely survive past their first year due to conflicts arising from governance challenges. The Malipo Circles platform enhances transparency thus eliminating friction among members over funds.
With UAP Old Mutual underwriting the funeral cover, Malipo’s role is to automate the processes thus reducing paperwork and administrative burdens for Chamas.
Chamas in Kenya bring together a group of friends and/or family members with a common goal of saving towards a specific goal. Such informal groups cut across demographic and economic segments. In some groups, members contribute Kes 100 a day and even Kes 100,000 in others.