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If we can talk of the silver linings of the global pandemic, then implementation of mobile banking services in AccessBank Liberia and AB Bank Rwanda would be that.

Achieving portfolio growth, expanding physical presence, increasing efficiency and at the same time keeping the operating cost controlled is a guiding principle that has led the microfinance business model for years. Harmonizing all the aspects has proven to be difficult with the legacy approach, as it is a highly labour-intensive process conducted in environments that not seldom lack basic infrastructural developments.

The CEO of AB Bank Zambia, Cosmin Olteanu, has 18 years' experience in banking and microfinance. Cosmin started his career as a Loan Officer in a bank in his native Romania, followed by several years of operational management in countries in Africa. From 2011 until 2018, Cosmin managed several large-scale IT and business projects at AccessHolding.

Dr Rolf Reichardt joined the AccessHolding Management Board as Chief Finance & Risk Officer in August 2018. Previously, he worked as CFO and later as CEO of AccessBank Azerbaijan. His former professional experience covers various risk management functions in some of the largest German banks.

As employees are at the heart of AccessHolding´s Corona response strategy, we wanted to reach out to our colleagues around the network and share developments across the Group. With these meetings, we aimed to increase the sense of solidarity, empathy and understanding between AccessHolding and our network banks.

Marcus Hannappel is Senior Digital Finance Expert at AccessHolding and manages AB Bank Zambia’s mobile wallet eTumba. In addition, he is member of the Board of Directors of AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria since 2011. After joining AccessHolding in 2007, Marcus worked as Credit Advisor and Branch Manager in AccèsBanque Madagascar and as Chief Credit Officer / Deputy CEO in AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria. He also served on the Board of Directors of AccessBank Liberia for three years.

The UnionPay International (UPI) and AccèsBanque Madagascar (ABM) partnership concluded April 2019, resulted in ABM pioneering the first domestic UnionPay card issuance in Madagascar. The bank followed this major milestone up with another first for Africa, by being the first domestic acquiring institution to offer direct connected POS devices to the UnionPay network.

Dr. Bernd Zattler is the Chief Executive Officer of AccessHolding. He also serves as a member and chairman of some of the holding’s investees. In 1994, Dr. Zattler established the consulting firm LFS Advisory GmbH (formerly known as LFS Financial Systems), the founding shareholder of AccessHolding. His prior professional experience includes work for a multinational firm and other institutions engaged in development finance.