LAPO Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative (LARDI)
How Nigerian microfinance institution LARDI grew its client base elevenfold with Oradian’s cloud-based core banking system.
LAPO Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative (LARDI) is a subsidiary of LAPO, Nigeria’s largest microfinance bank.
LAPO is a non-governmental organisation focused on the social, health, and economic empowerment of vulnerable communities without access to finance. LARDI has a commitment to delivering microfinance specifically to agricultural and rural communities across Nigeria.
LAPO and Oradian first started working together in 2015 to help LARDI meet its unique business challenges – a partnership that continues to produce results many years on.
What challenges did LARDI face before choosing to digitalise?
Before implementing Oradian’s advanced, cloud-native core banking system, LARDI encountered several roadblocks to its long-term growth that made delivering financial services to its customers challenging. Those included:
Digitalisation could not only solve these operational challenges, but also help future-proof LARDI’s business in the years to come. This would guaranteeing consistent growth over the coming years, allowing them to move nimbly and flexibly to meet new challenges as they arose.
This is particularly important as the shape of the financial services industry changes. Today, LARDI faces the growing challenge of remaining competitive with new, digital-first financial institutions that are increasingly attractive to young, tech-savvy customers that demand digital products.
These challenges bring an extra urgency to digitalisation for microfinance banks like LARDI, which must adopt digital technology solutions not just to improve their processes, but also to remain competitive in a crowded market.
The initiative for digitalisation came from Head of LARDI Florence Omofonmwan, whose chief aim was to reduce operating costs at LARDI’s 25 branches. She believed this would help the organisation reach new and undeserved communities in Nigeria.
By implementing Oradian’s core banking system, running completely in the cloud, LARDI no longer needed to invest time and money on maintenance, and could avoid lengthy travel times on unpredictable infrastructure to reach their end-clients. Everything became available in real-time and at the click of a button.
In addition, Oradian’s local customer service and technical assistance meant LARDI no longer had to deal with fixing problems on its own. Instead, it could rely on Oradian’s team to help implement and maintain its new core banking system.
LARDI has seen impressive results: greater cost efficiency, more accurate data collections, and as of 2023, 360,000 customers financially included, from a base of just 30,000 when it joined Oradian in 2015.
These incredible numbers demonstrate the importance of technology platforms like Oradian for remaining competitive long-term in the Nigerian financial market, particularly as it evolves to embrace more digital-first options.
How, specifically, has Oradian’s solution helped LARDI?
Oradian’s business intelligence module allows IT managers to build any report on their own, and provides more flexibility in terms of working hours, making it ideal for delivering to underserved communities.
Furthermore, at any moment of the day, IT managers can control what is happening in their system, and automatically rectify cash discrepancies at a branch, meaning there is no need to close the branch for the calculations to take place – it’s done automatically at midnight every day.
Oradian’s focus on core functionality, transparency, ease-of-use and access to information means microfinance institutions like LARDI can truly reap the benefits. It has proven itself as a platform for promoting growth and empowering financial inclusion in the communities that need it most.
With the help of Oradian, NOLT was able to submit its first CBN returns within the necessary time frame.
It's not just a vendor relationship. What we found in Oradian is a strategic partnership that will lead us to sustainable growth. It's simply not a transaction, it's a long term alliance.
Oradian is an affordable tool that helps us be sustainable and compete with commercial banks.
Oradian has improved customer acquisition and customer service. It has also made it easier for us to scale our business. In one year we grew by 320%
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