Across 37 countries and France’s Overseas Departments and Territories, Société Générale's International Retail banking network has developed and adapted its universal banking to suit local contexts and cultures.
Solidarity products and services abroad
Developing universal banking abroad while taking into account the specificities of the countries where we are present.
According to the World Bank, 56% of adults in the world have no access to banking services. Without targeting the bottom of this pyramid, there is a real challenge in becoming organised to approach and serve the intermediate segments of customers who have no access to banking services and have modest but recurring revenues.
Societe Generale’s International Retail Banking division constantly seeks to enhance the specific expertise needed in financing very small and micro-businesses which are very often vital to the economic and social development of their countries but which, up until now, have had very little access to banking services. In this regard, our action in microfinance continues through investments in microfinance institutions and substantial refinancing lines granted to this sector.
Moreover, the made-to-measure products and services for migrant bank customers developed in partnership with the Group’s network in France place several International Retail Banking subsidiaries in a league of their own.
The customer base made up of small wage-earners, micro-entrepreneurs, and very small entrepreneurs is in demand of basic financial needs: simple deposit products, loans dedicated to working capital requirements, and an easy-to-use payment method.
The distribution network cannot make do with that of the traditional network, such as we know it in France.
It must be reconfigured in order to be accessible and very simple and must rely on a network of travelling sales agents soliciting customers in the field.
These agents must evaluate financial activities on site based on credit needs and very quickly collect unpaid debts on site.
Societe Generale thus contributes to the development of the banking offer in foreign countries.
Made-to-measure products and services for migrant customers
Societe Generale has developed the “Your Bank: Here & There” offer, which makes it possible to continue to develop the notoriety of the commercial strategy.
The principle behind Societe Generale’s “Your bank: Here & There” offer is that customers benefit from the banking products and services of two entities, one “here” and the other “there”.
“Here”, for the day-to-day needs of customers in France (current account, bank card for payments or withdrawals, remote banking services (voice or internet) and bank details for direct debits, etc.).
And “There” for any products or services needed in their country of origin, since most customers still have very strong links (money transfers, access to banking services, real estate loans, and body repatriation).
The concept was developed thanks to the Societe Generale group’s presence in countries where migratory flows to France are significant. It benefits from the synergy between the France Networks and the International Networks
Manko in Senegal
A prototype has been developed in Senegal. With a status as Bank Transaction Intermediary on behalf of SGBS, the structure, named Manko, is awaiting approval by the Senegalese authorities to operate. Intended for a customer base of small wage-earners, very small entrepreneurs, and micro-entrepreneurs, the offer (deposits and credits) is based on using mobile phones to make payments.
Simplu provides funds in Moldavia
Within Mobiasbanca, Simplu Finance has operated since the end of March 2011 on the target customer base of villages and small cities with low revenues. The offer is based on savings and credit products. The network relies on mobile agents dedicated to this customer base and operating close to Mobiasbanca branches spread across the country.