OIBM in the Wall Street Journal

Check out this article about Opportunity Bank (where Claudia is the head of microfinance banking) in the Wall Street Journal

Microfinance Mobile Bank Malawi Opportunity International

The promise and problems are clear in Malawi, where the nonprofit group Opportunity International holds $15 million in 150,000 accounts in a banking system for the poor. The organization uses armored trucks equipped with ATMs that travel to rural areas where the bank doesn't have branches or kiosks.

The bank is profitable and growing but is limited by the cost of reaching the rural poor, said Francis Pelekamoyo, board chairman of the group's Malawi bank. The trucks, laden with satellite, computer and security technology, cost $250,000, and the bank runs each of its new clients through an eight-lesson training course on financial products.

"It's very expensive to introduce financial services to someone for the first time," Mr. Pelekamoyo said. With more funding, he said, "I would go deeper into rural areas."

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