FONDVIDA was born in 1999, in a difficult environment of transition to dollarization and distrust of the financial system which led people to choose to keep their money at home rather than putting it in the bank.
However, it was 24 members who, with 40,000 USD, launched what is today the Savings and Credit Cooperative FONDVIDA, whose objective is to achieve local development through the services it offers. “Our cooperative has enabled more people to access a bank account and to start building their ‘credit score’ to access credit,” said its managing director, Jefferson Calderón.
Now, this cooperative has three offices, north and south of Quito, also serving the valleys.
Calderón tells how, throughout the 22 years of providing services in the community, FONDVIDA has managed to consolidate itself in the cooperative system.
“Of the USD 40,000 in assets the cooperative had when it started, we now have over USD 3 million; we have over $21 million in assets and of that $18 million is in credit,” he says.
FONDVIDA focuses its actions on four main pillars: savings, credit, investments and financial education.
“The first service that a financial institution must provide is savings, since it is the basis for starting a business or dealing with an emergency,” explains Calderón.
They promote “savings on demand” with a very competitive interest rate, “scheduled savings” from 50 USD per month up to 10 years, with a very high rate of return, even higher than other market brands; and “Term Savings” with competitive rates, starting at 100 USD.
There is also the “Children’s Account” which opens with US$10 and grants benefits such as raffle of supplies, virtual vacations, among others, which also includes financial education to encourage good financial management in the future.
In addition, FONVIDA offers 15 lines of credit, which include health insurance, such as the Violet Economy for women entrepreneurs, through which they receive care in gynecology, traumatology, pediatrics, etc. Added to this is credit insurance for the owner and his spouse, who in many cases is the one who terminates the credit and when an eventuality arises, we avoid jeopardizing the family heritage.
INNOVATIONS FOR FONDVIDA MEMBERS
Among the non-financial services, the mobile application and the transactional web, both equipped with a payment button, it is an ideal tool for making transfers, generating certificates in real time and accessing 300 payment options from services. In addition, the FONDVIDA Express is being launched, so that members can make payments, withdrawals and deposits at CNT points in shopping centers, and the same is planned in some pharmacy chains and savings banks. in some communities. This includes a major alliance to make over 1500 points available to you nationwide.
They are also working hard on “Always Successful”, a line of credit between 10 and 20 thousand dollars, at 14% interest to start your business, a big difference in terms of normal rates which are 20%. “This is how we are combating an important problem in Ecuador, gender-based violence from the property point of view, where women cannot access credit without the authorization of their husbands, despite being the administrator of the household. and the highest payer,” says Calderón.
Additionally, it offers a product for migrants, to help manage the remittances they send into the country. The member, through his allies, can deposit his money in the account in Ecuador and, via the application, manage the transfers he makes to his relatives in complete independence.
In addition to the ATM network, the customer has a special window during weekends to carry out transactions. “We don’t want to lose contact with the partner, despite the fact that all our services are also digitized,” says Calderón.
“Our challenge and our consolidation is based on the emphasis on the popular and solidarity economy, which is the development of the locality and which has a positive impact. Our goal is to consolidate in Pichincha, with two other offices in Quito (in Guayllabamba and Machachi), with rural products and low-cost agricultural insurance. Then, consolidate in the valleys of Cumbayá and Los Chillos,” he says.