Amret launch innovative “Kmeng Chhlat” to promote savings for higher education

August 7 2020 - Amret Microfinance Institution Plc launched an innovative children savings product known as "Kmeng Chhlat Account" on August 7, as part of its campaign to encourage parents to begin early savings for their children's future higher education needs. Amret's CCO Alan Wee explains the reasons for the launch of this product and how it will assist parents in preparing their financial safety net.

1. Tell us more about "Kmeng Chhlat"?
University education can be a very expensive for most families. Depending on location and courses to major in, the cost for a university education can be a burden for most family financing a 4-year degree excluding personal expenses in accommodation, food and pocket money.

Hence the development of this specially designed product serves to address the issues mentioned above. It is a joint parent-child savings account aimed at inculcating good saving habits by the parent for their children. Eventually, we hope these saving plans would help the parent to finance their child’s higher education when the kids are ready for university education. We hope this will help their children earned a university degree as a 1st step towards fulfilling their professional career on the big stage. Everything is possible if one plans ahead and working hard towards achieving it. And Kmeng Chhlat embodied that spirit perfectly.

2. What does "Kmeng Chhlat " means and does it have any significant meaning?
Kmeng Chhlat” in khmer literally means “Smart Kid”. This name was chosen by the product team to inspire and motivate children and parent alike. The name also reflects our product proposition to encourage children to study hard to achieve good grades at grade 12 high school national examinations where Amret offers an additional cash reward up to $1,000 for students who achieves grade A & B. Besides the cash reward, parents will also receive free life insurance coverage during the course of the joint savings period. This product is indeed of great value to our clients.

3. What motivated Amret to develop this product?
Our key motivation toward this product is to help fulfill parent’s expectations and dreams for their children. Based on our experience in the financial industry, majority of the rural folks do not have the habit of saving or sufficient savings to fund their children’s higher education needs. In most cases, for example; some families would sell a cow a year just to pay for the annual university fees. In addition, most of them never thought about life insurance protection in any eventualities that may happen which can affect their children’s educational fund.
We understand that insurance penetration is low in the kingdom and almost all rural folks do not have life insurance coverage as yet, so the idea of providing free life insurance coverage with Kmeng Chhlat goes a long way to help fill this gap amongst our clients.
Hence, the motivation for Amret was to create a product that is able to fulfill all these needs and also to embed good saving habit amongst the diverse communities across the kingdom.

4. What do Amret hope to achieve with the introduction of this product?
Amret hopes to inculcate good saving discipline amongst the Cambodian communities besides promoting the importance of university education. This is also in line with the government objectives to build skilled knowledgeable human resources for the nation in the long run.

5. Please explain how "Kmeng Chhlat Account" works and how do you plan to promote this product to the public? Our customers can start saving as low as 1,500 riels per day or $11 per month depending on the age of the child. By opening a “Kmeng Chhlat Account”, a parent will enjoy free life insurance coverage up to $4,000 during the course of the account tenor. And it also comes with an education excellence cash bonus of up to $1,000 for children who graduated with distinction (A & B) in their grade 12 government examinations. Account-holders enjoy a competitive interest rate as well from their savings plan.

We have developed 2 teaser ads (aired since August 4th) and a launch video which will be on most digital channels and social media platforms beginning 7th August onwards. We intend to conduct roadshows and micro-marketing events to promote Kemg Chhlat across the country.

This product is available at all 158 Amret branches across the kingdom. I would encourage those who are keen on this product to visit us at our branches for further product details.

About Amret

Amret MFI is one of the leading financial institutions in Cambodia. A full subsidiary of the Advans Group, its reputable international shareholders include the FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank, La Fayette Participations and the International Financial Corporation, which is a member of the World Bank. As well as catering to the Kingdom’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), Amret also offers a wide range of financial products and services to Cambodia’s unbanked and underbanked population. Amret provides both lending and deposit products to more than 500,000 clients ranging from low-income farmers to MSMEs. With 158 branches nationwide, it employs more than 4,500 staff. Amret has assets of more than $1 billion and deposits exceeding $500 million.

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