The Fondo Financiero Prodem S.A. (FFP PRODEM) was founded in August 1998 with the objective of introducing an effective mode of funding for the activities of small and micro-borrowers. Prodem has established lending, debt relief, and auxiliary financial services to its borrowers who are primarily in rural areas. Fondo Financiero Privado PRODEM S.A. operates in Bolivia through its head offices and its offices in La Paz and has been exclusively legalized under Bolivian law.
Today the newly created FFP Prodem offers a wider range of high tech products, such as:
- Savings account through the smart card which utilizes biometrics technology for fingerprint recognition as a client validation system.
- Intelligent automatic teller machines with a multimedia system built in to offer clients visual and sound aid in three languages.
- Money transfer service within Bolivia
- Time deposit, which defies the norms of Bolivian societal attitudes toward the financial system and shows that FFP Prodem has gained trust and strength in the financial system, thus fueling the rebuilding of the economy.
- International remittances services
FFP Prodem has the largest network of branches (81). Its loan program follows the joint or several guarantee methodology. Investments by individuals, as well as institutions such as Calvert Foundation, provide the lending capital.
FFP Prodemís client base consists of microentrepreneurs, small producers, and retailers. Entrepreneurs with a small capital base but with dynamic adjustment capabilities are FFP Prodemís core clientele. These clients reside in both rural and urban communities within Bolivia. Almost all of the borrowers have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income. Most of FFP Prodemís active clients are between 35 and 40 years old and/or have low levels of formal education, if any at all.
FFP Prodem has helped improve the lives of many in Bolivia by providing US$86 million (December 31, 2004) in loans to microentrepreneurs. FFP Prodem installed 52 Smart Automatic Teller machines in all 9 departments of the country. Being a rare service, the Smart Automatic Teller machines solidify FFP Prodemís leadership role in helping to rebuild Boliviaís economy. The Smart Automatic Teller Machine services offer the security of digital fingerprint control thus greatly hindering anyone other than the account holder from accessing the account. In 2004, FFP Prodem also greatly increased shareholders equity.