Financial Inclusion in Action

Read, Share, and Discuss

Market Readiness for Mobile Money Interoperability

Header3c

Interoperability of mobile financial services potentially offers great benefits for the wider ecosystem. The value to consumers is obvious. This, in turn, leads to wider adoption; higher transaction volumes; greater velocity of money in the ecosystem; all of which are advantageous to service providers. It is now well established from both MicroSave’s Helix Institute of… Continue reading

Disruption is Simmering in Kenya

Header3c

Something disruptive has been simmering for some time now in Kenya’s rapidly evolving digital finance market. M-PESA the lauded and the most successful mobile money offering in the world has started to feel it too. At the core of the disruption is the “Thin-SIM”, a decade old technological innovation from China.  M-PESA – The Benchmark… Continue reading

Financial Inclusion Histories

Header3c

We do most of our work in a historical vacuum. We tend to think of today's problems and opportunities as unique. That's a natural bias in an age imbued with a sense of inexorable progress reliant on technological solutions. But if we lift our gaze over historical time, we find numerous references to issues and… Continue reading

Mobile Money and Microfinance: A Match Made in Heaven or Marriage Gone Awry?

Header3c

Use of mobile money in microfinance seems to be an idea whose time has come. It has also figured in our publications as potentially the next big idea in financial inclusion (see Can MNOs Lead the Way for Banking the Excluded 1 and 2 as well as Mobile Money – Influencers of Success and Speculation on… Continue reading

Communication – The Achilles Heel of Direct Benefit Transfers – Part II

Header3c

We strongly believe that an integrated communication approach should be the starting point of large Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) programmes. It certainly helps to be as clear and succinct as possible to manage expectations. In the previous blog we highlighted how poor and often contradictory communication is leading to mass confusion and apprehension amongst beneficiaries.… Continue reading

Draft Branchless Banking Regulations in Indonesia – A Review

The Government of Indonesia has been proactive in its efforts to extend formal financial access to the unbanked and under-banked sections of the society. The release of draft regulations on branchless financial services for financial inclusion by Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK – the financial services authority that regulates and supervises financial services activities in banking,… Continue reading

Communication – The Achilles Heel of Direct Benefit Transfers – Part I

Header3c

Imarti Devi is an 84 year old widow in Magalsi village in Faizabad district, Uttar Pradesh, and receives an old age pension under the National Social Assistance Program (NSAP) each month-end. She has no idea of the actual date when she is supposed to receive her pension payment, but the Sarpanch (village head) usually (but… Continue reading

How to Make Financial Education Better…Maybe

Header3c

It may just be a branding problem. "Financial Education (FE)" and "Financial Literacy" really do sound both condescending AND boring.  Its new and improved name, "Financial Capability (FC)" is slightly less insulting (perhaps), but still fails to clarify what's on offer to very poor people whose only real incapability is very limited financial resources and no prospect of… Continue reading

Customer Service – More Than Just Smiles

Header3c

With the renewed interest in client-centricity, it seems appropriate to recall the core role of customer service in serving the low income market. In our research, MicroSave consistently sees “how I am treated by the staff (or agents) of the institution” in the top 3-4 drivers of customer choice of service provider as well as… Continue reading

What Is Driving Agent Churn In The Mature East African Markets?

Header3c

One of the most striking findings from The Helix’s Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) surveys has been the high levels of agents that have been in business for less than one year. In Tanzania only 18%, and in Uganda 21%, of all agents had been in business for two years of more.  In Kenya 40% of… Continue reading