Financial Inclusion in Action

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Working Together to Fight DFS Fraud

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Fraud is one of the major threats to the emergence and sustainability of the DFS ecosystem. Uganda’s DFS market has long been plagued by fraud. The Helix 2015 ANA Uganda Report revealed that 53% of Uganda’s mobile money agents have experienced fraud within the last year – either personally or through one of their employees. At the recent launch of… Continue reading

Building a Business Case for Women Agents

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Women agents provide great customer service. They are more attentive, helpful, diligent, and effective at building trust. They are also better at on-boarding women and other underserved populations than their male counterparts. These are often cited conclusions from a series of qualitative studies in India, Zambia, and other markets across Asia and Africa. At the same time, we still… Continue reading

Demystifying the Role of Master Agents

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Agents are deemed the lynchpin of any successful digital finance (mobile money or agent banking) roll-out. A plethora of literature has been written about the role they play in building successful and sustainable digital finance businesses.  Less attention has been paid to the critical work of Master Agents who constitute an important, if not crucial, element in the agent-based… Continue reading

Will Mobile Network Operators Make It As Payments Banks?

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Of the remaining eight provisional Payments Bank licensees, four involve mobile network operators (MNOs): Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, and Reliance Jio.    This is not surprising, since successful Payments Banks will require a large footprint to serve a massive customer base, as it will be a volume game. MNOs’ existing customer base and extensive agent networks… Continue reading

Leveraging Fintech to Achieve Financial Inclusion in Indonesia

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Click here to read the blog in Bahasa Indonesia “Fintech” – an intersection of financial services and technology – is taking the traditional financial world by storm. Indonesia is no exception, with a fast-evolving ecosystem that includes a host of financial services offered by new generation fintechs. The diagram below, by no means exhaustive, highlights a… Continue reading

Can Payments Banks Survive?

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The news that three of the provisional licensees, Cholamandalam Distribution Services, Dilip Shanghvi and Tech Mahindra, have decided not to seek a full Payments Bank license, has caused much debate. The reasons for their withdrawal are varied – and not all necessarily based on the challenges posed by the underlying business model. Despite this, the… Continue reading

Open Application Programming Interfaces (API): Purpose and Possibilities

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Application Programming Interface or API, a software programme, acts as a bridge between disparate applications. It performs the intended function when a set of instructions are provided through a user interface (UI). The front-end of UI is usually a website or mobile application. The following diagram illustrates the basic architecture of any API-based business model:… Continue reading

Offline Payment Acceptance: A Puzzle and an Opportunity

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As Indians, we love cash, which is fungible and provides instant gratification – allowing us to buy anything across the country. Cash speaks one language, does not discriminate, and provides a seamless experience!   RBI estimates that 96% of all the retail transactions in the country are conducted using cash, leaving only about 4% payments… Continue reading

JAM – Using (Jan Dhan) Bank Accounts, Aadhaar and Mobiles to create new products and services, and new ways of doing things

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Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile or ‘JAM’ are creating a buzz in financial inclusion space, not only in India but across the world. JAM has been jamming newsrooms and social media after being coined in the Economic Survey 2015 and the Union Budget 2015.    The JAM trinity is seen as an important tool… Continue reading

Low Preference for Cash Transfer in TPDS – What Affects Beneficiary Behaviour?

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The cash versus in-kind subsidy transfer (e.g., food, fuel or fertiliser subsidy)[i] has generated much debate all around the globe. However, there is no clarity on which method should be adopted going forward – cash or in-kind subsidies. While both cash and in-kind transfers certainly have an important role in addressing food security, there is… Continue reading