Financial Inclusion in Action

Read, Share, and Discuss

Building and Sustaining Agent Networks – Evidence from Indonesia


Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous democracy with a population of 238 million people. An archipelago with more than 17,500 islands, the country is rich in cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity. However, access to formal financial products/services still remains elusive for most people. According to World Bank estimates only 20% of Indonesians (above 15 years)… Continue reading

NBFC-MFIs As Business Correspondents – What Will It Take?


In the blog “NBFC-MFIs As Business Correspondents – Who Benefits? Part-I” we highlighted the range of benefits for both NBFC-MFIs and banks in arrangements under which NBFC-MFIs operate as BCs for banks. In“NBFC-MFIs As Business Correspondents – Who Benefits? Part-II” we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the model for NBFC-MFIs. But of course the… Continue reading

NBFC-MFIs As Business Correspondents – Who Benefits? (Part-II)

As we highlighted in NBFC-MFIs As Business Correspondents – Who Benefits? (Part-I) the benefits for NBFC-MFIs and banks are pretty clear – we summarise them below. Benefits of the BC Model for Key Stakeholders (from Microfinance in India – Is Business Correspondent (BC) the Way Forward?) Benefits for NBFC-MFIs Benefits for Banks The model significantly de-risks… Continue reading

NBFC-MFIs As Business Correspondents – Who Benefits? (Part-I)


It has happened! In May 2012, MicroSave’s study of the potential for MFIs to acts as business correspondents (BCs) concluded, “MFIs are potentially and excellent channel and product development partner for banks, as long as they have the capacity and resources to dedicate to it. MFIs can help all stakeholders to leverage their existing engagement… Continue reading

Challenges to Agency Business – Evidence from Tanzania and Uganda Part- II


In the previous blog we looked at the challenges presented by fraud, armed robbery and customer service. In this blog we look at perhaps even more fundamental issues of agent profitability, and the related issues of customer education (or marketing!) and the product range available to drive transactions. Making enough money to cover costs Just… Continue reading

Aadhaar based e-KYC Service – The much needed change catalyst for financial inclusion!

It is a well-documented fact that low level of financial inclusion in rural India is primarily due to low penetration of formal financial institutions, especially the banks. Another equally important reason of this is lack of acceptable proof of identity and address documents. Though, a number of initiatives had been endeavoured by the Central /… Continue reading

Financial Inclusion and New Product Development — What Should Guide Us?

The answer is, of course, customer needs. Customers’ knowledge and perceptions about the financial services on offer—plus any challenges in accessing these services—are the other two major guiding factors. With all this in mind, any service provider can develop and then modify successful products. Easy to outline in a very short paragraph, easy to comprehend,… Continue reading

Challenges to Agency Business – Evidence from Tanzania and Uganda (Part- I)


As part of The Helix’s Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) survey programme, we interviewed 2,052 agents in Tanzania and 2,028 agents in Uganda. We looked at a wide variety of issues including: Agent and agency demographics Liquidity management Provider support for agents Agents’ business model viability Core operational issues Under the latter section, we asked about… Continue reading

Whose Cash Is It Anyway? Several Agent Solutions to Cash Security


Agents everywhere have trouble breaking even. Reasons are numerous (click here for the easy blog overview and here for MicroSave‘s comprehensive Policy Brief on Indian Business Correspondents), but first and worst among their complaints is how to manage all that tempting, eminently stealable money—both in their shops or kiosks and en route to and from… Continue reading

Who Is The User In “User-Centred Design”?


In 2000, we had completed two years of what we thought was outstanding work to understand the needs, perspectives and aspirations of the end customers for banks and microfinance institutions. It was time for MicroSave-Africa’s first mid-term review, led by industry gurus Beth Rhyne and Marguerite Robinson … and they gave us a wake-up call.… Continue reading