Financial Inclusion in Action

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Agriculture Finance Isn’t as Risky!

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Agriculture financing is a risky business for many financial institutions. Under its agriculture finance services, MicroSave works with financial institutions (FI) to develop appropriate products and a quality agriculture loan portfolio. Amhara Credit and Savings Institution (ACSI), a leading MFI in Ethiopia, with support of MicroSave grew its loan book from 1,300 loans to 36,000… Continue reading

Top blogs 2014

Disseminating knowledge to aid sectoral growth has always been a critical aspect of our work. In the year 2014 we brought to the world over 61 blogs. Here are our top viewed blogs:   Disruption is Simmering in Kenya Something disruptive has been simmering for some time now in Kenya’s rapidly evolving digital finance market.… Continue reading

The “I Don’t Have Enough Float” Quandary!

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Ugali is cornmeal porridge and a staple of the Kenyan diet; it is as Kenyan as M-PESA.  Last time my mother was making it, she ran out of cooking gas and texted me frantically to send her money so she could buy gas and finish cooking dinner before it got soggy.  I ran to the… Continue reading

So Many Steps Forward … And Now One Big Step Back …

The January 16th 2015, Office Memorandum (OM) from the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance fixes commission for banks distributing direct benefit transfers (DBT), including those for LPG – liquid petroleum gas. The OM states that for urban schemes like DBTL (the LPG subsidy), the transaction cost may be paid at the NEFT… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? Part III

The first blog in this series Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part I) highlighted that over the counter (OTC) transactions alone cannot deliver the digitally enabled financial inclusion many of us are working towards. The second Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part II)  noted that despite this OTC transactions… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? Part II

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In the previous blog Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part I) I looked at why over the counter (OTC) transactions alone cannot deliver the digitally enabled financial inclusion many of us are working towards.  A later blog in the series will examine the implications of OTC for providers and customers – many… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? – Part I

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The Cause For Concern I am back obsessing about over the counter (OTC) transactions again. Before we dive in let’s quickly define OTC transactions as they come in many forms in different markets – from the direct deposit by the agent into the end-user’s wallet in Kenya to the transfer of money from one agent… Continue reading

Lessons from Informal Financial Systems: Indonesian Perspective

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Over the past few years MicroSave has conducted several research studies in Indonesia[1] to understand the household level financial ecosystem. Through focus group discussions (FGDs) and participatory rapid appraisal (PRA) tools, we gained insights on access to, and use of, financial products in communities across Indonesia. This blog focuses on the role of informal institutions… Continue reading

Keeping the Channel Happy for Quick Scale-up: A Case from the Mumbai Remittance Market

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Remittances have emerged as the most common anchor product offered by alternate banking channels, (banking channels used by the unbanked such as money transfer agents), particularly in large Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Huge unmet demand for sending money home efficiently and quickly, combined with willingness to pay for the service, has made over… Continue reading

How Many Accounts Does A Man Have To Open To Be Financially Included?

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It was a hot afternoon during one of our recent agent network assessment studies, when I got the opportunity to meet Raju. He seemed no different from the typical participants in our focus group discussions in Bihar. A farmer somewhere in his middle 30s, thin and frail, wearing a half-sleeved ‘baniyan’ (vest) and pants with… Continue reading