Financial Inclusion in Action

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The Digital Transformation: Four Opportunities and Three Threats for Traditional Financial Institutions


In 2010, Equity Bank called in MicroSave to help with their digital transformation. Today more than 97 percent of Equity Bank’s transactions in Kenya are conducted outside their branch network, and more than 70 percent are self-initiated by their clients on mobile phones. Can you imagine what that does to their cost structures? The International… Continue reading

Aadhaar verdict – SC strikes the right balance between delivery of benefits and privacy

The long debate on the constitutionality and purpose of Aadhaar may not end with the judgement of the Supreme Court but it will certainly become more specific and narrower. In a landmark judgment, the five-judge Supreme Court bench opined with a 4:1 majority that Aadhaar is legitimate and proportional. The judges observed that although Aadhaar… Continue reading

RuPay cards – A long road ahead


On 26th March 2012, National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) launched Rupay – India’s own payment gateway network. ‘RuPay’ is a low-cost alternative to other payment gateways, such as MasterCard and VISA. Banks pay lower transaction processing fees as transactions are performed on the domestic payment network. This makes RuPay a viable digital payment solution… Continue reading

The Agent Profitability Conundrum in India – Time for Differentiated Agents?


  Recent research from MicroSave suggests that although agents report their dissatisfaction as high, dormancy or dropouts are still relatively low at 20%. The low dormancy or dropouts are potentially due to the following factors:    1. Hope – agents believe that the national financial inclusion drive (PMJDY) will increase the volume of business;  2.… Continue reading

Triple Burden of Malnutrition in India – Are We Doing Enough?


India has been grappling with the problem of malnutrition for decades now. With its persistent and chronic nature, malnutrition affects a large proportion of the population in the country. The triple burden of malnutrition in the form of stunting and wasting, anaemia, and obesity are common across women, men, and children, but is especially prevalent… Continue reading

Why Most Agents Networks Will Fail


The Soul of an Agent Network: The Helix Institute has evaluated and advised all types of agent networks in countries around the world. Big ones, rural ones, new ones, bank ones, and even imaginary inactive ones. Despite the differences in operational strategies, all agent networks should have one element in common – they are crafted… Continue reading

Setting Digital Credit Right – Is it Time For a Major Re-think?


MicroSave’s Graham Wright expertly highlighted a worrying trend in an article on digital credit published in January 2017. His article highlights the fact that negative listing is shutting out millions of users from accessing microlending services. This, in turn, has affected financial inclusion. Mr Wright estimates that around 2.7 million people in Kenya – around 10%… Continue reading

Can Instant Messenger Disrupt the Digital Payments Market in India?


What’s up with WhatsApp? Have you ever wondered about the idea of sending anything other than photos, emojis, videos and web links through popular instant messenger (IM) apps to your friends? Have you ever wanted to send money to a friend instantly when she reminds you about the bill that you were supposed to split,… Continue reading

From OTC to Mobile Accounts: Easypaisa’s Journey


In 2009, Pakistan spearheaded the over the counter (OTC) transaction revolution. But in the summer of 2017, the digital financial services (DFS) landscape may experience a watershed moment. In June 2016, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that as of July 2017, all branchless banking players offering OTC transactions will be required to use… Continue reading

Learning from (and about) India´s Emerging Digital Money Grid


  The Government of India has embarked on a remarkable path to connect all its citizens onto a digital platform through which they can, in real-time, confirm their identity, financially transact with anyone else, and store relevant documentation in natively digital format and consent to it being shared digitally with others (for instance, to support… Continue reading