Financial Inclusion in Action

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Predictions for Regulators of Digital Financial Services

It is always dangerous to make predictions in an industry which is expanding and evolving rapidly, so it is with trepidation that I now do so. However, the predictions below are based on market insights and observations from working many years within the mass retail financial sectors and in Digital Financial Services (DFS). 1. DFS will… Continue reading

Understanding Gender Dynamics in Agent Banking

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MicroSave used its Market Insights for Innovations and Design (MI4ID) approach to conduct a series of studies in different parts of India. These studies sought to understand gender aspects of agent banking. The first part of this blog series highlights key findings aimed at understanding the differences in customer experience at an agent outlet based… Continue reading

e-KYC and the India Stack – A Transformative Blueprint for Emerging Markets

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A student newly admitted at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, wants a new mobile SIM, so she can talk to her parents back home in Eldoret. Her national identity card is used to establish her identity. A 32-year-old widow of a landless labourer in Bihar walks up to a Bank Mitr agent to open an account, so… Continue reading

Customer Protection in Indian Digital Financial Services: Part 2: Transparency and Privacy

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MicroSave’s study for the Omidyar Network on customer protection, risk and financial capability in India sought to understand the extent to which customer protection practices were embedded into DFS offerings in India. The research examined the effectiveness of these customer protection practices and the ease with which customers and agents could access them. In the… Continue reading

Customer Protection in Indian Digital Financial Services: Part 1: Recourse

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There is growing concern about customer protection. This can be seen from initiatives such as Code of Conduct for mobile money players by GSMA, the update of the SMART Campaign’s client protection to create principles for DFS. These initiatives represent industry-wide commitments to build awareness, better practices, and standards that could contribute to strengthening customer… Continue reading

Real and Perceived Risk in Indian Digital Financial Services

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The risks associated with digital financial services (DFS) are varied and a growing area of attention and assessment. At the same time, digital payments and broader digital financial services introduce added complexity, with new participants constantly entering the market, new products regularly introduced, and value-chain dynamics in constant flux. In MicroSave’s recent research for the… Continue reading

Over the Counter (OTC) Money Transfer in India: Mapping the Customer Experience (CX)

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In our previous blog, OTC Money Transfer in India: The Remittance Silver Bullet for Migrants, we explained how OTC remittances work in India, and described the typical transactional processes. In this blog, we map the customer’s experience (CX) while conducting OTC transactions. To understand the real experience of customers, MicroSave staff posed as customers, visited… Continue reading

Over the Counter (OTC) Money Transfer in India: The Remittance Silver Bullet for Migrants

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“Ready money is Aladdin’s lamp”― Lord Byron Globally, mobile money services are being offered primarily over the counter (OTC). This underlines the demand for readily available, quick and convenient fund transfer services. For instance, 90% of WING’s transactions in Cambodia, 70% of EasyPaisa’s transactions in Pakistan, and 50% of bKash’s transactions in Bangladesh are OTC based. Due to… Continue reading

The Ebb and Flow of Customer-Centricity in Financial Inclusion Part 3 – What Happened and Where Are We Today?

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In the previous blog “The Ebb and Flow of Customer-Centricity in Financial Inclusion Part 2 – Beyond the Basics” we discussed the details of building a customer-centric, or market-led financial service provider – and the intricate jigsaw puzzle of skills, processes, incentives, planning and execution required to pull it off. Results So, did all of… Continue reading

The Ebb and Flow of Customer-Centricity in Financial Inclusion Part 2 – Beyond the Basics

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In the first part of this blog, we saw how just understanding customer demand is not enough to deliver mass financial inclusion … or even a successful product. Supply-side factors are key…if rather more difficult that a quick market research exercise. Even after careful pilot-testing and a structure roll-out, it turned out that all that… Continue reading