Financial Inclusion in Action

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Virtual Conference Session 1: Index Insurance and Disaster Insurance Development in South and South East Asia

Dear Participants, Welcome to the first session of the two day Virtual Conference on “Index Based Microinsurance for Disaster Risk Reduction”. In the first session, we will discuss about the development of index insurance in South and South East Asia (with special reference to the countries of focus, viz., India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and… Continue reading

Reducing the vulnerability of grass-roots people in Papua New Guinea: Delivering microinsurance in a particularly challenging environment

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Papua New Guinea (PNG) has one of the lowest insurance penetration rates in the world. According to Bank of Papua New Guinea less than 5% of PNG’s 7 million people have insurance of any kind. Nationwide Microbank (NMB), the South Pacific’s largest microfinance institution, and Pacific MMI, a leading national insurance company, have entered into… Continue reading

What about exploring situations?

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In Finding the Right Job for Your Product, Clayton Christensen implies that customers may not use a product/service strictly for the benefit intended by those offering it; rather they are more often driven by their situation or a job they want to get done; and include the emotional elements such as fear, fatigue or frustration;… Continue reading

Financial Services That Poor People Want

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Financial institutions trying to serve the mass market rarely seem to have the time to the conduct market research necessary to identify prospective clients’ real needs and aspirations. Many rely on “bath-tub product development” – product ideas developed on the basis of the senior management team’s experience and “gut instinct”, and often rolled out without… Continue reading

Research with a Roll of the Dice

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Anyone who has spent even a little time asking people questions about money—how they spend it, how they save, how they plan ahead—already knows the responses do not always accurately reflect what’s happening in real life. For a lot of reasons. MicroSave has given a fair amount of thought as to how we might manage… Continue reading

Understanding Complex Human Financial Behaviour: Alternative Approaches

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As we discussed in our earlier blog post, MetaMon project was an ambitious one. In the project we aspired to decipher the inherent thinking process that drives financial decision making of the poor. In MicroSave’s earlier research around financial lives, we realised that conversations about money often turn philosophical. This is because they revolve around… Continue reading

Nothing Wrong Calling Financial Education “Product Marketing”

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Financial education, whether for the affluent or the indigent, may actually work best when it is linked to product marketing. This is a controversial premise because one is never clear where exactly the blurred line lies between “linked” (which implies merely a connection), and “nudge” (which can mean explicit sales efforts). First, let’s start with… Continue reading

Basing Product Development on Mental Models and Metaphors

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The limits of digitalisation The sheer magnitude of the financial inclusion gap–two-thirds of households in developing countries are unbanked—calls for pretty radical solutions. The notion that we cannot count on brick-and-mortar investments to massively expand access to finance in developing countries is now widely accepted. We need to go branchless, and to do so safely… Continue reading

Can India Achieve Financial Inclusion Without the Mobile Network Operators?

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India is attempting to create financial inclusion using direct benefit transfers as the flywheel that turns the engine of an electronic payment system, the creating volumes and interoperability necessary for real financial inclusion. Currently volumes at rural agents are simply not adequate – resulting in very low commissions and debilitating levels of agent churn. Furthermore,… Continue reading

Microinsurance—Is It Working Yet?

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Depending on who you talk to, microinsurance is either an extraordinary opportunity—the 500 million lowest-income policy-holders currently insured will likely double to over one billion by 2020: annual growth rates are 10% in some African countries and 15-20% in India, according to the ILO’s Microninsurance Innovation Facility’s Protecting the Poor, Current Trends in Microinsurance. or… Continue reading