Financial Inclusion in Action

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Understanding Complex Human Financial Behaviour: Alternative Approaches


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”


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


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?


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?


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