Financial Inclusion in Action

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Mobile internet access – the next frontier for ‘Tech’

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The ‘tech’ revolution depends on internet access The tech revolution is being heavily promoted as the answer to many of the development challenges with which we have been struggling for so many years. These advanced tech solutions can potentially address pressing issues related to financial, agricultural, educational, health, and enterprise sectors, among others. The vast… Continue reading

The white spaces of the digital divide: 3G+ haves and have-nots

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In previous blogs, we discussed the seven key drivers of digital exclusion in emerging markets. This one examines the implications of the observation that in most rural villages, the infrastructure to support fintech, agtech, healthtech or any other form of “tech” remains inadequate. This is because these ‘techs’ depend on users being able to access… Continue reading

Indonesia’s experiment with digitising food subsidy payments: The story so far

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Background of government-to-people (G2P) payments in Indonesia   Indonesia has embarked on an ambitious programme to digitise all social assistance payments in the country by 2019. In 2017, one of the largest social assistance programmes, Raskin, was digitised and moved to cash transfers. The new, cash-based programme has been renamed Bantuan Pangan Non Tunai (BPNT).… Continue reading

Lessons from the Digitisation of Government to Person (G2P) Programmes in India

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The Government of India spends about USD 71 billion every year on various G2P welfare programmes on food, fertiliser, fuel (liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene), health, pensions, rural employment etc.    Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in G2P programmes is a major reform initiative launched by the Government of India on 1st January, 2013. Its… Continue reading

The Potential for Technology-backed Remittance Solutions in Malaysia

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Borhan is a Bangladeshi migrant employed at a bottling plant in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur. He earns MYR 1,400 (~USD 334) each month. After covering his basic living expenses, Borhan is able to save MYR 750 (~USD 179) approximately. He remits this money to support his family back home in Dhaka. He uses informal… Continue reading

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

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  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

India Needs More Women Business Correspondent Agents

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The 2018 budget of the Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to empower women in the country. These include increased gas connections through subsidies to 80 million women under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (from the earlier 50 million) and a 37% increase in loans to women Self-Help Groups (SHGs).  These initiatives… Continue reading

Indian DFS landscape is changing: Insights from State of the Agent Network India, 2017 (ANA) Wave II Research

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MicroSave recently published its ‘State of the Agent Network, India 2017’ report based on our Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) Wave II research. We conducted the research in 2017, based on a nationally representative sample of 3,048 business correspondent agents. The 2017 India report proposes a significant shift from Wave I in 2015.    The report… Continue reading

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

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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

Enhancing Education Finance: A Perspective of the Financial Journey of Low- to Medium-Cost Private Primary Schools in Kenya

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The chatter and sounds of students playing in the school ground echoes in the distance. Peter, the school owner, looks at the children through his office window with pride. It seems like just the other day when he resigned from employment as a teacher to establish his own school. To finance the start-up, he used… Continue reading