Financial Inclusion in Action

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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

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

Myths Busted, New Evidence Generated: ANA India Wave II Study has a Lot to Tell – Stay Tuned

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As we gear up to unveil the second edition of MicroSave’s acclaimed Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) programme, here is a quick look into what ANA findings have in store for readers this year. The key themes of Wave II of ANA India include: prevalence of interoperability and its effects on agent viability; questions surrounding the… Continue reading

Third-Party Agent Network Managers: The Missing Element in Indonesia’s DFS Sector

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This blog is second in the series on the key findings and recommendations of the recently concluded Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) Indonesia survey. It elaborates on one of the key recommendations of the ANA survey which is to allow third parties to set up and manage agent networks. The first blog “A First Look at… Continue reading

Is India Ready to Phase-out Subsidised Kerosene?

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    Kerosene is a distillate petroleum product that serves as a primary source of fuel for lighting and also used to start the wood or cow dung-fired stoves used for cooking by poor and marginal households in India. Subsidised kerosene is distributed to eligible beneficiaries through a network of agent-appointed Fair Price Shops (FPSs).… Continue reading

State of Play – Insights on the Evolution of Pakistan’s Mobile Money Agent Network

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The success of a branchless banking network is entirely dependent on the ability of its agents to deliver high-quality services to the target market, that are in line with providers’ objectives. Three years ago, the Helix Institute of Digital Finance’s team first set off to study Pakistan’s agent network and inform on its efficiency, providing insights for improvement, as… Continue reading

The Unrealised Potential of Mobile Wallets in Pakistan

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Currently, Over the Counter (OTC) transactions in Pakistan account for just over half (52%) of Branchless Banking Transactions[1] by value and less (42%) by volume. The vibrancy of OTC transactions could provide a stepping stone to mobile wallets. This, in turn, would enable the deepening of the digital financial ecosystem through advanced service offerings for… Continue reading

A First Look at Indonesia’s Emerging Agent Network

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Digital Financial Services (DFS) emerged in Indonesia in 2007, with e-money services targeted at the middle income and affluent segments rather than the unbanked and underbanked masses. In 2014, regulators allowed banks and e-money providers[1] to use individual agents, paving the way for the emergence of agent networks. Since then, financial inclusion has become an… Continue reading

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Fertiliser – Towards an Efficient Fertiliser Distribution System

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Forty-eight-year-old Devashekhar cultivates paddy twice a year. A resident of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, India, Devashekar purchases between 300 and 350 kg of fertiliser from retailers in his village. He is among many farmers who have now started to pay market price for fertiliser. “There has been a reduction in overcharging by retailers as… Continue reading

Progress and Challenges with KYC and Digital ID

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Based on great inputs and discussions from Amrik Heyer, FSD Kenya, Stephen Mwaura, former Head of Payments, Central Bank of Kenya, Uma Shankar Paliwal, Former Executive Director, RBI, Dennis Njau, Head of Channels, Kenya Commercial Bank, Gang Chai, Payment Policy Manager, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Johnah Nzioki from Eclectics. “Identification provides a foundation for… Continue reading