Financial Inclusion in Action

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Can instant messenger disrupt the digital payments market in India?

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What’s up with WhatsApp? Have you ever wondered about the idea of sending anything other than photos, emojis, videos and web links through popular instant messenger (IM) apps to your friends? Have you ever wanted to send money to a friend instantly when she reminds you about the bill that you were supposed to split,… Continue reading

Leveraging Fintech to Achieve Financial Inclusion in Indonesia

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Click here to read the blog in Bahasa Indonesia “Fintech” – an intersection of financial services and technology – is taking the traditional financial world by storm. Indonesia is no exception, with a fast-evolving ecosystem that includes a host of financial services offered by new generation fintechs. The diagram below, by no means exhaustive, highlights a… Continue reading

Re-thinking MFI Operations using Mobile Technology

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In Indonesia, microfinance is offered by a variety of institutions, namely credit and savings cooperatives, BPRs/rural banks, venture capital firms, rural branches of commercial banks and informal village banking institutions. Despite this, only 36% of the total population above 15 years of age has access to formal financial services. This indicates that there is a… Continue reading

Can Self-Service Channels Be The Next Frontier Of Financial Inclusion?

Information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure in India has made rapid strides in the last decade.  It has been estimated that a 10% increase in broadband connectivity leads to a 1.38% increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)1. While urban India has witnessed an exponential growth in mobile and internet access, rural India is lagging behind.… Continue reading

Indonesia: The Quiet before the Storm

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Last year, The Helix Institute discussed the importance of focusing on the “Launchpad Stage” before rolling out a DFS deployment. The Launchpad Stage is the developmental phase which concentrates on identifying a value proposition in the market, defining an anchor product, designing processes, structuring management, streamlining protocols and crafting a marketing and communications strategy. In Nigeria, providers… Continue reading

Lessons from Informal Financial Systems: Indonesian Perspective

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Over the past few years MicroSave has conducted several research studies in Indonesia[1] to understand the household level financial ecosystem. Through focus group discussions (FGDs) and participatory rapid appraisal (PRA) tools, we gained insights on access to, and use of, financial products in communities across Indonesia. This blog focuses on the role of informal institutions… Continue reading

Draft Branchless Banking Regulations in Indonesia – A Review

The Government of Indonesia has been proactive in its efforts to extend formal financial access to the unbanked and under-banked sections of the society. The release of draft regulations on branchless financial services for financial inclusion by Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK – the financial services authority that regulates and supervises financial services activities in banking,… Continue reading

Building and Sustaining Agent Networks – Evidence from Indonesia

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Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous democracy with a population of 238 million people. An archipelago with more than 17,500 islands, the country is rich in cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity. However, access to formal financial products/services still remains elusive for most people. According to World Bank estimates only 20% of Indonesians (above 15 years)… Continue reading

Solving Indonesia’s Sanitation Woes

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The problem is toilets for the world’s fourth most populous nation. Of the estimated 251 million Indonesians, only 11 percent fall below the poverty line, but in rural areas, a startling 61 percent still practice open defecation. Close to a third of city dwellers do not use or have access to toilets either. A miniscule… Continue reading