Financial Inclusion in Action

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Challenges to Agency Business – Evidence from Tanzania and Uganda (Part- I)


As part of The Helix’s Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) survey programme, we interviewed 2,052 agents in Tanzania and 2,028 agents in Uganda. We looked at a wide variety of issues including: Agent and agency demographics Liquidity management Provider support for agents Agents’ business model viability Core operational issues Under the latter section, we asked about… Continue reading

Mobile Money Merchant Payments – What does the Future Hold?


In October 2012, GSMA MMU asked the burning question; ‘Can mobile money work for merchant payments?’ Across the developed world cards are being swiped, dipped or waved to pay for everyday purchases, but the question remains if mobile money can, or will, have the same levels of usage in the developing world. Currently mobile money providers have… Continue reading

Whose Cash Is It Anyway? Several Agent Solutions to Cash Security


Agents everywhere have trouble breaking even. Reasons are numerous (click here for the easy blog overview and here for MicroSave's comprehensive Policy Brief on Indian Business Correspondents), but first and worst among their complaints is how to manage all that tempting, eminently stealable money—both in their shops or kiosks and en route to and from… Continue reading

Competition in Tanzania – Fact or Fable?


Tanzania is often cited as a model competitive market in digital financial services (DFS) with the three major providers healthily competing against one another. However, the story is a bit more complicated than that, and to really understand market dynamics in Tanzania it helps to examine competition from a few angles, and on a more… Continue reading

Beware The OTC Trap: Is There A Way Out?

We presented in our earlier blogs how over the counter (OTC) was growing in leaps and bounds due to various reasons but the key stakeholders were still not satisfied. The question we have been asked in various interactions is – is there a way out? The clichéd statement appears true in this case – Getting in… Continue reading

Beware The OTC Trap: Are Stakeholders Satisfied?


We presented in our earlier blog how over the counter (OTC) was growing in leaps and bounds due to various reasons. However our interactions with various stakeholders indicate that not all are actually happy. “We have found the process of shifting users from OTC transactions to EasyPaisa mobile wallets to be slow.” – Nadeem Hussain… Continue reading

Beware The OTC Trap


At MicroSave we are often asked to advise mobile network operators (MNOs) and banks on their “go to market strategy” for digital financial services (DFS). A growing number of MNOs are thinking that pushing an over the counter (OTC) led strategy will be the most effective. They could be right … and wrong. If one… Continue reading

Highlights from The Helix’s Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) Survey of Tanzania


The Helix Institute of Digital Finance’s second Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) report based on a nationally representative survey of 2,052 agent networks in Tanzania, coupled with extensive qualitative interviews across the country, provides extraordinary insights into agent networks in Tanzania. The survey includes all providers offering agent banking or mobile money services, taking special interest in the country’s three… Continue reading

Why Mobile Wallets Might Work for ASHA – And Many Others


It is 6 A.M. on a cold winter morning in rural northern India and Sangeeta Devi, age 40, is already at work. She is an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) worker in Patna, Bihar, one of India’s poorest states. Sangeeta’s responsibilities involve ensuring every child is vaccinated and every pregnant woman receives the medical care… Continue reading

Mobile Money – What Lurks Behind All the Numbers

The recently released 2013 GSMA Mobile Money Unit (MMU) State of the Industry report and the  State of Mobile Money Usage  are filled with encouraging statistics and upbeat projections for the existing and new services the GSMA supports worldwide. On paper, the state of the industry and usage are splendid: 219 mobile money services in… Continue reading