Financial Inclusion in Action

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Beyond making payments: Managing payments

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There are two glaring facts the mobile money industry needs to face up to. First, digital accounts have very little value stored in them, and the practice everywhere is to withdraw any e-money received immediately and in full. This makes people not naturally inclined to pay electronically, except for remote payments for which people will… Continue reading

A Government to Person (G2P) Payment Delivery Agent in India: At Heart and In Practice

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This blog highlights the tasks of a CSP and the stages involved to make G2P payment delivery to the last mile – right from their (CSP) recruitment to final payment. It also suggests a few improvements recommended by CSPs. Aalia begum and Aasia begum have been working as Customer Service Providers (CSPs) for the past… Continue reading

Responsible Digital Finance

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Digital Financial Services (DFS) offers the potential to bring billions of previously financially excluded customers into the ambit of formal financial services. It has the power to transcend the barriers of financial exclusion as it reduces the costs associated with the small value transactions; reaches out to larger numbers of people with innovative, low cost… Continue reading

Follow the Money Approach: Introducing a powerful strategy tool for your mobile money / banking initiatives (Part II)

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In the previous blog in this series, we discussed the first two steps of the four steps under the Follow the Money Approach (FMA). Now we consider the next two steps. Step three: Rank and Prioritise By now, you have 1) identified your key user segments 2) a clear picture of their financial ecosystem along… Continue reading

Why M-Wallets Won’t Work… Yet!

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As you might expect, India has more competing mobile network operators (12) than any other country and is only slightly behind China for subscribers (~894 million). It is widely acknowledged as the fast growing mobile market in the world. India is also acknowledged as one of the most problematic anywhere for financial inclusion, particularly in… Continue reading

Follow the Money Approach: Introducing a powerful strategy tool for your mobile money / banking initiatives (Part I)

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Let us start with a quick reality check. Most financial service institutions aspire to gain a bigger share of client’s wallet not only in terms of profit but also the value and number of transactions with them. This is true irrespective of whether you are a single, double or triple bottom line institution. Those in… Continue reading

Financial Inclusion: Success Is in the Details

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Rajesh Gupta, a small tea shop owner in Madhubani, Bihar does not feel financially included yet. He has a bank account, but his card does not work in the branch ATM of a rival bank and his designated local bank agent is often unable to fulfil his and others’ cash-in/cash-out needs. (The agent has insufficient… Continue reading

Harnessing the Potential of Aadhaar via Digitisation

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The real potential for achieving the desired results with Unique Identity Authority of India – UIDAI Aadhaar depends on the effective execution of digitisation of the welfare programmes, extending banking services to the weak and the unbanked sections and linking the above two with Aadhaar. The government proposal on DBTs includes all of these components. Apart from reducing the… Continue reading

Mobile Phones and Money: Less Technology at a Much Lower Cost

Almost everyone agrees financial inclusion is a worthwhile and important goal. We’re not going to improve health, education, sanitation, and business prospects for the very poor, in India and elsewhere, until money moves around more efficiently and safely. But building and maintaining a workable system for better savings, money transfers, and payments, particularly in rural… Continue reading

The Aadhaar story in East Godavari

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At a time when the country is working to enrol 600 million Indians for Aadhaar by 2014, the East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh has achieved remarkable results. With over 99.50% Aadhaar enrolments as of 25th December 2012, the district administration has set a remarkable precedent for others to follow. They are now able to… Continue reading