Financial Inclusion in Action

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Agent Network Evolution: From License to Live


When the champagne bottle is popped for the successful launch of a digital financial service (mobile money/ agent banking) agent network, nobody – hopefully, with the exception of the agent network manager (ANM) – seems to appreciate the efforts behind ensuring the product launch is premised on an immediate start in transactions.  This is paramount… Continue reading

The Mor Committee – Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due (Part I)


The Role of Non Bank Financial Companies (NBFCs) The Mor Committee on “Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households”  has recommended some very bold, as well as several transformational steps, to reconfigure the delivery of credit to the ‘un-served’ and ‘under-served’ in India. In this blog we analyse some of the recommendations… Continue reading

The Mor Committee Report – The Demand Side Conundrum


One of the most frequent criticisms of the Mor Committee’s report on “Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households” is that it ignores the demand side. The report offers a sophisticated vision of the financial architecture and what one commentator describes as “financial services as a fundamental right” for all. It also… Continue reading

A Big Step Forward in India’s Financial Inclusion Deliberations

(This guest post is originally published at IFMR Trust). India faces a major financial exclusion challenge. According to the 2011 World Bank Global Findex Survey, only 35% of Indian adults have access to a formal bank account and 8% borrowed formally in the last 12 months. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Committee on Comprehensive… Continue reading

The Mor Committee Report – Will Payment Banks Be Revolutionary or Evolutionary?


One of the more debated aspects of the Mor Committee’s report on “Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households” is the proposal for the new class of banks, in particular the “Payments Banks”. While it is probably a stretch to assert that this is an “incremental step” from the existing (Pre-Paid Instrument… Continue reading

Bill Payments —The Secret to Sustainability?

We can probably all agree that “sustainability” is a very tired noun. We use it to describe our wishful hopes for everything from human life on earth to improved supply chain management. And the reason we can’t quite give it up is because our need for a more equitable and enduring ecology, economy, and society… Continue reading

Beyond making payments: Managing payments


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


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


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)


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