Financial Inclusion in Action

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Delivering Quality in Financial Services – Redefining Customer Service

Let’s face it: we’ve all had problems with our bank or financial service provider; there have been times when we’ve sat across from a Customer Service Officer (CSO) and been unhappy about the answers we’ve been given. A few years ago, this very challenge led my colleagues and myself to think that there was a… Continue reading

Where Are Women Agents in Indian DFS?

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Background In India, over 100 agent network managers (ANMs) are delivering digital financial services (DFS). Till March 2015, more than 600,000 agents were associated with ANMs in India, covering 92% of the country’s villages. There is, however, wide gender disparity amongst agents in India. For instance, according to a CGAP report, in 2012, only 15%… Continue reading

Agency Banking: How Female Agents Make a Difference

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Bilkis Banu sits along with a few of her customers in the veranda of her house and talks to us about the close bond that she shares with them. She was signed up as an agent to offer door-to-door cash deposit and withdrawal services for UCO Bank in February 2012 in Khormachali, a small village… Continue reading

Predictions for Regulators of Digital Financial Services

It is always dangerous to make predictions in an industry which is expanding and evolving rapidly, so it is with trepidation that I now do so. However, the predictions below are based on market insights and observations from working many years within the mass retail financial sectors and in Digital Financial Services (DFS). 1. DFS will… Continue reading

Understanding Gender Dynamics in Agent Banking

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MicroSave used its Market Insights for Innovations and Design (MI4ID) approach to conduct a series of studies in different parts of India. These studies sought to understand gender aspects of agent banking. The first part of this blog series highlights key findings aimed at understanding the differences in customer experience at an agent outlet based… Continue reading

e-KYC and the India Stack – A Transformative Blueprint for Emerging Markets

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A student newly admitted at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, wants a new mobile SIM, so she can talk to her parents back home in Eldoret. Her national identity card is used to establish her identity. A 32-year-old widow of a landless labourer in Bihar walks up to a Bank Mitr agent to open an account, so… Continue reading

Payment Systems in India and Current Status: A Perspective

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The payment system in any country needs to pass the litmus test of safety, security, soundness, efficiency, and accessibility. In order to address all these, payment systems have evolved from barter to currency, to digital systems. We are witnessing enormous change in the payment systems, disrupting the monopoly of physical/paper-based system by electronic ones. There… Continue reading

Customer Protection in Indian Digital Financial Services: Part 2: Transparency and Privacy

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MicroSave’s study for the Omidyar Network on customer protection, risk and financial capability in India sought to understand the extent to which customer protection practices were embedded into DFS offerings in India. The research examined the effectiveness of these customer protection practices and the ease with which customers and agents could access them. In the… Continue reading

Customer Protection in Indian Digital Financial Services: Part 1: Recourse

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There is growing concern about customer protection. This can be seen from initiatives such as Code of Conduct for mobile money players by GSMA, the update of the SMART Campaign’s client protection to create principles for DFS. These initiatives represent industry-wide commitments to build awareness, better practices, and standards that could contribute to strengthening customer… Continue reading

Real and Perceived Risk in Indian Digital Financial Services

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The risks associated with digital financial services (DFS) are varied and a growing area of attention and assessment. At the same time, digital payments and broader digital financial services introduce added complexity, with new participants constantly entering the market, new products regularly introduced, and value-chain dynamics in constant flux. In MicroSave’s recent research for the… Continue reading