Financial Inclusion in Action

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How Smart are Smartphone Lending Apps in Kenya?

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The mobile digital credit revolution in Kenya has attracted many fintechs offering loans via smartphones. Smartphone-based products have been touted for their potential to improve the user experience for digital financial services, particularly among low literacy customers. However, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) finds that in India existing interfaces fail to realise… Continue reading

In Our Digital Financial Service We Trust?

“We keep hearing mobile money users complain about unstable network, delayed service, missing money and many other negative comments about mobile money. Why then should we register for these services?” After years of preoccupation with over-coming the core challenges of establishing large-scale, sustainable digital finance (largely mobile money) systems in developing countries, we are seeing… Continue reading

How to Make Financial Education Better…Maybe

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It may just be a branding problem. "Financial Education (FE)" and "Financial Literacy" really do sound both condescending AND boring.  Its new and improved name, "Financial Capability (FC)" is slightly less insulting (perhaps), but still fails to clarify what's on offer to very poor people whose only real incapability is very limited financial resources and no prospect of… Continue reading

Financial Inclusion and New Product Development — What Should Guide Us?

The answer is, of course, customer needs. Customers’ knowledge and perceptions about the financial services on offer—plus any challenges in accessing these services—are the other two major guiding factors. With all this in mind, any service provider can develop and then modify successful products. Easy to outline in a very short paragraph, easy to comprehend,… Continue reading

Insights from the Field: Financial Capability via Listening & Learning

Here is what we already know: most people at all income levels learn more from their first-hand experience with various financial services (formal and informal) than from “expert” or outside advisors. And sharing that learning with immediate friends, colleagues, and family carries more trust and has more impact than any brochure or video or special… Continue reading

Financial Education – Time for a Re-think?

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Traditional financial education both in poor and rich contexts have taken a didactic, class-room based approach to conveying analytical financial concepts like budgeting, saving, managing debt, and calculating interest rates. We need to re-think the process of financial education to merge it with product marketing, thus making it more relevant for customers and more cost-effective… Continue reading

Nothing Wrong Calling Financial Education “Product Marketing”

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Financial education, whether for the affluent or the indigent, may actually work best when it is linked to product marketing. This is a controversial premise because one is never clear where exactly the blurred line lies between “linked” (which implies merely a connection), and “nudge” (which can mean explicit sales efforts). First, let’s start with… Continue reading