Financial Inclusion in Action

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Guiding Financial Institution Strategy: Working on Small Data

There is a worldwide movement towards the use of Big Data[1] across many industries, including financial services. Many financial institutions in the South now have economists reporting to the Board, and a select few, including Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank, have Chief Information Officers. Data warehousing is a common terminology, even if evident in few… 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

Time for Action! Customer Service, Protection and Trust in Indian Digital Financial Services

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Gayatri Devi lives in Ghumka village in Chhattisgarh. She takes care of an extended family of eight. Her husband works in a cloth mill in Gujarat, and comes home once in 6 months. He sends money every month for household expenditures, some of which Gayatri deposits at the agent point in her village. Women are… Continue reading

Competition in the Kenyan Digital Finance Market: Digital Deposits (Part 3 of 3)

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This is the third blog in a three part series, which compares digital financial service offerings in Kenya. The first blog focused on mobile money services, the second one analysed digital credit and this one analyses digital deposits. Digital deposit accounts are a controversial topic in digital finance. Many analysts note that mobile money providers cannot offer interest on the balance… Continue reading

Competition in the Kenyan Digital Finance Market: Digital Credit (Part 2 of 3)

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This is the second blog in a three part series, which compares digital financial service offerings in Kenya. The first blog focused on mobile money services and this second one delves into mobile banking services, focusing on digital credit.  These are certainly the most complicated but also the most exciting services given their potential to deepen financial inclusion… Continue reading

Competition in the Kenyan Digital Finance Market: Mobile Money (Part 1 of 3)

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There has been a great deal of international discourse on the topic of mobile money after Kenya’s successful implementation of M-PESA, and as we recently wrote, the success is increasingly shared by banks. This is a clear victory for Kenyan customers, who now have more options to choose from.  However it also means that the financial… Continue reading

The Bricks and Mortar of Agent Networks: Training and Support in India

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While the first blog in this series explained how Indian Government mandates have determined the current character of the digital finance services (DFS) market in India, this blog is more forward looking, focusing on addressing issues of agent training and support.  The 2015 ANA India data shows that these are areas where providers are struggling, and are therefore also opportunities… Continue reading

Opportunities for Equitel to Disrupt Digital Finance in Kenya

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Equity Bank’s introduction of the thin SIM under the Equitel brand is an important development for the Kenyan financial market as it brings customers more choice in terms of providers, and will hopefully push product innovation further in a market that has had trouble evolving beyond payments.  We believe that to really make digital finance… Continue reading

Small Finance Banks – Are You Ready? The Opportunities and Challenges

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Small Finance Banks reiterate the Reserve Bank of India’s commitment to achieve financial inclusion by supporting the development of institutions that offer innovative ‘high technology, low-cost operations’ driven financial services. Key highlights of Small Finance Banks Small Finance Banks (SFBs) shall primarily undertake basic banking activities including acceptance of deposits and lending credit to unserved… Continue reading

Agent Networks In India – How Mandates Have Influenced the Landscape

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There is a key difference in how the Digital Financial Services (DFS) market in India has evolved when compared to other countries. While in most countries the expansion of DFS along with agent networks has been driven by profit, the growth of DFS in India has essentially been the result of government mandates. The mandates… Continue reading