Financial Inclusion in Action

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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

Responsible Digital Finance: Seven Customer Risks that Need Attention Now

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Digital financial services are growing globally, with a variety of offerings (more than 250) now serving 300 million people in developing markets according to the GSMA. However, inactivity rates are staggeringly high, with as many as two-thirds of registered digital financial services users inactive, and the cross-sale of products beyond simple person-to-person transfers in many markets… Continue reading

The Powerful Agents & Fractured Markets of Pakistan

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Pakistan is easily one of the top five leading digital finance markets in the world; yet also certainly one of the least understood.  Anyone striving to learn about it must first understand how the Over-the-Counter (OTC) methodology adopted in Pakistan works, as it operates uniquely compared to other markets, especially those where it is unregulated. … Continue reading

Kenya Moves Beyond M-PESA

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Since the launch of M-PESA in 2007 the story of digital finance in Kenya has been synonymous with that of the story of M-PESA. However, data just released from The Helix Institute of Digital Finance shows that this now seems to be changing, which is exciting to watch, and also important understand. In 2013, The… Continue reading

Can “Behavioural Science” Bell Scheme Design Cat? Insights from Exploratory Research on the Public Distribution System in India

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Having tasted success with the Modified Direct Benefit Transfer for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (MDBTL) through Pahal (though sceptics have their doubts), the Government of India is dropping hints that it plans to expand the ambit of DBT further to other subsidy programmes. At about INR 460 billion ($7.4 billion), MDBTL seems to be huge, but… Continue reading

Whose Customer is it Anyway? Ensuring Every Customer is King

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When you buy a bottle of Coca-Cola, are you buying it from the store or from the Coca-Cola Company?  Whose customer are you?  In digital finance, the provider (usually a bank or telecom) designs and brands the service, but it is the agent that provides the ability to cash-in and cash-out (CICO), and earns 40-80% of… Continue reading