Financial Inclusion in Action

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Responsible Digital Finance: Seven Customer Risks that Need Attention Now


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


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


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


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


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

The Better Service Agents Provide, The More Business They Do


One of the major objectives of the Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) project is to determine which aspects of strategic operations really build the business case in the agency business. The Helix Institute has partnered with the Harvard Business School to dig deep into the data that is being collected and some of the initial findings are quite interesting. Specifically, agents… Continue reading

Indonesia: The Quiet before the Storm


Last year, The Helix Institute discussed the importance of focusing on the “Launchpad Stage” before rolling out a DFS deployment. The Launchpad Stage is the developmental phase which concentrates on identifying a value proposition in the market, defining an anchor product, designing processes, structuring management, streamlining protocols and crafting a marketing and communications strategy. In Nigeria, providers… Continue reading

Top blogs 2014

Disseminating knowledge to aid sectoral growth has always been a critical aspect of our work. In the year 2014 we brought to the world over 61 blogs. Here are our top viewed blogs:   Disruption is Simmering in Kenya Something disruptive has been simmering for some time now in Kenya’s rapidly evolving digital finance market.… Continue reading

Mobile Money Merchant Payments – What does the Future Hold?


In October 2012, GSMA MMU asked the burning question; ‘Can mobile money work for merchant payments?’ Across the developed world cards are being swiped, dipped or waved to pay for everyday purchases, but the question remains if mobile money can, or will, have the same levels of usage in the developing world. Currently mobile money providers have… Continue reading

Choosing An Agent Management Model


One important question service providers have to ponder prior to entering the market is the agent hierarchy structure. Adopting a model which fits the market will save time, and money, and reduce stress levels for Senior Executives! The three models below illustrate the most common options available for service providers: The Direct Agent Hierarchy Model enables the… Continue reading