Financial Inclusion in Action

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Chartbuster Fintech Blogs from our Library – 2017

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Readers and leaders! More than ever, the world is banking on fintech to accelerate the pace of financial inclusion at the base of the pyramid. Countries around the world have been working on aspects of digital identity, simplified user interfaces, and government–people partnerships to bring financial inclusion to the unbanked. In 2017, MicroSave published a… Continue reading

State of Play – Insights on the Evolution of Pakistan’s Mobile Money Agent Network

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The success of a branchless banking network is entirely dependent on the ability of its agents to deliver high-quality services to the target market, that are in line with providers’ objectives. Three years ago, the Helix Institute of Digital Finance’s team first set off to study Pakistan’s agent network and inform on its efficiency, providing insights for improvement, as… Continue reading

The Unrealised Potential of Mobile Wallets in Pakistan

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Currently, Over the Counter (OTC) transactions in Pakistan account for just over half (52%) of Branchless Banking Transactions[1] by value and less (42%) by volume. The vibrancy of OTC transactions could provide a stepping stone to mobile wallets. This, in turn, would enable the deepening of the digital financial ecosystem through advanced service offerings for… Continue reading

A First Look at Indonesia’s Emerging Agent Network

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Digital Financial Services (DFS) emerged in Indonesia in 2007, with e-money services targeted at the middle income and affluent segments rather than the unbanked and underbanked masses. In 2014, regulators allowed banks and e-money providers[1] to use individual agents, paving the way for the emergence of agent networks. Since then, financial inclusion has become an… Continue reading

Why Most Agents Networks Will Fail

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The Soul of an Agent Network: The Helix Institute has evaluated and advised all types of agent networks in countries around the world. Big ones, rural ones, new ones, bank ones, and even imaginary inactive ones. Despite the differences in operational strategies, all agent networks should have one element in common – they are crafted… Continue reading

A Strategic Approach for Next-Generation DFS Agent Networks

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With special thanks and acknowledgement to Abhinav Sinha (EKO India), Tamara Cook (FSD Kenya), Kwame Oppong (CGAP), Paul Mbugua (Eclectics), Paul Musoke (FSD Africa), and Abigail Komu (Independent Consultant). Some people may argue that agent networks will soon go extinct. Even if that is the case, it will not happen until long into the future.… Continue reading

Liquidity – Solving Agents’ Perennial Problem

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Based on insightful inputs from Maurice Oyare (PesaPoint), Joseck Mudiri (IFC), Edwin Otieno (Software Group), George Muga (Airtel-Africa), Edwin Odira (Telkom), Paul Langlois-Meurinne (Optimetrics), Nic Wasunna (GSMA) and Wilfred Ndirangu (Eclectics). The Helix Institute’s Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) surveys show that agents across the globe cite four key challenges to effective liquidity management. Almost all… Continue reading

More Than Hygiene – Improving Agent Network Performance to Maximise Profitability

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Over the last four years, as part of the Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) project, we have interviewed more than 34,000 agents from over 40 leading providers of digital financial services (DFS) across 11 countries in Asia and Africa. So what did we learn? Agent Dedication and Exclusivity is Declining We see a general trend towards… Continue reading

Redefining Retail Banking – Agency and Beyond

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Agency banking offers the prospect of much greater access to financial services for large numbers of currently unbanked or underbanked individuals – through financial institutions rolling out financial services using third party agents. However, agency banking is simply the latest element in a much wider technology-driven revolution in banking. Technology is redefining banking across the… Continue reading

Designing User-Friendly USSD Interface for Digital Financial Services

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According to Finscope 2014, it is estimated that 33% of Malawians have access to formal financial services. For any non-urban individual in Malawi, travelling to the nearest bank takes an average of more than an hour and a quarter. By contrast, 50% of adult Malawians have access to a mobile phone, 20% are aware about mobile… Continue reading