Financial Inclusion in Action

Read, Share, and Discuss

The Powerful Agents & Fractured Markets of Pakistan

Header3c

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

Should Microfinance Go Digital?

Header3c

“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come”- Victor Hugo Recently, a new partnership has emerged between digital financial service providers and microfinance institutions to address the challenges of financial access among the un/under banked populations globally. The partnership can potentially offer benefits to not only the two partners but also other… Continue reading

Anchoring Agent Commissions: How Much is Enough?

Header3c

How much does an agent need to earn to be satisfied, and stay motivated enough to provide a high quality of service to customers? Behavioral science teaches us that people anchor their appraisals of value to other numbers around them in the ecosystem. Marketing firms understand this concept well, often enticing us to perceive a… Continue reading

Bending the Rules for Better Customer Service is probably a Good Thing

Header3c

Recently, a team of qualitative researchers interviewed sixty mobile money agents and users in Kenya and Uganda to understand the drivers of important behaviours like non-compliance.  The findings were intriguing since it was clear that the driver of agents breaking some rules and regulations was their ambition to provide excellent customer service and thus increase… Continue reading

The Better Service Agents Provide, The More Business They Do

Header3c

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

Header3c

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

The “I Don’t Have Enough Float” Quandary!

Ugali is cornmeal porridge and a staple of the Kenyan diet; it is as Kenyan as M-PESA.  Last time my mother was making it, she ran out of cooking gas and texted me frantically to send her money so she could buy gas and finish cooking dinner before it got soggy.  I ran to the… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? Part III

The first blog in this series Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part I) highlighted that over the counter (OTC) transactions alone cannot deliver the digitally enabled financial inclusion many of us are working towards. The second Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part II)  noted that despite this OTC transactions… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? Part II

Header3c

In the previous blog Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part I) I looked at why over the counter (OTC) transactions alone cannot deliver the digitally enabled financial inclusion many of us are working towards.  A later blog in the series will examine the implications of OTC for providers and customers – many… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? – Part I

Header3c

The Cause For Concern I am back obsessing about over the counter (OTC) transactions again. Before we dive in let’s quickly define OTC transactions as they come in many forms in different markets – from the direct deposit by the agent into the end-user’s wallet in Kenya to the transfer of money from one agent… Continue reading