Financial Inclusion in Action

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Can instant messenger disrupt the digital payments market in India?

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What’s up with WhatsApp? Have you ever wondered about the idea of sending anything other than photos, emojis, videos and web links through popular instant messenger (IM) apps to your friends? Have you ever wanted to send money to a friend instantly when she reminds you about the bill that you were supposed to split,… Continue reading

From OTC to Mobile Accounts: Easypaisa’s Journey

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In 2009, Pakistan spearheaded the over the counter (OTC) transaction revolution. But in the summer of 2017, the digital financial services (DFS) landscape may experience a watershed moment. In June 2016, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that as of July 2017, all branchless banking players offering OTC transactions will be required to use… Continue reading

Building a Business Case for Women Agents

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Women agents provide great customer service. They are more attentive, helpful, diligent, and effective at building trust. They are also better at on-boarding women and other underserved populations than their male counterparts. These are often cited conclusions from a series of qualitative studies in India, Zambia, and other markets across Asia and Africa. At the same time, we still… Continue reading

Democratising Financial Services

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Sheetal, a 41 year-old widow, is a vegetable hawker and lives by herself in Mumbai. She wanted to expand her business by adding more stock and buying a new wheel-cart. She has a bank account, opened under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana. She could not avail credit from her bank for lack of any… Continue reading

Where Are Women Agents in Indian DFS?

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Background In India, over 100 agent network managers (ANMs) are delivering digital financial services (DFS). Till March 2015, more than 600,000 agents were associated with ANMs in India, covering 92% of the country’s villages. There is, however, wide gender disparity amongst agents in India. For instance, according to a CGAP report, in 2012, only 15%… Continue reading

Agency Banking: How Female Agents Make a Difference

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Bilkis Banu sits along with a few of her customers in the veranda of her house and talks to us about the close bond that she shares with them. She was signed up as an agent to offer door-to-door cash deposit and withdrawal services for UCO Bank in February 2012 in Khormachali, a small village… Continue reading

Predictions for Regulators of Digital Financial Services

It is always dangerous to make predictions in an industry which is expanding and evolving rapidly, so it is with trepidation that I now do so. However, the predictions below are based on market insights and observations from working many years within the mass retail financial sectors and in Digital Financial Services (DFS). 1. DFS will… Continue reading

Over the Counter (OTC) Money Transfer in India: Mapping the Customer Experience (CX)

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In our previous blog, OTC Money Transfer in India: The Remittance Silver Bullet for Migrants, we explained how OTC remittances work in India, and described the typical transactional processes. In this blog, we map the customer’s experience (CX) while conducting OTC transactions. To understand the real experience of customers, MicroSave staff posed as customers, visited… Continue reading

Over the Counter (OTC) Money Transfer in India: The Remittance Silver Bullet for Migrants

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“Ready money is Aladdin’s lamp”― Lord Byron Globally, mobile money services are being offered primarily over the counter (OTC). This underlines the demand for readily available, quick and convenient fund transfer services. For instance, 90% of WING’s transactions in Cambodia, 70% of EasyPaisa’s transactions in Pakistan, and 50% of bKash’s transactions in Bangladesh are OTC based. Due to… Continue reading

Agriculture Finance Isn’t as Risky!

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Agriculture financing is a risky business for many financial institutions. Under its agriculture finance services, MicroSave works with financial institutions (FI) to develop appropriate products and a quality agriculture loan portfolio. Amhara Credit and Savings Institution (ACSI), a leading MFI in Ethiopia, with support of MicroSave grew its loan book from 1,300 loans to 36,000… Continue reading