Financial Inclusion in Action

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Myths Busted, New Evidence Generated: ANA India Wave II Study has a Lot to Tell – Stay Tuned

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As we gear up to unveil the second edition of MicroSave’s acclaimed Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) programme, here is a quick look into what ANA findings have in store for readers this year. The key themes of Wave II of ANA India include: prevalence of interoperability and its effects on agent viability; questions surrounding the… Continue reading

Third-Party Agent Network Managers: The Missing Element in Indonesia’s DFS Sector

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This blog is second in the series on the key findings and recommendations of the recently concluded Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) Indonesia survey. It elaborates on one of the key recommendations of the ANA survey which is to allow third parties to set up and manage agent networks. The first blog “A First Look at… 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

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

Demystifying the Role of Master Agents

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Agents are deemed the lynchpin of any successful digital finance (mobile money or agent banking) roll-out. A plethora of literature has been written about the role they play in building successful and sustainable digital finance businesses.  Less attention has been paid to the critical work of Master Agents who constitute an important, if not crucial, element in the agent-based… Continue reading

Time for Action! Customer Service, Protection and Trust in Indian Digital Financial Services

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Gayatri Devi lives in Ghumka village in Chhattisgarh. She takes care of an extended family of eight. Her husband works in a cloth mill in Gujarat, and comes home once in 6 months. He sends money every month for household expenditures, some of which Gayatri deposits at the agent point in her village. Women are… Continue reading

Training, Monitoring & Support – Necessary Or An Opportunity To Cut Costs?

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While only 27% of agent network managers receive good support and involvement from the banks for which they are providing services, another 55%  do say that they receive moderate support, as per MicroSave’s recent State of the Industry Report 2015 on India note. The India 2015 ANA survey results enable us to understand this further by… Continue reading

Digital Financial Inclusion In India – A Long Road To Take-Off?

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The history of India’s efforts to achieve digital financial inclusion has been diverse, but largely top-down. These efforts have produced a mixture of RBI regulations and advices for banks, and government policies and directives. Most recently, the RBI provided guidelines for differentiated banks (Payments and Small Finance Banks) specifically designed to deepen outreach and enhance… Continue reading

Should Microfinance Go Digital?

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“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