Financial Inclusion in Action

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“Clients Should Be At The Centre Of Your Business” – So What’s New?


“This may seem simple, but you need to give customers what they want, not what you think they want. And, if you do this, people will keep coming back.” – John llhan, Crazy John’s mobile phone retail chain. "Investing in quality talent, and ensuring they have the skills, training and tools that enable them to… Continue reading

How to Make Financial Education Better…Maybe


It may just be a branding problem. "Financial Education (FE)" and "Financial Literacy" really do sound both condescending AND boring.  Its new and improved name, "Financial Capability (FC)" is slightly less insulting (perhaps), but still fails to clarify what's on offer to very poor people whose only real incapability is very limited financial resources and no prospect of… Continue reading

Customer Service – More Than Just Smiles


With the renewed interest in client-centricity, it seems appropriate to recall the core role of customer service in serving the low income market. In our research, MicroSave consistently sees “how I am treated by the staff (or agents) of the institution” in the top 3-4 drivers of customer choice of service provider as well as… Continue reading

Financial Inclusion and New Product Development — What Should Guide Us?

The answer is, of course, customer needs. Customers’ knowledge and perceptions about the financial services on offer—plus any challenges in accessing these services—are the other two major guiding factors. With all this in mind, any service provider can develop and then modify successful products. Easy to outline in a very short paragraph, easy to comprehend,… Continue reading

Who Is The User In “User-Centred Design”?


In 2000, we had completed two years of what we thought was outstanding work to understand the needs, perspectives and aspirations of the end customers for banks and microfinance institutions. It was time for MicroSave-Africa’s first mid-term review, led by industry gurus Beth Rhyne and Marguerite Robinson … and they gave us a wake-up call. They… Continue reading