Financial Inclusion in Action

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The Clear Blue Water on the Other Side of the Digital Divide

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In the recent MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion in Accra, I was asked to participate in a debate, arguing for the proposition that “disruptive innovation is no longer relevant to the needs of the poor.” Not easy for someone who has been deeply involved with optimising the delivery of digital financial services (or electronic banking as… Continue reading

Can Fintech Really Deliver On Its Promise For Financial Inclusion?

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At the recent MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, I was asked to participate in the closing debate. A great honour. However, I was asked to support the proposition that “Disruptive innovations in the financial sector can no longer respond to the daily challenges of poor people”. Ouch! For all my critiques of digital financial… 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

Demand and Supply Side Challenges and Potential Opportunities for Agency Banking in Uganda

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The Financial Institutions (Amendment) Act 2016, enabled agency banking in Uganda. What can financial institutions launching agency banking learn from existing data on the banking sector, from experience of mobile money, and from client expectations. The Financial Sector Deepening Programme (FSD) Uganda, commissioned MicroSave to find out. Teams from MicroSave conducted interviews and focus group… Continue reading

Financial Capability and Indian Digital Financial Services

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The World Bank Institute highlights that behavioural change with regard to financial capability is a non-linear process and requires more than receiving compelling information. For an evolving channel like DFS, which has several models of service delivery, this brings its own set of challenges. For DFS to be used to its full potential, it is… Continue reading

Customer Vulnerability, Trust and Risk in Indian Digital Financial Services

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Qualitative research done as a part of MicroSave’s study for the Omidyar Network on customer production, risk and financial capability in India shows that customers’ perceptions of banking or financial transactions are still focused on brick and mortar based services. DFS providers have not done enough to change the customer’s perception and gain trust. The… Continue reading

PMJDY: Milestones Reached, Yet Miles To Go – Customer Side Story Part 2

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In the first part of this blog, we discussed the demand-side findings of PMJDY Wave III survey conducted by MicroSave in December 2015. The blog highlights the positive impact of the PMJDY scheme on the financial behaviour of rural customers. Rural customers, including women, have enthusiastically contributed to the success of the scheme and have… Continue reading

PMJDY: Milestones Reached, Yet Miles to Go – Customer Side Story Part 1

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Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is now the world’s most successful financial inclusion scheme. The scheme envisages universal access to banking facilities with at least one bank account for every household, in addition to access to credit, insurance, and pension facilities. As of March 15, 2016, the scheme has mobilised approximately INR 335 billion… Continue reading

Guiding Financial Institution Strategy: Working on Small Data

There is a worldwide movement towards the use of Big Data[1] across many industries, including financial services. Many financial institutions in the South now have economists reporting to the Board, and a select few, including Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank, have Chief Information Officers. Data warehousing is a common terminology, even if evident in few… Continue reading

Delivering Quality in Financial Services – Redefining Customer Service

Let’s face it: we’ve all had problems with our bank or financial service provider; there have been times when we’ve sat across from a Customer Service Officer (CSO) and been unhappy about the answers we’ve been given. A few years ago, this very challenge led my colleagues and myself to think that there was a… Continue reading