Financial Inclusion in Action

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Real and Perceived Risk in Indian Digital Financial Services

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The risks associated with digital financial services (DFS) are varied and a growing area of attention and assessment. At the same time, digital payments and broader digital financial services introduce added complexity, with new participants constantly entering the market, new products regularly introduced, and value-chain dynamics in constant flux. In MicroSave’s recent research for the… 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

The Ebb and Flow of Customer-Centricity in Financial Inclusion Part 3 – What Happened and Where Are We Today?

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In the previous blog “The Ebb and Flow of Customer-Centricity in Financial Inclusion Part 2 – Beyond the Basics” we discussed the details of building a customer-centric, or market-led financial service provider – and the intricate jigsaw puzzle of skills, processes, incentives, planning and execution required to pull it off. Results So, did all of… Continue reading

The Ebb and Flow of Customer-Centricity in Financial Inclusion Part 2 – Beyond the Basics

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In the first part of this blog, we saw how just understanding customer demand is not enough to deliver mass financial inclusion … or even a successful product. Supply-side factors are key…if rather more difficult that a quick market research exercise. Even after careful pilot-testing and a structure roll-out, it turned out that all that… Continue reading

The Ebb and Flow of Customer-Centricity in Financial Inclusion Part 1 – Why Being Customer-Centric is a Supply Side Strategy

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In recent years Human Centred Design became a new focus area in the financial inclusion world.  It focused financial service providers on the design of products and services based on customer insights. Design firms became part of the technical provider fraternity, servicing financial service providers in the quest to improved inclusion. At the same time, the… Continue reading

Are the $2 Billion Annual Savings Arising from PAHAL Real?

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The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG), Government of India announced its ambitious “Direct Benefit Transfer for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (DBTL)” programme on January 1, 2013. The programme had two key objectives: i) limiting subsidy outlay through de-duplication; and ii) achieving efficiency in payment transfers. Aadhaar, the unique identification system was the backbone of… Continue reading

Customer Service – More Than Just Smiles

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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

Survival of the Fittest: The Evolution of Frauds in Uganda’s Mobile Money Market (Part-II)

In the first blog of this series we outlined the evolution and increasing sophistication of fraud in Uganda. The ingenuity of fraudsters is impressive. But what about the MNOs’ response? Have the providers set up systems improvements and processes geared toward checking such frauds? Talking to the staff of leading mobile money providers in Uganda,… Continue reading

Survival of the Fittest: The Evolution of Frauds in Uganda’s Mobile Money Market (Part-I)

Uganda has seen an explosive growth in mobile money adoption in the last few years, growing from 550,000 active users in 2009 to 5.2 million in 2012 (active on a 30 day basis) according to the Economic Regulation Unit’s Broadcasting & Telecommunications Market Review 2011/12. Now, the rate of mobile money account ownership outstrips bank… Continue reading

The OTC Trap – Impact on the Business Case for Uganda’s Mobile Network Operators

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Mobile money providers in Uganda are well aware of the Over The Counter (OTC) trap and its implications, but their response to it will be the subject of another, later blog. This blog examines why OTC matters – enormously – to all stakeholders in digital financial services (DFS). As highlighted by Pawan Bakshi, in “Beware the… Continue reading