Financial Inclusion in Action

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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

Understanding Gender Dynamics in Agent Banking

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MicroSave used its Market Insights for Innovations and Design (MI4ID) approach to conduct a series of studies in different parts of India. These studies sought to understand gender aspects of agent banking. The first part of this blog series highlights key findings aimed at understanding the differences in customer experience at an agent outlet based… Continue reading

Customer Protection in Indian Digital Financial Services: Part 2: Transparency and Privacy

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MicroSave’s study for the Omidyar Network on customer protection, risk and financial capability in India sought to understand the extent to which customer protection practices were embedded into DFS offerings in India. The research examined the effectiveness of these customer protection practices and the ease with which customers and agents could access them. In the… Continue reading

Customer Protection in Indian Digital Financial Services: Part 1: Recourse

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There is growing concern about customer protection. This can be seen from initiatives such as Code of Conduct for mobile money players by GSMA, the update of the SMART Campaign’s client protection to create principles for DFS. These initiatives represent industry-wide commitments to build awareness, better practices, and standards that could contribute to strengthening customer… Continue reading

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

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

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

Role of Bank Mitrs in Direct Benefit Transfer Ecosystem: Are Banks and Government Ignoring Their Brand Ambassadors?

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The direct benefit transfer (DBT) programme is an important and far-reaching initiative of the Government of India. The successful rollout of DBTL (DBT for subsidy transfer of domestic LPG) could save Rs. 7,700 crore (USD 1.167 billion) for the government. This is about 38% of subsidy budget of Rs. 20,000 crore (USD 3.01  billion) for… Continue reading