Financial Inclusion in Action

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Competition in Tanzania – Fact or Fable?

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Tanzania is often cited as a model competitive market in digital financial services (DFS) with the three major providers healthily competing against one another. However, the story is a bit more complicated than that, and to really understand market dynamics in Tanzania it helps to examine competition from a few angles, and on a more… Continue reading

Highlights from The Helix’s Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) Survey of Tanzania

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The Helix Institute of Digital Finance’s second Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) report based on a nationally representative survey of 2,052 agent networks in Tanzania, coupled with extensive qualitative interviews across the country, provides extraordinary insights into agent networks in Tanzania. The survey includes all providers offering agent banking or mobile money services, taking special interest in the country’s three… Continue reading

Mobile Money – What Lurks Behind All the Numbers

The recently released 2013 GSMA Mobile Money Unit (MMU) State of the Industry report and the  State of Mobile Money Usage  are filled with encouraging statistics and upbeat projections for the existing and new services the GSMA supports worldwide. On paper, the state of the industry and usage are splendid: 219 mobile money services in… Continue reading

Mobile Money Agents in Uganda: Sprinting ahead, but the marathon’s not yet over

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With 50% of cash-in/cash-out agents conducting at least 30 transactions per day, it is evident that Uganda is one of the world’s leading digital finance markets. However, despite its impressive growth, many operational challenges still persist. The Helix Institute of Digital Finance’s ‘Agent Network Accelerator Survey: Uganda Country Report 2013’ (conducted by MicroSave and the Bill & Melinda Gates… Continue reading

Choosing An Agent Management Model

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One important question service providers have to ponder prior to entering the market is the agent hierarchy structure. Adopting a model which fits the market will save time, and money, and reduce stress levels for Senior Executives! The three models below illustrate the most common options available for service providers: The Direct Agent Hierarchy Model enables the… Continue reading

Agent Network Evolution: From License to Live

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When the champagne bottle is popped for the successful launch of a digital financial service (mobile money/ agent banking) agent network, nobody – hopefully, with the exception of the agent network manager (ANM) – seems to appreciate the efforts behind ensuring the product launch is premised on an immediate start in transactions.  This is paramount… Continue reading

The Mor Committee Report – Will Payment Banks Be Revolutionary or Evolutionary?

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One of the more debated aspects of the Mor Committee’s report on “Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households” is the proposal for the new class of banks, in particular the “Payments Banks”. While it is probably a stretch to assert that this is an “incremental step” from the existing (Pre-Paid Instrument… Continue reading

A Government to Person (G2P) Payment Delivery Agent in India: At Heart and In Practice

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This blog highlights the tasks of a CSP and the stages involved to make G2P payment delivery to the last mile – right from their (CSP) recruitment to final payment. It also suggests a few improvements recommended by CSPs. Aalia begum and Aasia begum have been working as Customer Service Providers (CSPs) for the past… Continue reading

Why Do (Some) MNOs Sprint and (Most) Banks Limp?

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A previous MMU blog “Can India Achieve Financial Inclusion Without the Mobile Network Operators?” concluded “MNO-led systems therefore have a hugely important role to play to create the market – to build people’s confidence in digital financial services and local agent-based systems – and thus lay the foundation for digital financial inclusion.” All well and… Continue reading

The Aadhaar Way

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Opposition to cash substitution for public services has delved, to an extent, on the not-so-widely tried Aadhaar enabled system for identification. However, work done by MicroSave, examining the implementation of the Aadhaar enabled schemes using the Unique Identification of India (UIDAI) platform shows there is much evidence to suggest that the system could, indeed, work.… Continue reading