Financial Inclusion in Action

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Understanding Complex Human Financial Behaviour: Alternative Approaches

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As we discussed in our earlier blog post, MetaMon project was an ambitious one. In the project we aspired to decipher the inherent thinking process that drives financial decision making of the poor. In MicroSave’s earlier research around financial lives, we realised that conversations about money often turn philosophical. This is because they revolve around… Continue reading

Can India Achieve Financial Inclusion Without the Mobile Network Operators?

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India is attempting to create financial inclusion using direct benefit transfers as the flywheel that turns the engine of an electronic payment system, the creating volumes and interoperability necessary for real financial inclusion. Currently volumes at rural agents are simply not adequate – resulting in very low commissions and debilitating levels of agent churn. Furthermore,… Continue reading

Mobile Money: Rosy Vs Real

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Most people reading this blog already understand that the headlines trumpeting the advantages and steady gains in moving money around via mobile phones, and even edging out credit/debit cards (The Wall Street Journal , the BBC and Marketing  are recent examples), refer to the projected 894 million  mobile-banking users of smart phones and tablets—not the… Continue reading

Paint by Numbers: Profiles of Bank Agents in India

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India’s financial inclusion efforts remain in a difficult transition period. And agents, or business correspondents, as they are known here, are not the all-purpose, “last link” solution everyone had imagined between banks and low-income, remote or migrant customers. Despite the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) commendable efforts to move financial inclusion aggressively forward (this year's… Continue reading

Financial Inclusion Just Became More Inclusive…Maybe

On 22 February, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that companies from any business sector will be allowed to seek a banking license. A strong part of the rationale behind this controversial and surprising move from India’s generally conservative central bank and regulator is the need to bring more banking services, more efficiently and… Continue reading