Financial Inclusion in Action

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Market Readiness for Mobile Money Interoperability

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Interoperability of mobile financial services potentially offers great benefits for the wider ecosystem. The value to consumers is obvious. This, in turn, leads to wider adoption; higher transaction volumes; greater velocity of money in the ecosystem; all of which are advantageous to service providers. It is now well established from both MicroSave’s Helix Institute of Digital Finance and CGAP studies that… Continue reading

Bangladesh Pioneering Unique Models & Innovations for Agent Networks

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Earlier this year, The Helix Institute of Digital Finance conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,800 mobile money agents in Bangladesh, coupled with qualitative interviews across the country.The 2014 Bangladesh Country Report provides insights into some of the unique models and innovative techniques players in this country have designed to develop an agent network of approximately 160,000 agents in… Continue reading

Disruption is Simmering in Kenya

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Something disruptive has been simmering for some time now in Kenya’s rapidly evolving digital finance market. M-PESA the lauded and the most successful mobile money offering in the world has started to feel it too. At the core of the disruption is the “Thin-SIM”, a decade old technological innovation from China.  M-PESA – The Benchmark… Continue reading

Financial Inclusion Histories

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We do most of our work in a historical vacuum. We tend to think of today's problems and opportunities as unique. That's a natural bias in an age imbued with a sense of inexorable progress reliant on technological solutions. But if we lift our gaze over historical time, we find numerous references to issues and… Continue reading

Mobile Money and Microfinance: A Match Made in Heaven or Marriage Gone Awry?

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Use of mobile money in microfinance seems to be an idea whose time has come. It has also figured in our publications as potentially the next big idea in financial inclusion (see Can MNOs Lead the Way for Banking the Excluded 1 and 2 as well as Mobile Money – Influencers of Success and Speculation on… Continue reading

Communication – The Achilles Heel of Direct Benefit Transfers – Part II

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We strongly believe that an integrated communication approach should be the starting point of large Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) programmes. It certainly helps to be as clear and succinct as possible to manage expectations. In the previous blog we highlighted how poor and often contradictory communication is leading to mass confusion and apprehension amongst beneficiaries.… Continue reading

Draft Branchless Banking Regulations in Indonesia – A Review

The Government of Indonesia has been proactive in its efforts to extend formal financial access to the unbanked and under-banked sections of the society. The release of draft regulations on branchless financial services for financial inclusion by Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK – the financial services authority that regulates and supervises financial services activities in banking,… 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

Non-Bank-Bank Partnerships: Break-ups, New Dates on the Cards?

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Until this month RBI maintained the view that only licensed commercial banks can offer cash-out services. As a result a number of banks and non-banks formed partnerships. In fact, the RBI’s view hasn’t changed. The RBI has simply decided to regulate non-banks offering business correspondent services too, as differentiated, Payments Banks (PB). Business correspondents (BC)… Continue reading

Does the New Inclusion Scheme Risk Adding a Rs. 1,000 Billion Subsidy Burden?

The Prime Minister is all set to announce a mega new programme on financial inclusion on India’s Independence Day. The Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, is busy shaping the ‘Sampoorn Vittiyea Samaveshan (SVS)’ (Comprehensive Financial Inclusion) scheme in consultation with bankers. Anyone closely associated with the financial inclusion space will worry that without very… Continue reading