Financial Inclusion in Action

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UNHCR Cash-Based Intervention in Meheba refugee settlement in Zambia: The Journey to Digitization

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It was a hot and dusty day as our team drove into Meheba refugee settlement in the North-Western Province of Zambia. Our energy was high, though it was the adrenaline that kept us going after a couple days without sleep. We were going to see the initial results of a nine-month journey towards digitization of… Continue reading

Aadhaar verdict – SC strikes the right balance between delivery of benefits and privacy

The long debate on the constitutionality and purpose of Aadhaar may not end with the judgement of the Supreme Court but it will certainly become more specific and narrower. In a landmark judgment, the five-judge Supreme Court bench opined with a 4:1 majority that Aadhaar is legitimate and proportional. The judges observed that although Aadhaar… Continue reading

India’s enabling triangle for financial inclusion

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In our earlier blogs, we expressed our concerns around the growth of the digital divide, as the focus for financial inclusion shifts to FinTech and superplatforms as “the definitive solutions”. While these solutions typically require smartphones, many of the poorer households in Asia and Africa simply do not have access to the devices. Neither do… Continue reading

Blankets and wine for financial inclusion – Beyond digital access

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Is registration for mobile accounts (wallets) really enough? What is an ideal measure of financial inclusion? The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) defines a core set of indicators for measuring financial inclusion. The first dimension is access to the services and products that formal financial institutions offer. Yet to achieve meaningful access, we have to… Continue reading

Why do so Few Fintechs Focus on the Mass Market?

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Howls of disbelief and denial greeted the assertion in Can Fintech Really Deliver On Its Promise For Financial Inclusion? that “fintech is irrelevant for most villagers because providers have made little effort to tailor interfaces or use-cases for the low-income market.” At the time of writing, the vast majority of fintech providers across the globe… Continue reading

Consumer Protection in the Digital Age

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Why does consumer protection matter? In November 2017, in Can Fintech Really Deliver On Its Promise For Financial Inclusion?, we noted, “It is quite clear that till date, the regulatory environment and consumer protection provisions remain too weak to secure the poor. Many have already lost money in basic money transfer transactions. Millions are negatively… Continue reading

Fintechs for LMI segments – Tapping the untapped

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In our first blog in this series, we highlighted how the low- and middle-income (LMI) segments in India present immense opportunities for ecosystem players.  To read our report on the fintech landscape in India, click here   To know more about the Financial Inclusion Lab and to apply, click here These players may include fintechs,… Continue reading

Fintechs for LMI segments – Demystifying myths and delving into realities

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In our previous blog in this series, we presented recent trends in the fintech space in India. In that blog, we also defined the low- and middle-income (LMI) segments and examined the challenges that fintechs and investors face in catering to these segments.  To read our report on the fintech landscape in India, click here… Continue reading

Fintechs for LMI segments – What’s the intricate puzzle?

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In 2017, J.P.Morgan commissioned MicroSave and IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) to undertake a study on the fintech  landscape in India. This comprehensive study focused on the low- and middle-income (LMI) segments in the country. The research team consulted over 60 stakeholders spread across various industries, institutions, leadership levels, and geographies.… Continue reading

Indonesia’s experiment with digitising food subsidy payments: The story so far

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Background of government-to-people (G2P) payments in Indonesia   Indonesia has embarked on an ambitious programme to digitise all social assistance payments in the country by 2019. In 2017, one of the largest social assistance programmes, Raskin, was digitised and moved to cash transfers. The new, cash-based programme has been renamed Bantuan Pangan Non Tunai (BPNT).… Continue reading