Financial Inclusion in Action

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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

Winter is coming: Managing the digital onslaught

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In the previous blog of this series, we discussed the changing nature of the financial services industry. We talked about how digital disruption has had an impact on traditional financial institutions. In this blog, we discuss how the incumbents can bring about a digital transformation to utilise the disruptive power of technology and innovation. Traditional… Continue reading

Enhancing Education Finance: A Perspective of the Financial Journey of Low- to Medium-Cost Private Primary Schools in Kenya

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The chatter and sounds of students playing in the school ground echoes in the distance. Peter, the school owner, looks at the children through his office window with pride. It seems like just the other day when he resigned from employment as a teacher to establish his own school. To finance the start-up, he used… Continue reading

Interoperability – A Regulatory Perspective

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Basis great inputs and discussions from Amrik Heyer, FSD Kenya, Stephen Mwaura former Head of Payments, Central Bank of Kenya, Uma Shankar Paliwal, Former Executive Director, RBI, Dennis Njau, Head of Channels, Kenya Commercial Bank, Gang Chai, Payment Policy Manager, Central Bank of Nigeria and Johnah Nzioki from Eclectics. In a recent workshop organised by… Continue reading

How Smart are Smartphone Lending Apps in Kenya?

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The mobile digital credit revolution in Kenya has attracted many fintechs offering loans via smartphones. Smartphone-based products have been touted for their potential to improve the user experience for digital financial services, particularly among low literacy customers. However, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) finds that in India existing interfaces fail to realise… Continue reading

Designing User-Friendly USSD Interface for Digital Financial Services

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According to Finscope 2014, it is estimated that 33% of Malawians have access to formal financial services. For any non-urban individual in Malawi, travelling to the nearest bank takes an average of more than an hour and a quarter. By contrast, 50% of adult Malawians have access to a mobile phone, 20% are aware about mobile… Continue reading

Key New Year Resolutions for the Success of Digital Financial Services

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First of all, let me reaffirm my belief that digital financial services (DFS) really do have the potential to provide financial inclusion for many (but perhaps not all) of the 2 billion un-banked. Its potential to reduce the costs of providing a range of financial services is an exciting prospect for those of us who… Continue reading

Demystifying the Role of Master Agents

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Agents are deemed the lynchpin of any successful digital finance (mobile money or agent banking) roll-out. A plethora of literature has been written about the role they play in building successful and sustainable digital finance businesses.  Less attention has been paid to the critical work of Master Agents who constitute an important, if not crucial, element in the agent-based… Continue reading

Leveraging Fintech to Achieve Financial Inclusion in Indonesia

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Click here to read the blog in Bahasa Indonesia “Fintech” – an intersection of financial services and technology – is taking the traditional financial world by storm. Indonesia is no exception, with a fast-evolving ecosystem that includes a host of financial services offered by new generation fintechs. The diagram below, by no means exhaustive, highlights a… Continue reading

Open Application Programming Interfaces (API): Purpose and Possibilities

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Application Programming Interface or API, a software programme, acts as a bridge between disparate applications. It performs the intended function when a set of instructions are provided through a user interface (UI). The front-end of UI is usually a website or mobile application. The following diagram illustrates the basic architecture of any API-based business model:… Continue reading