Financial Inclusion in Action

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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

Embracing A Market-led Approach To Developing Product Concepts

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According to the World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion Database, more than 2.5 billion adults do not have an account at a financial institution. Among the many factors that are responsible for this high level of financial exclusion, poor design of financial products is key. Why, then, is it so difficult to design financial services for… Continue reading

Two More Revolutions Underway in Kenya

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It is first quarter results and investors briefing season in Kenya, providing a chance to see how the market is evolving. And for the country’s leading financial services players, that evolution has been a profitable one. But behind the celebration of M-PESA’s remarkable payments revolution, and the continued growth of M-Shwari’s mobile banking services, there are two other important… Continue reading

The “I Don’t Have Enough Float” Quandary!

Ugali is cornmeal porridge and a staple of the Kenyan diet; it is as Kenyan as M-PESA.  Last time my mother was making it, she ran out of cooking gas and texted me frantically to send her money so she could buy gas and finish cooking dinner before it got soggy.  I ran to the… Continue reading

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

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

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