Financial Inclusion in Action

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Competition in the Kenyan Digital Finance Market: Digital Credit (Part 2 of 3)

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This is the second blog in a three part series, which compares digital financial service offerings in Kenya. The first blog focused on mobile money services and this second one delves into mobile banking services, focusing on digital credit.  These are certainly the most complicated but also the most exciting services given their potential to deepen financial inclusion… Continue reading

Competition in the Kenyan Digital Finance Market: Mobile Money (Part 1 of 3)

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There has been a great deal of international discourse on the topic of mobile money after Kenya’s successful implementation of M-PESA, and as we recently wrote, the success is increasingly shared by banks. This is a clear victory for Kenyan customers, who now have more options to choose from.  However it also means that the financial… Continue reading

The Bricks and Mortar of Agent Networks: Training and Support in India

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While the first blog in this series explained how Indian Government mandates have determined the current character of the digital finance services (DFS) market in India, this blog is more forward looking, focusing on addressing issues of agent training and support.  The 2015 ANA India data shows that these are areas where providers are struggling, and are therefore also opportunities… Continue reading

Opportunities for Equitel to Disrupt Digital Finance in Kenya

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Equity Bank’s introduction of the thin SIM under the Equitel brand is an important development for the Kenyan financial market as it brings customers more choice in terms of providers, and will hopefully push product innovation further in a market that has had trouble evolving beyond payments.  We believe that to really make digital finance… Continue reading

Lessons from Informal Financial Systems: Indonesian Perspective

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Over the past few years MicroSave has conducted several research studies in Indonesia[1] to understand the household level financial ecosystem. Through focus group discussions (FGDs) and participatory rapid appraisal (PRA) tools, we gained insights on access to, and use of, financial products in communities across Indonesia. This blog focuses on the role of informal institutions… Continue reading

The Ebbs & Flows of Liquidity Management

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Advanced Liquidity Management: While liquidity management is consistently cited as one of the most challenging elements of managing an agent network, there are times when it is more difficult than others.  People’s need to deposit, withdraw and send value fluctuates quite considerably, and so while an agent might understand how much e-float and cash to… Continue reading

The Human Touch Required to Evolve Digital Finance

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Service Offerings at Agents are Static & Rudimentary Across East Africa The Helix Institute’s research (2013) is showing that even after seven years of market development in Kenya, six years in Tanzania and five in Uganda, agents are still providing the same very rudimentary services that they did from the beginning.  The graph below shows that just about all… 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

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

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