Financial Inclusion in Action

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Making Digital Money More Relevant, More Often – Part 1

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Who are the Customers? Adoption of digital financial services are growing year on year, across most developing country markets. GSMA, in its 2014 State of the Industry Report, states that mobile money is now present in 89 out of 135 markets, and in 16 countries the number of mobile money accounts exceeds the number of… 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

Reducing Friction To Succeed

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A wage labourer from Bihar, India, swipes a metro rail card, as he runs to catch a train to a construction site he works at in Delhi. A mother enters a few digits on her Equitel mobile phone to pay the monthly school fee of her daughter in remote Eldoret, Kenya. A small shop owner outside of Pokhara, Nepal,… Continue reading

Agent Networks In India – How Mandates Have Influenced the Landscape

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There is a key difference in how the Digital Financial Services (DFS) market in India has evolved when compared to other countries. While in most countries the expansion of DFS along with agent networks has been driven by profit, the growth of DFS in India has essentially been the result of government mandates. The mandates… Continue reading

Designing an Effective User Interface for USSD: Part2

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In the first part of this blog series “Designing an effective user interface for USSD”, we presented a comparative analysis of various access channels used for accessing mobile money services. This blog presents the behavioural insights from the user perspective based on the recent research conducted by MicroSave with a leading MNO in five geographies.… Continue reading

Designing an Effective User Interface for USSD: Part 1

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Suraj is an illiterate migrant from Muzzafarpur (Bihar) who works at a construction site in Delhi. He has recently opened a mobile wallet with a leading mobile network operator (MNO) in India. When we met him, his primary concern was – “How would I use my (mobile money) account, when I don’t even know where… Continue reading

Responsible Digital Finance: Seven Customer Risks that Need Attention Now

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Digital financial services are growing globally, with a variety of offerings (more than 250) now serving 300 million people in developing markets according to the GSMA. However, inactivity rates are staggeringly high, with as many as two-thirds of registered digital financial services users inactive, and the cross-sale of products beyond simple person-to-person transfers in many markets… Continue reading

More Sophisticated Agent Networks Signal a Maturing Digital Finance Industry

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Agents are critical to the customer experience of digital money services because they represent the first and most tangible service touch points for most end users. Agent networks are also probably the most operationally burdensome and costly element of the digital financial service value chain, typically costing anywhere between 40 and 80 percent of revenues generated from… Continue reading

Solving Customer Service Issues in Digital Finance – Can Do, Must Do

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There is a growing interest in, and appreciation of the importance of, customer service in digital financial services (DFS), for reasons explained highlighted in the previous blog in this series  (See “In Our Digital Financial Service We Trust?”). GSMA recently released a code of conduct for mobile money service providers. CGAP is also playing a… Continue reading

The Powerful Agents & Fractured Markets of Pakistan

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Pakistan is easily one of the top five leading digital finance markets in the world; yet also certainly one of the least understood.  Anyone striving to learn about it must first understand how the Over-the-Counter (OTC) methodology adopted in Pakistan works, as it operates uniquely compared to other markets, especially those where it is unregulated. … Continue reading