Financial Inclusion in Action

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State of Play – Insights on the Evolution of Pakistan’s Mobile Money Agent Network


The success of a branchless banking network is entirely dependent on the ability of its agents to deliver high-quality services to the target market, that are in line with providers’ objectives. Three years ago, the Helix Institute of Digital Finance’s team first set off to study Pakistan’s agent network and inform on its efficiency, providing insights for improvement, as… Continue reading

The Unrealised Potential of Mobile Wallets in Pakistan


Currently, Over the Counter (OTC) transactions in Pakistan account for just over half (52%) of Branchless Banking Transactions[1] by value and less (42%) by volume. The vibrancy of OTC transactions could provide a stepping stone to mobile wallets. This, in turn, would enable the deepening of the digital financial ecosystem through advanced service offerings for… Continue reading

More Than Hygiene – Improving Agent Network Performance to Maximise Profitability


Over the last four years, as part of the Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) project, we have interviewed more than 34,000 agents from over 40 leading providers of digital financial services (DFS) across 11 countries in Asia and Africa. So what did we learn? Agent Dedication and Exclusivity is Declining We see a general trend towards… Continue reading

From OTC to Mobile Accounts: Easypaisa’s Journey


In 2009, Pakistan spearheaded the over the counter (OTC) transaction revolution. But in the summer of 2017, the digital financial services (DFS) landscape may experience a watershed moment. In June 2016, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that as of July 2017, all branchless banking players offering OTC transactions will be required to use… Continue reading

Over the Counter (OTC) Money Transfer in India: Mapping the Customer Experience (CX)


In our previous blog, OTC Money Transfer in India: The Remittance Silver Bullet for Migrants, we explained how OTC remittances work in India, and described the typical transactional processes. In this blog, we map the customer’s experience (CX) while conducting OTC transactions. To understand the real experience of customers, MicroSave staff posed as customers, visited… Continue reading

Top Blogs in Financial Inclusion – Pick your favourite


Disseminating knowledge to aid sectoral growth has always been a critical aspect of our work. In the year 2015, we continued to accentuate our efforts to reach out to the readers with best of our research work, our evaluation of industry developments and published over 31 blogs. Here are our top viewed blogs: Over the… Continue reading

Digital Finance and Illiteracy: Four Critical Risks


For financial service providers trying to garner new clients in the developing world, illiteracy awareness is extremely important. Many countries around the developing world still have high rates of illiteracy, and most financial services are not designed well for illiterate users. This means that tens of millions of people around the world cannot be effectively… Continue reading

More Sophisticated Agent Networks Signal a Maturing Digital Finance Industry


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

Over the Counter (OTC) in Pakistan: The Challenges and the Way Forward

In the first part of this blog, “Over the Counter (OTC) in Pakistan: Why It Works”, we examined the drivers behind the roaring success of OTC-based services in the country. This blog examines the challenges this success has bought, how the providers are responding and the prospects for the future of branchless banking in Pakistan. 4)… Continue reading

The Powerful Agents & Fractured Markets of Pakistan


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