Financial Inclusion in Action

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Predictions for Regulators of Digital Financial Services

It is always dangerous to make predictions in an industry which is expanding and evolving rapidly, so it is with trepidation that I now do so. However, the predictions below are based on market insights and observations from working many years within the mass retail financial sectors and in Digital Financial Services (DFS). 1. DFS will… Continue reading

e-KYC and the India Stack – A Transformative Blueprint for Emerging Markets

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A student newly admitted at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, wants a new mobile SIM, so she can talk to her parents back home in Eldoret. Her national identity card is used to establish her identity. A 32-year-old widow of a landless labourer in Bihar walks up to a Bank Mitr agent to open an account, so… Continue reading

Role of Bank Mitrs in Direct Benefit Transfer Ecosystem: Are Banks and Government Ignoring Their Brand Ambassadors?

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The direct benefit transfer (DBT) programme is an important and far-reaching initiative of the Government of India. The successful rollout of DBTL (DBT for subsidy transfer of domestic LPG) could save Rs. 7,700 crore (USD 1.167 billion) for the government. This is about 38% of subsidy budget of Rs. 20,000 crore (USD 3.01  billion) for… Continue reading

Bending the Rules for Better Customer Service is probably a Good Thing

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Recently, a team of qualitative researchers interviewed sixty mobile money agents and users in Kenya and Uganda to understand the drivers of important behaviours like non-compliance.  The findings were intriguing since it was clear that the driver of agents breaking some rules and regulations was their ambition to provide excellent customer service and thus increase… Continue reading

Indonesia: The Quiet before the Storm

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Last year, The Helix Institute discussed the importance of focusing on the “Launchpad Stage” before rolling out a DFS deployment. The Launchpad Stage is the developmental phase which concentrates on identifying a value proposition in the market, defining an anchor product, designing processes, structuring management, streamlining protocols and crafting a marketing and communications strategy. In Nigeria, providers… Continue reading

Draft Branchless Banking Regulations in Indonesia – A Review

The Government of Indonesia has been proactive in its efforts to extend formal financial access to the unbanked and under-banked sections of the society. The release of draft regulations on branchless financial services for financial inclusion by Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK – the financial services authority that regulates and supervises financial services activities in banking,… Continue reading

Non-Bank-Bank Partnerships: Break-ups, New Dates on the Cards?

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Until this month RBI maintained the view that only licensed commercial banks can offer cash-out services. As a result a number of banks and non-banks formed partnerships. In fact, the RBI’s view hasn’t changed. The RBI has simply decided to regulate non-banks offering business correspondent services too, as differentiated, Payments Banks (PB). Business correspondents (BC)… Continue reading

Does the New Inclusion Scheme Risk Adding a Rs. 1,000 Billion Subsidy Burden?

The Prime Minister is all set to announce a mega new programme on financial inclusion on India’s Independence Day. The Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, is busy shaping the ‘Sampoorn Vittiyea Samaveshan (SVS)’ (Comprehensive Financial Inclusion) scheme in consultation with bankers. Anyone closely associated with the financial inclusion space will worry that without very… Continue reading

Mor Committee Report – Is There a Take Away for Insurance Industry?

The report of Reserve Bank of India’s Committee on “Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households”, commonly known as the “Mor Committee report” has generated unprecedented levels of exuberance, interest and debate. While most of the RBI committee reports are conservative and confirmatory in approach, this report talked about a paradigm shift… Continue reading

The Mor Committee – Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due (Part-II)

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Priority Sector Lending (PSL) and Credit Pricing   The Mor Committee on “Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households has also made a number of suggestions related to the priority sector lending (PSL). The Committee recommends raising the overall PSL requirement to 50% of adjusted net bank credit (ANBC) or credit equivalent… Continue reading