Financial Inclusion in Action

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Will Mobile Network Operators Make It As Payments Banks?

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Of the remaining eight provisional Payments Bank licensees, four involve mobile network operators (MNOs): Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, and Reliance Jio.    This is not surprising, since successful Payments Banks will require a large footprint to serve a massive customer base, as it will be a volume game. MNOs’ existing customer base and extensive agent networks… Continue reading

Offline Payment Acceptance: A Puzzle and an Opportunity

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As Indians, we love cash, which is fungible and provides instant gratification – allowing us to buy anything across the country. Cash speaks one language, does not discriminate, and provides a seamless experience!   RBI estimates that 96% of all the retail transactions in the country are conducted using cash, leaving only about 4% payments… Continue reading

India Post – Initiatives to Facilitate G2P Payments

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India Post has extensive outreach in rural areas of Jharkhand with 13 Head Post Offices (HPOs), 454 Sub Post Offices (SPOs) and 2,643 Branch Post Office (BPOs).[1] With 3,097 (454 SPOs + 2,643 BPOs) outlets present in rural and semi-urban areas, India Post has a reach of at least one outlet for every two of the… Continue reading

PMJDY Bank Mitr Assessment: The Supply-Side Story

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Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is now the world’s most successful financial inclusion scheme.  This blog highlights the supply-side findings (specifically focused on Bank Mitrs (BMs) or bank agents) of the final round of MicroSave’s PMJDY assessment (Wave III) conducted in December 2015.    The BM network is the backbone of PMJDY scheme. The… Continue reading

PMJDY: Milestones Reached, Yet Miles To Go – Customer Side Story Part 2

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In the first part of this blog, we discussed the demand-side findings of PMJDY Wave III survey conducted by MicroSave in December 2015. The blog highlights the positive impact of the PMJDY scheme on the financial behaviour of rural customers. Rural customers, including women, have enthusiastically contributed to the success of the scheme and have… Continue reading

PMJDY: Milestones Reached, Yet Miles to Go – Customer Side Story Part 1

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Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is now the world’s most successful financial inclusion scheme. The scheme envisages universal access to banking facilities with at least one bank account for every household, in addition to access to credit, insurance, and pension facilities. As of March 15, 2016, the scheme has mobilised approximately INR 335 billion… Continue reading

Digital Financial Inclusion In India – A Long Road To Take-Off?

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The history of India’s efforts to achieve digital financial inclusion has been diverse, but largely top-down. These efforts have produced a mixture of RBI regulations and advices for banks, and government policies and directives. Most recently, the RBI provided guidelines for differentiated banks (Payments and Small Finance Banks) specifically designed to deepen outreach and enhance… 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

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

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