Financial Inclusion in Action

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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

The Better Service Agents Provide, The More Business They Do

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One of the major objectives of the Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) project is to determine which aspects of strategic operations really build the business case in the agency business. The Helix Institute has partnered with the Harvard Business School to dig deep into the data that is being collected and some of the initial findings are quite interesting. Specifically, agents… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? Part III

The first blog in this series Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part I) highlighted that over the counter (OTC) transactions alone cannot deliver the digitally enabled financial inclusion many of us are working towards. The second Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part II)  noted that despite this OTC transactions… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? Part II

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In the previous blog Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? (Part I) I looked at why over the counter (OTC) transactions alone cannot deliver the digitally enabled financial inclusion many of us are working towards.  A later blog in the series will examine the implications of OTC for providers and customers – many… Continue reading

Over The Counter Transactions – Liberation Or A Trap? – Part I

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The Cause For Concern I am back obsessing about over the counter (OTC) transactions again. Before we dive in let’s quickly define OTC transactions as they come in many forms in different markets – from the direct deposit by the agent into the end-user’s wallet in Kenya to the transfer of money from one agent… Continue reading

Survival of the Fittest: The Evolution of Frauds in Uganda’s Mobile Money Market (Part-II)

In the first blog of this series we outlined the evolution and increasing sophistication of fraud in Uganda. The ingenuity of fraudsters is impressive. But what about the MNOs’ response? Have the providers set up systems improvements and processes geared toward checking such frauds? Talking to the staff of leading mobile money providers in Uganda,… Continue reading

Survival of the Fittest: The Evolution of Frauds in Uganda’s Mobile Money Market (Part-I)

Uganda has seen an explosive growth in mobile money adoption in the last few years, growing from 550,000 active users in 2009 to 5.2 million in 2012 (active on a 30 day basis) according to the Economic Regulation Unit’s Broadcasting & Telecommunications Market Review 2011/12. Now, the rate of mobile money account ownership outstrips bank… Continue reading

The OTC Trap – Impact on the Business Case for Uganda’s Mobile Network Operators

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Mobile money providers in Uganda are well aware of the Over The Counter (OTC) trap and its implications, but their response to it will be the subject of another, later blog. This blog examines why OTC matters – enormously – to all stakeholders in digital financial services (DFS). As highlighted by Pawan Bakshi, in “Beware the… Continue reading

Mobile Money Agents in Uganda: Sprinting ahead, but the marathon’s not yet over

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With 50% of cash-in/cash-out agents conducting at least 30 transactions per day, it is evident that Uganda is one of the world’s leading digital finance markets. However, despite its impressive growth, many operational challenges still persist. The Helix Institute of Digital Finance’s ‘Agent Network Accelerator Survey: Uganda Country Report 2013’ (conducted by MicroSave and the Bill & Melinda Gates… Continue reading

Choosing An Agent Management Model

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One important question service providers have to ponder prior to entering the market is the agent hierarchy structure. Adopting a model which fits the market will save time, and money, and reduce stress levels for Senior Executives! The three models below illustrate the most common options available for service providers: The Direct Agent Hierarchy Model enables the… Continue reading