There are now more than 20 digital credit offerings in Kenya, with new services launching continually. Hype is building around the potential opportunities these products could bring, but their rapid proliferation is also raising questions about risks.
CGAP received nearly 200 proposals from digital financial services providers across Africa interested in piloting new products. A look at those proposals — from 30 countries — shows that innovations are spreading beyond hot spots like Kenya.
Examining the cash flows of coffee and sugar farmers in Uganda for a CGAP-commissioned project revealed a seasonal cycle that is unsuited to monthly accounting practices. There are many ways that financial services could be designed to assist these farmers.
Mobile money has had bad press lately for fraud-related cases. Most of the reported cases were either the result of internal employees misusing the system to cause operator losses or fraudsters trying to scam unsuspecting users. There is another angle that rarely gets any press—when users or agents abuse the platform and use it in rogue ways that it was never intended.
Illiteracy is still a global problem, and most financial services are not designed for illiterate customers. The Helix Institute is working with financial service providers to help develop products and services that can work better for those who cannot read.
Dynamic, rapidly changing agent networks translate to a need for sophisticate, real-time location data and analysis tools. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is initiating a pilot program in Uganda to crowdsource data on financial services available in Uganda.