Portfolios of Rwanda is a new report that analyzes the daily cash flows of Rwandan households to better understand their financial needs. In many cases, the challenge is no longer an issue of access to financial services, but one of relevant products.
CGAP's partnership with Janalakshmi Financial Services seeks to learn more about understanding customers, designing effective product delivery, and making the economics behind client-centric financial services for the poor work.
Mobisol combines solar energy with innovative mobile technology and microfinance. Their lease-to-own solar home systems are paid off through a microfinance installment plan via the customer’s mobile phones – making them affordable for households with low incomes in developing countries.
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.
Cell phone use generates data – from basic call data records, to mobile money transactional data, to data from social media usage and so on -- that leaves what can be called a ‘digital footprint.’ The existence of this data is quite extraordinary for those of us interested in developing services for the poor and people with little or no formal financial access. In other words, it is available in a way that can be analyzed.
We need to start treating willpower as a scarce and important resource. That’s the point pushed in a recent New Republic piece on “What can’t more poor people escape poverty?” And it’s a product opportunity for those designing financial services for the poor.