China's pilot of 500,000 banking agents show significant promise for financial inclusion. Allowing these agents to offer a greater variety of services, such as taking deposits and opening new accounts, could lead to faster growth and more usage.
Here at CGAP we love to draw global lessons about financial inclusion from our interaction with stakeholders in various countries. But we often neglect learning from the latest innovations in the developed world since we assume that the differences between these countries and the ones we are most interested in are too great. Last year, a few of us attended the annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum organized by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and returned again this year to learn about the latest innovations in the U.S. market.
An ongoing trend in Latin America is bringing forward an innovative solution to the problem of cash management through a far-reaching network of small retailers who process cash payments in real time. Could this be a way to forge a Latin American alternative path to address the problem of liquidity management?
How far away is Kenya from the goal of cash-lite? Between July and August 2011, Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) conducted an intensive field study within an urban and a rural pilot area to study the mode and size of intra-day cash flows at the customer-to-merchant interface and the merchant-to-supplier interface. This research finds that despite Kenya’s reputation for being a leader in mobile money, cash is still king.
When it comes to financial inclusion, retail has been one of the late driving forces in Latin America. In the past, banks have been unable to cater to over 50% percent of households in the region. Retailers have filled some of this gap and have started offering formal financial services to millions of previously unbanked customers.
Ghana should be a ripe market for mobile money. Yet, as CGAP has written about before, the market has been slow to take off. In this post and video, Elly Ohene-Adu, Head of Financial Inclusion at the Central Bank of Ghana, speaks with CGAP about some of the issues with the current regulations and how the BoG is planning to tackle them.
This first post in this series lays out a conceptual map of the data landscape and takes a closer look at the supply-side data gathering efforts worldwide. It is important to note that while various initiatives have begun to look at the wider financial inclusion data architecture from the supply and demand-side, branchless banking and mobile money data is still missing from many datasets or is poorly represented.
A growing body of evidence suggests that connecting poor people to a digital financial system will generate sizable welfare benefits. But countries cannot bridge the cash-digital divide in one leap. Instead, they pass through several stages of market development.
The second post in a series on the emerging branchless banking data architecture focuses on the demand side of the data equation and attempts to answer questions such as: which clients are using which products for which purpose? What aspects of a service are they satisfied or dissatisfied with? And, perhaps most importantly, is the service having a positive impact on their general well-being?