This paper analyses the synergies in the distribution of energy and financial services. It describes how an integrated approach could enable financial institutions to profitably serve low-income populations, thus enabling a significant source of growth.
Globally, over 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity, and another 1 billion people have unreliable connections to national electricity grids. Startup energy enterprises are leveraging digital finance to deliver modern energy to the poor, sold on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Despite their relatively recent emergence, PAYGo companies are rapidly approaching maturity. These businesses have the chance to reduce the energy poverty gap, drive financial inclusion, and improve the quality of life for millions of people.
This paper uses research and interviews with customers to understand the value they derive from PAYGo solar, why they decided to purchase it, how they were able to afford and pay for it, and whether they considered the product a “good deal” in the end.
This Focus Note discusses the activities (and related risks) in which bank agents may engage, management and mitigation of agent-related risks, approaches to licensing and supervision of bank agent businesses, and possible corrective measures supervisors may take.
This paper highlights emerging lessons from the public funders that have been engaged in branchless banking. The goal is to help other funders consider the role they might play in this area. Branchless banking offers the potential to fundamentally transform the way low-income clients can access financial services.
Many in the private sector believe reaching large numbers of mass market clients is a precondition to large-scale profits, but at the same time, they are uncertain about how quickly branchless banking will gain traction with the unbanked, low-income clients who make up the mass market.