Offered as a collaboration between the Commercial Bank of Africa and mobile network operator Safaricom through its mobile money service M-PESA, M-Shwari has piqued the interest of mobile money watchers looking for the next innovation to drive financial inclusion globally.
This working paper aims to provide insights on the role that effective competition and competition policy play in developing MFS, and in turn promoting financial inclusion using Kenya and Tanzania as case countries.
This Working Paper explores three approaches banks in Kenya have used to respond to mobile money. While nonbank mobile financial services can fundamentally reshape the financial sector in a developing market, as they have clearly done in Kenya, mobile services need not represent an existential threat to the traditional banking industry.
Despite significant evidence to the contrary, many financial institution managers and policy makers do not believe poor people save money. They tend to assume that poor people are “too poor to save,” that they prefer to consume rather than save excess income, or that when they do save it is only to access a loan.
Microfinance products tend to be uniform across large geographic areas. For example, in Bangladesh most microfinance institutions (MFIs) offer some variant of the product pioneered by Grameen Bank—a loan with a term of about a year, repaid in frequent (usually weekly) installments, given in a group context, ostensibly for micro-enterprise use, and with a compulsory savings element.
Around the world, poor households save in various forms and for various purposes. Although empirical evidence suggests that the poor would deposit if appropriate financial institutions and savings facilities were available, little progress has been made to establish microfinance institutions (MFIs) as full-fledged financial intermediaries.