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Will Brazil Go Digital?

Small and medium banks in Brazil are starting to take advantage of new regulations that make it easier to adopt fully digital business models. What impact might this development have on financial inclusion in the longer term?
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The Replication Limits of M-Pesa in Latin America

Is the challenge of replicating the success of the M-Pesa model in Kenya more about implementation and management or about context and market structure? In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the evidence points to context.
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Buying Insurance – With Your Groceries – in Brazil, Colombia

Retail distribution of insurance comes with consumer protection challenges. Regulations in countries like Brazil aim to increase information offered to consumers, but supporting customers in navigating the process of buying and using insurance can still be difficult for sales staff.
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Seasonal, Unsteady Income Drives Economic Vulnerability in Brazil

Although nearly 30 million Brazilians have moved out of poverty and into the middle class in the last decade, millions remain vulnerable due to seasonal and unpredictable income patterns.
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Using Demand-side Surveys to Segment Client Groups in Brazil

Using data from a national household survey in Brazil, we segmented Brazilian respondents into six categories: Financially Excluded; Unbanked Bill Payers; Selective Users; Privileged Agent Non-Users; Banked Bill Payers; and Agent Super-Users.
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Do Agents Improve Financial Inclusion? Evidence from Brazil

With more than 400,000 agents, Brazil has one of the largest agent networks in the world, but their impact on financial inclusion is mixed.
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Mobile Payments in Brazil: Ready, Set, Go?

The Central Bank of Brazil has issued the much awaited medida provisoria (MP) for mobile payments.This bill establishes the regulatory framework to allow non-bank eMoney issuance, paving the way for a number of commercial partnerships to go to the market.
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A New Wave of E-Money in Latin America

In Latin America, the banking sector is highly rooted in the economy, and to think about non-bank issued electronic money is almost heretic. But things are changing.
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Open Sourcing Product Innovation

In our work through applied product innovation, we are learning that being open about the products that didn’t work can be an important mandate for all providers—as what is discarded by some can be a treasure for others.
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Financial Inclusion in Latin America: Looking Back, then Forward

In Latin America, 2012 has seen continued and increased efforts on financial inclusion across the region by providers and policymakers, although it wasn't a year without challenges.
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It’s Not Quantity but Quality: Consumer Research from Brazil

CGAP and Bradesco recently partnered with IDEO, the global design consultancy to help develop a payments product that better serves the needs of C,D,E class in Brazil. Insights from low income consumers are often not sufficiently and effectively gleaned before financial products aiming to target them are developed. However, witnessing IDEO's innovative approach to consumer research reminds us that simple yet effective tools can reinforce existing data and provide better insights.
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The Savings Conundrum: Lessons from A Pack of Cards

The simple behavior around a pack of cards gives us an enormous amount of insight about how a financial product can be designed to accommodate a quest for surprise whilst saving.
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Applied Research Methodologies for Financial Inclusion

In September 2011, CGAP’s Technology team invited the Brazilian firm Plano CDE to develop a study that would help them understand the behaviour, needs and expectations of low-income Brazilians in relation to financial instruments. The goal of the study was to contribute to the development of a new financial product or service that would attend to the needs of lower-income consumers and enhance their relationship with financial institutions.
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Designing Financial Products for “Bolsa Familia” Beneficiaries

Closer examination of the financial lives of the 13 million households receiving Bolsa Familia, shows huge variations in the way they manage their money. Although commonly grouped under the single heading of Bolsa Familia recipients, this part of Brazilian society is actually a collection of sub-groups with different financial needs and wants.
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Can Digital Footprints Lead to Greater Financial Access?

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.
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How to Save Lives and Lower Fuel Consumption: Clean Cookstoves

Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires – the primary means of cooking and heating for nearly 3 billion people in the developing world – causes 2 million premature deaths annually, with women and children the most affected.
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Are Retailers Better Positioned to Offer Financial Services?

In our first post in this series on the role of consumer goods retailers in financial inclusion, we discussed how retailers are similar to MNOs in their ability to reach unbanked customers. However, the opportunity for financial inclusion via organized retail, while significant, is not present in every country and not necessarily for every type of retailer.
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The Role of Organized Retailers in Financial Inclusion

We have previously discussed on this blog how consumer goods retailers can be part of the financial inclusion landscape. Today, we start to expand on that theme, explaining briefly why retailers are an exciting opportunity for financial inclusion but how that opportunity is not present in every market and, where it is present, how certain types of retailers could place themselves better to serve low-income consumers.
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Brazil Launches Action Plan for Financial Inclusion Initiative

Princess Máxima highlighted the success of the Business Correspondent (BC) model in the country and its notable results in expanding access to financial services to all municipalities.
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Meanwhile in Brazil...Are We There Yet?

The job of financial inclusion in Brazil is arguably done. Brazil’s banks have made it a global leader in branchless banking. The underlying retail payment infrastructure is in place. There are agent locations in almost every municipality. New agent management companies from around the world regularly visit more than 30 of their counterparts in Brazil to understand how the business works. And Brazil’s Bolsa Familia program, already successful in moving beyond G2P payments to credit and savings, is considered a global flagship. We start here by presenting our learnings from Brazil and share our summary note on the industry.