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Managed Chaos: Keeping Track of Agents

The key is pattern recognition. That’s where the color coding, scoring and sortability of FINO’s system comes into play.
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Can Branchless Banking Be Distributed Like Coca-Cola?

In India, a single distributor for a company like Coca-Cola (or Airtel or Nestle) works with several hundred retailers who sell Coca-Cola’s products. The distributor is responsible for selecting retailers, managing inventory, picking up/delivering cash and managing paperwork (e.g., for SIM registrations). Is it feasible for a distributor to add mobile banking to the other products they sell?
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India’s Doorstep Banking: FINO Starts Something New

FINO agents in Karnataka offer no-frill bank accounts from the State Bank of India (SBI). Some agents also sell insurance products.
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Should There Be Another CGAP, This Time for SME?

The list of reasons to support SME starts with the well-documented role of such enterprises in job creation, and goes on from there.
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CGAP Releases New Research on Banking Agents in India

As part of a new series of research on agents and mobile/branchless banking, this month we started a series of blog posts about recent field visits with some of India’s most prominent organizations that make use of agents.
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Perplexed about Overindebtedness, Part 2

“Indebtedness” refers to loan obligations—that’s easy enough. And the “over” part means too much. But too much from whose perspective?
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Mobile Banking in India: Grass-Roots Marketing

A notable difference in the role of banking agents (also called Customer Service Providers or CSPs) in India compared to other countries is that the agents are responsible for customer acquisition in addition to processing transactions.
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India: Agent Management to Sort Winners from Losers

The regulatory changes made in India last year have uncorked a stream of new branchless banking launches. Three new providers have or are just about to go to market.
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Perplexed about Over-Indebtedness – Part 1

The core practical question is, “how can we figure out whether there is serious over-indebtedness in a given microfinance market?”
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How to Tell Good MFIs from Bad MFIs

Most of us working in microfinance want microloan clients to be paying interest rates that are as low as possible. While we have the same vision, there is disagreement about how to determine whether an interest rate is an appropriate one.
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Rules of the Road for Branchless Banking in the Year 2020

What is the key purpose of having a scenarios session for policymakers during this seminar? The key has been to get people to focus on what the consequences of certain policy directives might have on how much – or how little – branchless banking truly increases access to financial services for the unbanked poor in the next decade.
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Are MFIs in India Overvalued?

Opportunities for reasonably-valued equity investments still remain, but the majority of recent transactions by foreign-owned funds suggest that finding such opportunities is not necessarily an easy task.
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Nationwide Impact of Agents in Brazil

These insights come from a recent mission to Brazil to look at the business case for agents (termed “banking correspondents” in Brazil) and good practice for building a viable agent network.
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The Internet and Mobile Money – Scenarios for 2020

In 2009, CGAP and DFID talked with over 200 technology and finance leaders from 30 countries to determine how branchless banking, including mobile banking, might look in the year 2020.
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What Is Che Guevara Doing in this Bank?

We often think of branchless banking without looking at the nonprofits working in the community for social and economic development.
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Crime and Mobile Banking – Scenarios for 2020

The risk and cost of cash crime is an important force on the demand side—driving customer adoption of electronic forms of payment—as well as affecting the business case of providers.
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Branchless Banking: The Test and See Approach

When it comes to regulating branchless banking, some regulators believe they need to spend a lot of time and energy in developing a comprehensive framework. But putting in place extensive regulations without first observing and understanding how the market is developing can often result in a regulatory framework that is ill-tailored to the risks involved.
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Branchless Banking in Brazil: Making it Work for Small Merchants

The agent economics around branchless banking can be a complicated subject.
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Does Branchless Banking Empower the Poor?

One segment of society that has directly benefited from banking agents are older people who receive monthly pensions.
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Does Microcredit Really Help the Poor? Take II

When people think about “getting out of poverty,” they are usually thinking in terms of income and/or consumption.