Tag Archives: informal financial services

Bridging East Africa’ formal – informal financial services divide

Kenya’s formal inclusion looks pretty, the financial inclusion industry has been has been great at talking up its achievements over the past 10 years. Here, 75.3% of Kenyans are now formally included, a 50.3% increase from 19 years ago. Official statistics on mobile phone penetration is up to 80.5% of the population and there is general […]

Posted in Africa, Alternative currency, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Kenya, Loans, Mama Biashara, rural, Savings, Uganda | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons for Formal Finance from Informal financial services

  On one of my many field explorations on rural financial services,  I found out, that for one mama biashara, as soon as payment checks in, she withdraws all her funds from her local coffee SACCO account, and spreads it out via micro-deposits across her more than 5 local informal savings groups (from right to […]

Posted in Assumption filter, Cashless transactions, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Mobile platform, Perspective, rural, Rural Economy, Savings | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

The importance of the agent/customer relationship for successful financial inclusion

The role of agent networks in East Africa’s mobile money and mobile banking roll-outs is widely documented; as an intermediary, a kiosk exchange point – accepting deposits for e-money/ withdrawals for cash and usajili (registration). “. . .as the first point of contact, human agents help bridge the gap between a high-tech service and low-literacy […]

Posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Ecosystem, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Savings, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, urban | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Role of Chamas in informal sector entrepreneurialism in Kenya

Researcher Mary Njeri Kinyanjui shares deep insights from Kenya on how social cooperation and collaboration play an important role in the informal entrepreneur’s business financing strategy. In East Africa, particularly in Kenya, the formation of chama—a Kiswahili word for social group—has helped to enhance group agency and solidarity entrepreneurialism. Individuals collectively and cooperatively form a […]

Posted in Africa, Banking, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Savings, User research | Also tagged , , , | 1 Response