Tag Archives: informal financial services

Bridging East Africa’ formal – informal financial services divide

By | January 9, 2017

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… Read More »

Lessons for Formal Finance from Informal financial services

By | August 21, 2015

  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… Read More »

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

By | June 2, 2015

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… Read More »

Role of Chamas in informal sector entrepreneurialism in Kenya

By | April 11, 2015

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… Read More »