Category Archives: Loans

Mobile Money and the Informal Economy: A Paradigm Change

By | July 9, 2019

One of the most powerful pieces of data analysis I have come across recently has been the Banque de France’s working paper on the role of financial innovation in the informal economy. In my opinion, the importance of their conclusions are no less than the famous “price of fish” paper of a decade ago –… Read More »

The results, two years on, from Kenya’s Movable Property Security Rights Act 2017

By | July 6, 2019

Movable property such as household goods, livestock and office equipment has helped add 183,487 loan accounts into the banking sector, a Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) report shows. […] “The loans that flow out of the banking system on the basis of assets in the register has been growing. This shows that the alternative collateral has… Read More »

Lessons from African Fintech for the Gig Economy

By | December 20, 2018

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to share my research on the past decade of mobile ecosystem development across the African continent with Dr. Antti Saarnio, founder of Zippie; co-founder of Jolla (developers of the Sailfish OS, among other things). “We want to test our product first and foremost in Africa because there is… Read More »

Chinese investments in African tech will transform the fintech landscape

By | October 20, 2018

A recent article brought to my attention this report on the pattern of funding experienced by fintech startups in East Africa and India with rather damning results. 90 percent of the capital invested by “Silicon Valley-style” investors went to startups, technically in East Africa, with one or more North American or European founders. These results… Read More »

Why is the Kenyan mobile loan industry facing just a digital version of India’s MFI problems?

By | March 26, 2018

When you make fast, easy, short term loans available on the phone to anyone with a need for quick money, why is it a surprise when high levels of consumer debt are the result? A recent survey by financial inclusion giants like FSD and CGAP discovers that low income Kenyans have not been helped by… Read More »

How the African movable assets bill can unleash innovation opportunities for the rural economy

By | May 13, 2017

As Kenya joins Zambia and Zimbabwe in ratifying a Movable Property Security Rights Act, there’s a sense that the floodgates to innovation in access to finance might be taking place in rural Africa, south of the Sahara and north of South Africa. Kenya’s law also goes beyond the cows and goats and allows a borrower… Read More »

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 »

Finally, the silver bullet of micro-finance can be buried in peace

By | January 15, 2016

Six years ago, in March 2009, after my return from The Philippines where I’d first conducted fieldwork using design ethnography methods to understand household financial management at the erstwhile Base of the Pyramid in a rural region, I had written: Another eye opener was hearing the story about a micro-finance loan for enabling local women… Read More »

Creative ways to financial inclusion, inspired by observing practice

By | July 8, 2015

Needless to say, mobile money has been a wild success in scaling an expansive agent network for converting cash to e-money and enabling person to person money transfer. Speaking at a recent conference, John Staley, Chief Officer – Finance, Innovation and Technology at Equity Bank had this to say: “We should move the conversation from… Read More »

Published! Pathways Out of Poverty by iBoPAsia Project

By | September 1, 2012

Innovating with the BoP in Southeast Asia. The iBoP Asia Project has published the complete set of small grants funding innovation projects for those at the Bottom of the Pyramid in the ASEAN region. One of the first projects to win the Small Grants competition in 2008 was The Prepaid Economy Project: Understanding BoP household… Read More »