Category Archives: Loans

Core values: business models meant to serve the BoP

(Republished from old Perspective 2.0 blog March 10th 2009) The biggest shock for me in the Phillippines was learning that airtime minutes purchased on a prepaid plan came with an expiry date. The smaller the amount the faster the expiration. For example, the lowest amounts of “load” that can be purchased are 10 or 20 […]

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Women Together: Incentivising Savings

Mahila Milan means “women together” and provides a decentralised vehicle for the empowerment of women via leadership roles and advocacy alongside its pivotal daily savings collection.

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Traditional moneylending – informal, flexible, trust based and changing fast

As Microfinance Grows in India, So Do Its Rivals is the title of a recent WSJ article by Ketaki Gokhale which begins so, The practice of making tiny loans to poor people, or microfinance, was supposed to help drive traditional village moneylenders from rural India. Instead, traditional moneylenders, who typically charge high interest rates, are […]

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Banking on Trust

Following up on the Reserve Bank of India announcement to allow small shops and phone kiosks, etc to handle basic services on behalf of banks – I directed questions around potential receptivity amongst Dharavi residents.

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Seasonality and its influence on rural BoP household financial management

Fallow field, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan India  January 2009 I first noticed the influence of seasonality on income halfway during the Indian fieldwork. On one hand, its but natural that the seasons are linked to a farmer's cash flow, dependent as it is on the harvest. But it was when I met the silversmith that I […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Expenses, Income, India, Philipines, Research, rural, Savings, South Asia, Strategy, User research | Leave a comment

Some thoughts on community based models for sharing costs

We found that the key factor that makes 'prepaid' payment plans (whether its for electricity, mobile phones, water etc) so attractive to the BoP customer, in the context of their own behaviour patterns regarding the management of their personal finances. This is the fact that this model puts significant control over time – frequency and […]

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Quick summary of workshop findings

Our workshop officially ended today although there's still a lot of 'mopping up' to be done not to mention the final documentation. We had the opportunity to analyze groups of users observed and interviewed by me in rural Rajasthan (India) and a barangay in Iloilo (Philippines) as well as some basic personal financial management information […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Expenses, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Philipines, Research, rural, Savings, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research, Value | 4 Responses

Sudhir Venkatesh and the rise of the “other” BoP

Photo credit: Jim Wilson/The New York Times Even as we observe and study those who live on irregular and unpredictable incomes in the lower income strata of the developing world, articles in the media this week catch our attention to inform us that these challenges are not simply for the 'poor' but in fact, being […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Economy, Income, Literature review, Mobile platform, Research, Strategy, urban, User research | 1 Response

There can be no shortcuts at the BoP

This is not meant to be a complaint about any one organization so much as an observation made by happenstance while in the field. As written about earlier, my hostess in provincial Philippines is a micro entreprenuer running a small village shop which she started with the support of a loan meant to empower women […]

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The ability to choose your tradeoffs is empowering

Sari shop, Old Delhi, India, January 9th 2009 Sonia is just 26 years old. She went to work at age 9, when other little girls were going to school. She didn't say if she started working as a gofer in a beauty parlour after school and actually graduated, though it seems likely since she sounded […]

Also posted in Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Expenses, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Research, Savings, urban, User research, Value | Leave a comment