Tag Archives: financial inclusion

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 »

Stepping up human centered innovation planning for financial inclusion

By | July 8, 2018

Two Ugandan analysts from the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) programme in Uganda write on the need for more human centered product development approaches in the design and delivery of financial services for rural Ugandans, especially the rural poor. One of their suggestions caught my attention in particular: (iii) Third, to increase the introduction of new… Read More »

How informal financial services can lower the barriers to formal financial inclusion

By | March 9, 2018

Around 2 and a half years ago, I was on a short visit to Abidjan, the capital of Cote D’Ivoire as a guest of the African Development Bank. They were holding an innovation weekend for young women and men in the Francophone West African region who were interested in becoming entrepreneurs. David O. Capo Chichi,… Read More »

Design of Digital Financial Services for Inclusion Needs More Respect and Humility to Succeed

By | August 18, 2016

In the past week alone, I’ve seen three glaring cases of unquestioned assumptions around the design and implementation of Digital Financial Service (DFS) particularly for financial inclusion, but also otherwise. This gives rise to the question whether the industry is prepared to undertake the mission they have set for themselves. The first is that their… Read More »

Customer-Centric Business Model Design for Financial Inclusion

By | October 5, 2015

The Challenge Digital financial services (DFS) seek to bridge the chasm between the structures, policies and institutions of the formal economy, and the cash intensive informal and rural economy. Current day approaches tend to take the perspective of the service providers when assessing the market opportunity and the needs of the intended customers. And so… Read More »

First world trends: Financial inclusion, the unbanked, and the prepaid business model

By | September 15, 2015

The Economist explains just how expensive banking can be for the lower income population, even in the United States. Financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked must include cost/benefit analysis based on the limitations of income streams of those whom they hope to serve. The cost of ownership is often overlooked in current day literature,… Read More »

3 Myths of Financial Inclusion

By | August 9, 2015

This article has been co-authored with Michael Kimani @pesa_africa Banking the unbanked is very popular right now, as financial inclusion is seen as a key milestone on the path to development. In parallel, a plethora of “cashless” or “cash lite” solutions have begun permeating the cash intensive informal economy. These can be broadly described as… 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 »

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 »

Systems thinking and the mobile platform for economic impact and wealth creation

By | March 20, 2013

I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time now, percolating as it has in the back of my mind but it was Mark Kaigwa who finally spurred this writing. This is not all about MPesa, though it will take a look at some of the issues why its runaway success in… Read More »