The many aspects of Financial Inclusion
By MicroSave Consulting
The many aspects of Financial InclusionAug 17, 2022
The role of capital in unlocking growth for MSEs through group-based informal financial services in Africa
In this podcast, financial inclusion expert at MSC Kim Kariuki is joined by Sybil Chidiac of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grace Majara of CARE USA, and Phyllis Kariuki of the World Food Programme.
They each share their thoughts on access to group-based informal financial services and their usage.
Digital technologies’ impact on women’s financial inclusion
This podcast brings together Brenda Oyugi (Manager, Digital Transformation) and Scholastica Kaaria (Gender Specialist) from MSC. They share their insights on the role of digital technology in women’s financial inclusion.
Drivers of women’s digital exclusion
In our latest podcast, we feature Scholar Kaaria, a Gender specialist at MSC, and Willis Ogutu, a senior analyst at MSC. They unpack the digital divide and technology gap in gender, their drivers, and mitigation measures. Uncover what MSC is currently undertaking to helpo narrow the gender digital gap. Listen to this insightful conversation.
Kenya plans to unlock micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME) financing
This podcast featured Lemuel Mangla, the Head of Policy and Compliance at CIS Kenya, and MSC’s BFS Specialist Kim Kariuki. They discussed the monumental changes in Kenya’s credit scoring system. The government is moving the financial industry from blacklisting to a graduated model that allows even those with poor scores to access credit. More than 4 million Kenyans can now access formal credit with this move, which will likely accelerate post-pandemic recovery and improve liquidity for women-led MSMEs.
Lemuel and Kim delve deeper into this conversation to unpack what the implications of this move would mean for access to credit in the country.
Investing in the agents of change
In our latest podcast, Edward Obiko, Senior Manager, MSC, discusses with Anup Singh, MSC Africa Regional Director, and Richard Jabel, CEO of the Agent Banking Company, the vast opportunity to lend to cash-in cash-out (CICO) agents. Investors have an attractive opportunity to lend USD 0.5-1 billion to agents in nine diverse low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), such as Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda. This credit market is expected to grow to USD 1.2-2.3 billion by 2027.
Usage and quality of DFS for women in open-air markets and cross-border traders
In our podcast today, Nicholas Mungai, and Thomas Murayi, financial inclusion experts at MSC, give an in-depth analysis of how digital financial services can bridge the digital divide to make formal financial formal services available to women, particularly those in open-air markets and cross-border trades.
Sustainability of Kenyan mobile money agents
This podcast brings together MSC’s Financial Services Analysts, Nicholas Mungai and Gregory Ilukwe. They share insights on how the significant changes and milestones in Kenya’s financial services sector have shaped the sustainability of its mobile money agents. They also discuss how the future of mobile money agencies should hinge on agents offering various complimentary financial and non-financial services to ensure their sustainability.
The Central Bank Digital Currency and its value to the economy
Our podcast features Dr. Juliet Ongwae, a consultant with MSC, and Ritika Sah, the Training Coordinator at the Helix Institute at MSC. They discuss the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and the value it adds to the economy. The podcast also explores why central banks worldwide want to launch a digital currency and the different risks associated with digital currencies.
The role of financial service providers in supporting MSMEs in Kenya
Our podcast features Charlotte Ochieng, a manager, and Mandira Sharma, an analyst in MSC’s Banking and Financial Services sector. They discuss how financial institutions in Kenya should change the narrative to provide support to MSMEs. The institutions should improve access to markets, business knowledge, and access to advisory and mentorship for MSMEs.
Embedding finance for inclusion
Embedded finance is the seamless integration of financial services into traditionally non-financial services or products. In the Indian context, embedded finance will play a crucial role in providing access to savings, credit, and other financial services to lower and middle-income segment users. Fundfina primarily intends to provide small merchants with credit. Tune in to our podcast to hear from its co-founder and CPO on how Fundfina has imbibed this concept, how Indian consumers can benefit from this evolving concept, and what challenges lie ahead.
Account Aggregator framework - Changing the financial ecosystem in India
NITI Aayog introduced the Account Aggregator (AA) framework to ensure secure and seamless data portability of consumer data among service providers. It can revolutionize financial services by simplifying data sharing. This unified platform will help all players in the financial ecosystem provide better tailored demand-based products for the consumers. Listen to our podcast with Nikhil Kurhe, Co-founder and CEO of Finarkein Analytics, to learn how this framework will impact the Indian financial ecosystem.
The Mool mantra - A neobank for everyone
The word “Mool” means “root.” Mool, a neo-banking platform, provides its customers with various financial services designed as per their needs. It also partners with business entities to create products for their employees. Listen to our podcast with Abhinav Nayar, the founder of Mool, to understand neobanking for nonaffluent users and its challenges in the Indian context.
Role of data in micro-credit
In India, microfinancing started in the 1980s to empower the poor and underserved segments of its population. In addition to credit access primarily, microfinancing also provides insurance, savings, and other financial services.
India’s microfinance sector has gradually evolved with the changing times ever since. However, the sector has not yet utilized the potential of digitization thoroughly. Industry players still use the conventional credit score methods for lending, adding to the challenges of a vast segment of the underserved population that lacks credit history.
The use of conventional methods leads to lower credit scores or exclusion of this segment from the ecosystem. Microfinance.AI recognized these challenges and saw an opportunity to serve the unserved and underserved. It identified the potential to include this segment into the financial ecosystem using other proxy indicators with digital footprints. These proxy indicators include income assessment scores, location, biometrics, and similar parameters.
Potential borrowers face challenges in accessing and using advanced technological services due to limited knowledge, resulting in the basic or restricted use of digital platforms. Considering the demography and profile of potential borrowers, Microfinance.AI designed its voice-assisted model in vernacular language.
The lenders can plug their product into the Microfiance.AI web platform, which will provide them access to profiles and data of potential borrowers in the given territory. Further, Microfinance.AI provides capital to microlenders to increase the loan deployment for the target segment. However, the target segment’s digital journey is slow, and it will take time to entirely onboard them on the digital path.
Individual entities or players in the ecosystem have unique expertise and strength and cannot provide end-to-end support. So, multiple players can collaborate to offer an end-to-end service that will address all challenges in the ecosystem. Stakeholders can provide a combination of digital and physical platforms to improve the overall efficiency of the ecosystem.
The use of alternate data in the sector can significantly change the credit scoring method and help serve the “left-out” segment. Listen to our podcast to understand the potential market size of this segment, the segment’s access to the market, the challenges of using alternate data, and how Microfinance.AI is addressing it.
Transforming cash in/cash out - Leveraging the potential of female agents
In this podcast, “Transforming cash in/cash out - Leveraging the potential of female agents,” we deep-dive into the landscape for female agents and the challenges they face and discuss opportunities for female CICO agents. We chat with Shelley Spencer, Founder and CEO of Strategic Impact Advisors, a global consulting firm committed to spreading the use of digital technology for financial inclusion and the development of communities and individuals. This podcast is a part of a broader effort of MSC to facilitate discussions on CICO networks through frameworks and collaterals such as blogs, focus notes, and reports.
Future of agent networks - What do we envision agent networks to look like in the future?
Agent networks across the globe play a critical role in enhancing financial inclusion at the last mile. Evolving country landscapes have led to newer business models of agent network management. In this podcast, listen in to Emilio Hernandez, Senior Financial Sector Specialist at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). Last in a three-part series by MSC on the multiple facets of agent networks, this podcast sheds light on the Future of Agent networks. It highlights the evolving business models of agent networks, the different factors that lead to their evolution, and the impact of the evolution on the agent lifecycle.
From a digital lender to a microfinance bank—what does this mean for MFIs in Africa?
Our podcast featured DFS Consultant Wesley Otoso and DFS Specialist Edward Obiko of MSC. They discussed the landmark transition where Kenya’s first digital lender Branch International acquired Century Microfinance Bank in its latest expansion drive. Wesley and Edward delve deeper to unpack the motivation behind this acquisition and what it now means to traditional financial service providers and FinTechs.
Youth agri-entrepreneurship in Africa
Our newest podcast sees Elizabeth Berthe, Partner at MSC, and Henry Lagat, Associate Partnerships Officer at Generation Africa, discussing the role of youth agri-entrepreneurship in Africa. They explore how the financial sector, the development community, and multilateral organizations can lay the groundwork for increased entrepreneurship in the agricultural industry.
Episode 8: Leveraging FinTechs to improve the financial health of the LMI population in Bangladesh during the pandemic and beyond
Since March, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted all businesses in Bangladesh. Small enterprises, including FinTechs and Startups, have been anxious about losses in business and shortened runways due to the fear of lockdowns and extended periods of restrictions on movement. However, on the demand side, the pandemic saw the emergence of a new segment of the poor in Bangladesh. In this MSC podcast, we speak to two industry leaders in the financial inclusion space—Tohurul Hasan from the aspire to innovate (a2i) program and Sunil Bhat from MSC. Tohurul Hasan and Sunil help us understand financial health, financial inclusion, and how FinTechs can help improve the financial health of the LMI population. Together, we explore the need for a platform that enables FinTechs or Startups to support the last-mile customers.
Episode 7: Strengthening financial resilience of MSMEs in Vietnam during the pandemic
MSMEs in Vietnam account for more than 98% of all business, 40% of GDP, and 50% of the total employment. Despite their significant contribution to the economy and employment, several factors hinder MSMEs’ access to formal financial services. The pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. It has left many MSMEs struggling with a shortage of working capital. In this second episode, we connect with Linh Vuong, Founder and CEO at VIFO. The podcast focuses on recent developments in the Vietnam ecosystem and their impact on the market potential of MSMEs.
Episode 6: Strengthening financial resilience of MSME in Vietnam during the pandemic
MSMEs in Vietnam account for more than 98% of all business, 40% of GDP, and 50% of the total employment. Despite their significant contribution to the economy and employment, several factors hinder MSMEs’ access to formal financial services. The pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. It has left many MSMEs struggling with a shortage of working capital. In this first episode, we connect with Mandy Nguyen, the Operation Director at SVF. The podcast focuses on recent developments in the Vietnam ecosystem and their impact on the market potential of MSMEs.
Episode 5: Democratizing financial technology
India’s financial services ecosystem has been transforming faster than ever. Innovative products and technologies continue to extend banking solutions to the bottom of the pyramid using human-centered designs. FinTechs, especially start-ups, are the backbone of these new disruptive products—they provide the infrastructure necessary for the solutions to materialize. In this episode, we connect with Sanjay Jain, Venture Capitalist and Partner at Bharat Innovation Fund, and Pawan Adipuram, the Co-founder of Chitmonks, a start-up that strives to build a blockchain network for chit funds in India.
Episode 4: SheLeads
India is a hotspot for start-ups. However, the country has only 297 women-led tech start-ups and just two women-led unicorns. Compared to men, women entrepreneurs have to deal with more hurdles as they start and run a business. In this podcast, we connect with Devleena Bhattacharjee, the Founder of Numer8, and Priyanka Chopra, the Chief Operating Officer at CIIE.CO, IIM Ahmedabad. The podcast shines a light on the challenges women entrepreneurs face as they run their businesses and seek funding.
Episode 3: Innovative FinTechs: Bridging the financing gaps for MSMEs
India is home to more than 60 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Though MSMEs contribute significantly to the economy and employment, several factors hinder their access to formal financial services. Most MSMEs operate in the unorganized sector and lack a formal or documented financial history. This affects their ability to borrow from formal lending sources or institutions. In this episode, we connect with Nishant Bhaskar, the Co-founder of Fundfina, and Anil Kumar Gupta, Partner at MSC. The podcast focuses on recent developments in the Indian ecosystem and their impact on the market potential of MSMEs.
Episode 2: Empowering the future of work
The future of work has been transforming as digitalization enables the creation of jobs and new employment opportunities. The boom in the gig economy and e-commerce sector drives this growth for the low- and middle-income workforce. In this episode, we connect with Anshul Khurana, the co-founder of Entitled, and Shantanu Singh, the co-founder of Flexisalary, who continue to strive for an inclusive future of work. Anshul and Shantanu take us through their journey of building products and business models and share their experiences in this space as well as the lessons they learned.
Episode 1: The marriage of agrifinance and technology
AgriTech players have been transforming the way agriculture is practiced across all stages of the value chain. Over the past few years, the sector has enjoyed strong tailwinds that have increased the interest of venture capital (VC) in the space. However, the availability of affordable finance remains a challenge for the sector. In this episode, we connect with Prathmesh Kant, co-founder of Aggois, and Hemendra Mathur, venture partner at CIIE.CO, IIM Ahmedabad. The podcast dives deep into how AgriTech start-ups have been using technology to solve financing challenges and the changing landscape of VC in the agri space.