Nov 2017

  • The Hindu Quotes MicroSave in its Story Published on Demonetisation Anniversary

    New Delhi, India
    : November 8, 2017. The Hindu BusinessLine, a leading news agency in India, highlighted MicroSave’s recent study that tracks the efforts of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and public sector banks to promote a less cash society. Titled ‘How to move to a 'less cash' economy’, the article states that despite the push to create a cashless economy, Indian customers have returned to using cash a year after demonetisation in the country. The article refers to the points raised in the study to mention that building a less cash eco-system is difficult but not impossible. In terms of rural India, the article cites the study to mention the critical role of merchants in promoting a less cash ecosystem. Click here to read the entire news article. Click here and here to read the study results.

Sep 2017

  • Helix launches ANA Pakistan Report

    Islamabad: 21st September 2017. The Helix Institute of Digital Finance launched its second wave of the Agent Network Accelerator – Pakistan Country Report in Islamabad, Pakistan. The report is based on interviews with over 2,000 mobile money agents conducted across Pakistan. The report highlight the findings on the landscape of mobile money agents in Pakistan, covering the agent network structure, agent viability, quality of provider support, compliance and risk, and other important strategic considerations.
    The Agent Network Accelerator project, is managed and conducted by the Helix Institute of Digital Finance and is the largest research initiative in the world on mobile money agent networks, designed to determine their success and scale. Pakistan is among 11 African and Asian countries participating in this research project, selected for their contribution to the development of digital financial services globally. 
    The Agent Network Accelerator Pakistan Report was launched at an event hosted by Karandaaz Pakistan, a not-for-profit development finance organisation which promotes access to finance for small businesses through commercially directed investments, and financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology-enabled digital solutions. The event saw attendance from all major stakeholders of the mobile money industry, including EasyPaisa, JazzCash, UBL Omni, as well as regulators. Later at the event Imran Khan, an Independent Consultant working for the Helix Institute of Digital Finance was interviewed by the Pakistani media. 
    See the interview here. Read the full report here.

  • MicroSave’s Study on Jan Suraksha Garners Significant Media Attention in India

    “The government-backed insurance schemes under Jan Suraksha saw 80% policy renewals in the second year as auto-debit premium facility ensured policy continuation by subscribers, states MicroSave study.” – Financial Express
    The MicroSave study, which we conducted in 2016, has reaped wide attention from leading newspapers and business magazines in the country, such as, Financial Express, Business Standard, India Today, and Outlook India.
    Jan Suraksha is the world’s largest individual mass-insurance program. The assessment came as an opportunity for MicroSave to understand the sentiments of Indians associated with financial inclusion and insurance literacy. The assessment makes recommendations to strengthen the delivery of the vision behind this innovative initiative,” said Manoj Sharma, Director – MicroSave, Asia.
    The study covered the three schemes under Jan Suraksha, namely Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), and Atal Pension Yojana (APY). While APY is a pension scheme, PMSBY provides an accidental cover of INR 2 Lakhs for an annual premium of INR 12, and PMJJBY provides a life insurance cover of INR 2 Lakhs for an annual premium of INR 330. Jan Suraksha schemes are entirely contributory with no direct subsidy, which makes them akin to commercial microinsurance.
    MicroSave has recommended corrective measures like the expansion of the outreach of Jan Suraksha in the next few years through powerful, bank-led mass-media campaigns, the clubbing of Jan Suraksha with PDS and MGNREGS, implementation of a mechanism to track policy, capacity building of Bank Mitrs, and efficient payouts of commission. 
    Read the full report here.

Aug 2017

  • MicroSave facilitates Workshop for the Ministry of Social Affairs, Government of Indonesia on G2P

    MicroSave in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Ministry of Social Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, recently facilitated a workshop, on the Role of Technology for Improvement of Social Assistance Program, at Pullman Hotel Jakarta. Ms Preeti Sudan, Hon. Secretary of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of the Government of India was invited as a special guest to share the India experience on digitising food subsidies. Other speakers included: Mr. Pawan Bakshi and Ms. Elisa Sitbon of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Manoj K Sharma of MicroSave, Mr. Shrikant Karwa , i-SPIRT India and representatives from Ministry Home Affairs and Ministry of Social Affairs of the Government of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia and HIMBARA (association of the government owned commercial banks). The workshop was attended by representatives of all the relevant ministries involved in financial inclusion in Indonesia, commercial banks and multilateral agencies like WFP, DFAT, World bank etc.

  • FIIS 2017 Summit to Advance Wealth Creation in the Pacific

    Financial Inclusion Innovation Summit (FIIS), previously known as the Pacific Microfinance Week (PMW), brings a three-day conclave of conferences, workshops, field visits, and seminars for the region’s financial sector stakeholders. The Summit will be held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea between 29th and 31st August. The Bank of Papua New Guinea will host the event. Over the years, it has been recognised as a landmark event that covers relevant topics, issues, innovations, and world-leading case studies in financial inclusion. 
    The event will host around 200 participants ranging from financial sector regulators, microfinance practitioners, advocates, academic institutions, donor agencies, international financial institutions, NGOs, domestic government agencies, among others. Participants from across the region and beyond will discuss and debate pertinent issues that impact financial inclusion in the region.
    The objective of the event is to share innovations, knowledge, network, and engage in technical exchanges for the purpose of effective, efficient, and sustainable delivery of financial services within the unique constraints of the region. Experts from MicroSave will speak at the event, on key theme areas. 
    Manoj Sharma, MicroSave’s Managing Director would be presenting insights on Digital Finance, with a focus on Promoting Customer Centricity. With the rise of digital financial services, more providers now have new opportunities to expand their market. The session will address how providers can better understand, serve and engage their customers effectively. 
    Bhavana Srivastava, Associate Director MicroSave and Inclusive Finance expert will speak as part of the panel discussing Credit Scoring for Thin-file Customers. Quality information on the credit risk of borrowers is vital for financial institutions to make lending decisions. The session will look at the impact of credit scoring products in increasing quality of lending decisions.
    Priyank Mishra, MicroSave’s Digital Finance Expert will host a workshop on the next generation of digital financial services. The next generation of digital finance is exhibiting significant progress through many powerful use cases. Leveraging digital finance, beyond cash-in cash-out mobile money services would be the focus of the workshop.

  • ET brings Focus to MicroSave's Findings around Cash-lite Readiness of MFIs in India

    In an exclusive report, The Economic Times has covered MicroSave’s recent work around cash-lite readiness of select MFIs in India, which was commissioned by Microfinance Institutions Network. 

    The report presents findings on the current state of digital transformation in microfinance companies. It delves into the reasons for slow uptake and value propositions that would catalyse the transformation process. 
    Manoj Sharma, Managing Director (Asia), MicroSave further emphasises, “It is imperative for the MFIs to see cash-lite from a strategic perspective, keeping in mind their current and future positioning.” 

  • The Hindu BusinessLine publishes Orality Report by MicroSave

    New Delhi, India, 20 August 2017: The Hindu BusinessLine, a leading news agency in India, published an article by MicroSave, titled ‘Mobile wallets should redesign icons for Indian users’. The article mentions MicroSave’s study, Mobile Wallet for Oral, which outlined our findings on the need for developing India-specific oral icons to cater to those who cannot read nor write.
    The article outlines recommendations from Mobile Wallet for Oral, which states that the facility should have “functionalities to send money, request money, add money, pay bills and an image-based phone book”.
    The Mobile Wallet for Oral study also suggests support for large-digit numerals with cash equivalents that users can count. It recommends limiting the number of elements to five per page for easy understanding among users. 
    The study was conducted last year across Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar. It found that when asked to count cash, respondents — both neonumerates and innumerates — could do it correctly by recognising and calculating the denominations.
    Read the complete news report here. Please read Orality Report here.

  • Workshop on Cybersecurity and the Future of Innovative Financial Inclusion


    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 1-2 August 2017.  Anil Kumar Gupta, Associate Director, MicroSave spoke at a two-day workshop titled Policy Forum Cybersecurity: Safeguarding the Future for Innovative Financial Inclusion. The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) partnered to conduct the event.
    At the workshop, Mr Gupta presented the session – ‘Safeguarding Trust in the Grassroots Segment’. He elaborated how protecting grassroots segments from cyber-threats is distinct from protecting general consumers. His speech highlighted measures to safeguard at-risk users, which include effective education strategies to build consumer-capacity, smart product design, and effective regulation. Other speakers at the session included Murugesh Krishnan, VISA, Alexander Clark from The Behavioural Insights Team, and Grigori Baghdasaryan of Central Bank of Armenia.
    Mr Gupta moderated another session, titled ‘Promoting Good Cybersecurity Practices among Financial Services Providers.’ Speakers in the session discussed cybersecurity of financial systems in detail. They spoke about promoting good cybersecurity practices among financial services providers, particularly in the context of developing countries. Speakers at the session included Saqib Sheikh, SWIFT, Chuan Wei Hoo, IBM, Jean-Louis Perrier, Suricate Solutions Security & Payments, and George Etindi, Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) Kenya.

  • MicroSave Lends Support to Indonesian Delegation on Digital Financial Inclusion

    New Delhi, India: A delegation from the Government of Indonesia, comprising ministers, government officials and officials from the central bank (Bank Indonesia), visited India between July 18 and 21. The visit was organised to facilitate interactions with government ministries, UIDAI, RBI, NPCI, as well as private stakeholders. The event was part of an exposure programme for the delegates to have an up-close look at India’s experience with Digital Financial Inclusion. MicroSave supported another organisation in planning the event, and accompanied the delegates in their respective meetings.

    The Indonesian delegation of 22 officials was led by Mr Iskandar Simorangkir, Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, Government of Indonesia. He was accompanied by Prof Dr Zudan Arif Fakrulloh, Director General of Population and Civil Registry, Ministry of Home Affairs of the Indonesian Government, along with other officials and staff. 

    MicroSave facilitated live demonstrations of e-KYC and Aadhaar based transaction during field visits, which were a part of the exposure programme. The company representatives helped the delegation understand how DBT, Aadhaar-based transactions and e-KYC take place in the country. 

Jul 2017

  • MicroSave in the News for its Cashless Village Initiatives in Odisha, India

    Odisha, India: 27 July 2017, MicroSave’s financial inclusion efforts were recognised in a mention by Mr A P Hota, the Managing Director and CEO of the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), at a recent media interaction. During the conversation, Mr Hota mentioned MicroSave’s role in bringing about financial literacy and financial inclusion to Karangamal Panchayat in the state of Odisha, India.
    The interview was conducted by OdishaLIVE, a local news agency in the state. Speaking about the project, Mr Hota stated that Karangamal was the first Panchayat to embrace digital and become a less-cash or cash-lite geography in the state. Mr Hota mentioned that MicroSave took up the project with the State Bank of India and Utkal Grameen Bank to transform the villagers’ traditional practice of cash transactions into digital for every purpose. He also specified that the success of this pilot has motivated other banks to adopt panchayats and transform them into fully digitised and financially literate areas.
    NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India. It had adopted the Karangamal Panchayat in 2015, with the aim of digitisation and financial inclusion, as part of the Prime Minister’s dream project ‘Digital India’. 
    Read the full news here

  • MicroSave and Shakti Foundation to Digitise Micro-Credit Transactions in Bangladesh

    Dhaka, Bangladesh

    - 11th July, 2017; MicroSave and Shakti Foundation, one of the eminent Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) in Bangladesh have recently launched a project to digitise the micro-credit transactions through Digital Financial Services (DFS), with funding from MetLife Foundation. The Management team along with other officials from both the institutions were present in the launching ceremony at the head office of Shakti Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  • Register Now! Training in Rethinking Marketing for DFS Uptake and Usage

    Nairobi, Kenya: Many digital financial services (DFS) deployments continue to struggle with low uptake and high rates of inactivity amongst registered users. Delivery of DFS not only requires good product and excellent distribution channels, but also the right marketing strategies. The Helix Institute of Digital Finance is conducting a training for institutions in need of route-to-market strategies or who are looking to increase usage of their products/services. The training is scheduled from August 28 to September 01, 2017 at Nairobi Kenya. Download the training brochure here. To register click here or write to
    Course at a glance:
    Participants will understand how to develop and deliver marketing strategies to effectively communicate the value proposition to their target market. To do this it analyses consumers’ behavioral biases and the journey that they take from awareness to active usage of the service. 
    Topics to be covered:
    Marketing Financial Services
    Role of Branding in DFS Success
    Application of Behavioural Economic Insights
    The Customer Value Proposition
    A Walk through the Customer Journey
    Data Analytics for Marketing Communication
    Marketing ROI
    Consumer Protection and Retention
    Who should attend?
    This course targets middle to senior level managers involved in DFS marketing and product development/management in mobile network operators, banks and other financial institutions as well as third parties.
    We recommend 2-3 participants attend from each organisation as experience has shown that teamwork greatly improves dissemination of learnings back to the institution. Register now!!

Jun 2017

  • The Hindu BusinessLine Publishes MicroSave Findings on DBT in Fertiliser


    New Delhi, India: June 20, 2017, The Hindu BusinessLine, a leading English Daily of India published an article titled ‘Study on fertiliser DBT points to security issues, need to train retailers’. The article stated MicroSave’s dipstick evaluation conducted earlier this year in six districts, where a pilot on Aadhaar-enabled Fertiliser Distribution Service (AeFDS) was run and the report submitted to the NITI Aayog, National Institution for Transforming India, Government of India.
    The article specified the need for a code of practice for retailers and for all others who handle Aadhaar data. However, on the whole, the survey found that along with the Mobile Fertiliser Management System, the AeFDS or DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) in fertiliser increased the accountability of stakeholders and enhanced transparency.
    Stating about the survey, the news article mentioned that while the groundwork and training of retailers was commendable along with good network connectivity of point of sale (PoS) machines, awareness amongst farmers about the new fertiliser distribution system was low. About 88 per cent of the farmers were unaware of the need to produce Aadhaar at the retail outlet to purchase fertilizer. 
    Read the news article here.

  • MicroSave in Conversation with Government of Indonesia on G2P Initiatives

    Graham A.N Wright (third from right) and Grace Retnowati (fourth from right) of MicroSave with Honorable Minister of Social Affairs of Republic of Indonesia Ibu Khofifah Indar Parawansa and her distinguished team, at the presentation on MicroSave's G2P Initiatives in India and other Countries

    Jakarta: MicroSave's Group Managing Director, Graham A.N. Wright and Country Manager, Indonesia, Grace Retnowati recently met with Ibu Khofifah Indar Parawansa, Minister of Social Affairs of Republic of Indonesia to make a presentation on MicroSave's government to people (G2P) initiatives in India and other countries and discuss opportunities to leverage this experience to assist the Ministry.
    The Ministry runs the largest G2P payments program in Indonesia and is interested in partnering with MicroSave to: (a) build robust grievance redressal mechanisms, (b) develop effective communication strategies to maximise beneficiary understanding and engagement and (c) concurrent monitoring and evaluation of the various G2P programmes to help optimize the functioning of G2P schemes. The work with the Ministry of Social Affair will be part of the ongoing MicroSave project on Strengthening Regulatory Environment for Digital Financial Inclusion in Indonesia supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Read full coverage in Bahasa Indonesia here.

  • Register Now! Understanding Digital Governance in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Field

    Washington, D.C. United States
    : 5th June 2017, Many developing countries are using digital technology to reform public service delivery. The convergence of financial inclusion, mobile networks and digital ID is transforming the way governments deliver public services and citizens access entitlements, including public subsidies. Are these reforms working? How are beneficiaries coping with the changes? Do they think they are better off than before?
    To answer the above questions, Center for Global Development in collaboration with MicroSave is organising a seminar to be held on 13th of June 2017 at Washingtion, D.C. The topic of the seminar is 'Understanding Digital Governance in Developing Countries: Lessons from the field'. Manoj Sharma, Managing Director, MicroSave, will share insights from field surveys and outline what can be done to improve implementation on the ground. 
    For more details of the seminar click here. To register click here.

  • Indian Media highlights MicroSave findings on Ujjwala scheme

    Lucknow, India: 5th June 2017, the leading print media of India, highlighted MicroSave findings on the government's Ujjwala Scheme. Various news agencies like Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, Amar Ujala, Rashtriya Sahara and others, stated the findings of the scheme. In one of the articles titled 'PM’s Ujjwala Yojana empowering underprivileged' the article highlighted impact of the ambitious scheme, Prime Minister Ujiwala Yojana (PMUY). 
    Quoting Manoj Sharma, Director, MicroSave, the article stated that MicroSave conducted two rounds of assessment in 12 districts on the progress of PMUY delivery process and its effect. As the flagship scheme completes a year, MicroSave released the survey results, which highlight insights from the structured interviews coordiriated with LPG dealers, village level representatives, PMUY beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. The assessment reported high level of satisfaction among PMUY beneficiaries. It points out that women found their houses to be cleaner now, in the absence of smoke emissions. 

May 2017

  • Business Standard Quotes Manoj Sharma's Views on JanDhan Scheme

    New Delhi, India
    : 19 May 2017, Business Strandard, a leading English Daily in its article title "3 years of Modi govt: Financial inclusion a show-stopper for NDA" quoted Manoj Sharma, Director, MicroSave. The article mentioned that the Jan Dhan Yojana has been the most successful of the govt's financial inclusion initiatives. Steps leading to financial inclusion have been a cornerstone of the Narendra Modi government. In the past three years, there have been many products and services to highlight inclusion, but the hero of the piece has been Jan-Dhan. In fact, it all began with the launch of the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which aimed to bring everyone into the fold of formal financial system. Alongside, several insurance and pension products were rolled out to deepen the engagement with the formal economy. 
    The article quoting Manoj Sharma stated that "Bundling the Jan Surkasha scheme has played a critical role in the success of PMJDY. In our surveys we found that 21% of the respondents opened a bank account to avail insurance benefits".

    Read the entire article here

  • Workshop on Emerging Risks and Customer Protection in DFS, Indonesia

    Jakarta, Indonesia: May 16, 2017, MicroSave is conducting a workshop titled “Emerging Risks and Customer Protection in Digital Financial Services in Indonesia”, to disseminate findings from the recently concluded research on the same topic.
    Both, Branchless Banking (Laku Pandai) and e-Money (Layanan Keuangan Digital) are growing rapidly with more than 300,000 agents and 3 million users (cumulative) in Indonesia. Proliferation of DFS especially among unserved and underserved segments makes them vulnerable. This is especially the case with only 30% of the Indonesians being financially literate and 8% aware about DFS. With this context, MicroSave conducted a nationally representative survey to find out the actual and perceived risks to customers of DFS and come up with recommendations to mitigate these risks. 
    The workshop aims at:

    Disseminating findings from the research on “Emerging Risks and Customer Protection in Digital Financial Services in Indonesia”

    Providing policy and operational recommendations to protect digital financial services consumers.

    Getting perspective from Indonesian stakeholders (both regulators and market players) on risk mitigation and customer protection initiatives being undertaken.

    The workshop will be held in Jakarta on May 16th, 2017, and involves various DFS stakeholder in Indonesia including the government, policy makers as well as the industry players.   

  • MicroSave Launches its Work on Digital Wallet Interface Prototypes for the Oral Segment in India

    MicroSave announces the release of a groundbreaking work to develop digital wallet interface prototypes for the oral segment in India. The oral segment includes about 264 million Indians (23 million youth aged 15-24). The objective of the study was to develop a front-end customer interface for mobile wallets that addresses evidence-based usability constraints of the oral (illiterate and semi-literate) market segment face, thereby providing a superior customer experience. 
    By understanding the ways in which oral people deal in cash and subsequent transactions, we designed a prototype of Mobile wallet interface for the oral population. The result is first ever wallet design for Oral and that’s what we call it -  MoWO – Mobile Wallet for Oral. Tests of usability of MoWO showed that illiterate and innumerate individuals found this design substantially more usable than any in the current marketplace We believe MoWO is the first step in the right direction towards financial inclusion of Oral people.
    MicroSave and our partner in the study My Oral Village believe that financial service providers can achieve better results, essentially, adoption of their services, if they align their offerings and incentives with the behaviour and motivations of oral culture.
    Read the learnings in detail here.

  • The Hindu States MicroSave's Ujjwala Assessment

    New Delhi, India: May 7, 2017, The Hindu Business Line, India's leading English Daily published an article titled 'Modi govt’s Ujjwala scheme leaves women healthier, happier'. The article states MicroSave's findings from the Ujjwala scheme Assessment.

    Speaking about the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, the Indian government’s flagship scheme to provide LPG connections to below-poverty-line households, the article stated MicroSave's study in 12 districts of eastern, central and western Uttar Pradesh which revealed that nearly all of the beneficiaries of the scheme switched to cooking on gas as soon as the LPG cylinders were made available.
    For women, who are the chief beneficiaries of the scheme, the assessments revealed that cooking on gas stoves helped save at least 1-2 hours daily, which they used for leisure activities or other household pursuits. This was partly because cooking on gas was faster, and because it saved them the time and effort needed to go out to collect firewood.
    The article also quoted Manoj Sharma, Director, MicroSave that  the women reported spending time chatting with their neighbours, resting, or even doing other household work. 
    Read the entire article here.

  • India's Economic Survey 2016-17 States MicroSave Findings on DBT

    New Delhi, India
    : 01 May, 2017, Economic Survey 2016-17 by the Government of India, Ministry of Finance states MicroSave findings on DBT. This year's Survey comes in the wake of a set of two radical domestic policy actions: the GST and demonetisation. Section 9.72 of the survey discusses MicroSave's pilot study of direct beneficiary transfer (DBT) in lieu of PDS. The study was conducted in Chandigarh and Pondicherry. To read the entire survey click here

Apr 2017

  • MicroSave and World Bank Join Hands to Develop Pro-Poor Tourism in India

    Lucknow, India
    : April 25, 2017, Business Standard. a leading English daily published an article titled 'Uttar Pradesh to Leverage Tourism as Poverty-Alleviation Tool'. The article stated about the World Bank funded Pro-poor Tourism Development Project covering the top three tourist hotspots in Uttar Pradesh, India-the Buddhist Circuit, Braj-Mathura and Agra-Taj Mahal regions.

    Over the last several years, a series of meetings have been held between the central and state government representatives for evolving a roadmap for the Pro-poor project in the state.
    The plan had been approved by the UP tourism department after the World Bank earmarked Rs 700 crore for promoting the Pro-poor tourism infrastructure in the state. Besides, the proposed project had also been approved by the screening committee of the Department of Economic Affairs, union ministry of finance.
    MicroSave is a knowledge partner for this Pro-poor project for Uttar Pradesh (UP), India which is all set to take off after the first round of interaction with its stakeholders. Pro-poor tourism (PPT) is a holistic tourism concept aimed at generating economic, social and cultural benefits aimed for the poor living in the periphery of the various tourist hubs.
    Manoj K Sharma, Director, MicroSave informed that the documents pertaining to the preparation of the Pro-poor Project report was signed earlier this year. The final report on the project is underway and is likely to be submitted by September after consultative meetings with all stakeholders come to an end. Read the entire article here.

  • Register the Date for Conclave 2017, Microfinance in Asia: A Mosaic!

    New Delhi, India: Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) is conducting - Conclave 2017, Microfinance in Asia: A Mosaic. The event is scheduled from 25th April – 26th April, 2017 at Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi, India. 
    The International Conclave, Microfinance in Asia: A Mosaic is a bespoke event focused solely on Microfinance and innovation, whether through better banking processes, digital innovation or the more ubiquitous telco route. The Conclave will include participation from South Asian and South East Asian countries of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and China.
    The Conclave aims to discuss issues centering on various aspects of microfinance including enablers, players and clients and tries to capture mutually beneficial practices from across the region with the intention of creating synergy and excellence in microfinance.
    The Conclave will set the stage for a lively and vibrant dialogue among diverse entities across the Asian region with a view to sharing, building and strengthening practice and innovations in this space. The focus will be on low cost, high value interventions for vulnerable households. This will also be an opportunity to share ideas and look at practical approaches to embedding excellence in processes that are already ongoing.
    Manoj Sharma, Director, MicroSave will be moderating a plenary session on Micro Insurance Models at the conclave. The session on Micro Insurance Models will be held on the 25th of April 2017. The other participants at the session include. 
    Plenary Session 5: Micro Insurance Models
    Presentation by Mr. Yogesh Gupta – Chief Financial Inclusion Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life insurance Company Ltd (India)
    Mr. Manoj Sharma - Managing Director - Asia, Microsave (India)
    Ms. May S Dawat - Chairperson, CARD Pioneer Microinsurance Inc (Philippines) 
    Ms. Sophy Pum - Head of Deposit and Branchless Banking Product Development, Angkor Microfinance Kampuchea (Cambodia)
    Mr. G. Satish Raju - Head Global Partnerships  South Asia, Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (India)
    Mr. Subir Jha - Associate Vice President, Bajaj Allianz Life insurance Company Ltd (India)
    Dr. Ajay Verma - Head - Rural & Non Traditional Initiatives, Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited (India)
    Mr. Neeraj Maheshwari - Senior Vice President & Head -Group & Partnership Distributions, DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance co. Ltd. (India)
    MFIN is the industry for RBI regulated NBFC-MFIs and has positioned itself as an engine of inclusive growth for India. MFIN through its members, helps provide financial services to low income households in a responsible & transparent manner, thereby helping them build sustainable livelihoods. 
    Follow the highlights of the event on Twitter using hashtag #MicrofinanceInAsia2017 and #MFINConclave2017. To Register for the event click here

  • Join a Great Training on Risk and Fraud Management in DFS

    Kampala, Uganda: The Helix Institute of Digital Finance is conducting a training on Risk and Fraud Management in Digital Financial Services. The training is scheduled from 06-08 June, 2017 at Kampala, Uganda. The details of the training are mentioned below.
    Risk and fraud pose significant strategic and operational threats for digital financial service (DFS) deployments – and reduce customer uptake and usage. This course analyses risk and fraud management from the demand side (customer level) perspective, as well as the supply side (agent network and provider level) perspective, and equips providers with prevention and mitigation strategies.
    Course at a glance:
    This course provides participants with strategies and tactics for service quality by providers, as well as their agents and customers to manage risk and fraud.  It empowers participants to establish a framework for the sustainable management of risk and fraud within their deployments.
    Topics to be Covered:
    Risks & DFS Overview
    Frameworks: Making DFS Safer
    A Firm Level Approach to Risks
    Practical Applications of Frameworks in DFS
    Risk Categorisation and Technology Risks
    Partner Risks and Customer Risks
    Agent Management Risks
    Ethics, Governance and Risk Culture
    Provider Protection from Fraud
    Scenarios & Capabilities for Strategic Risk Planning 
    Who Should Attend?
    Middle to senior level managers in Risk, Compliance, Internal Audit, and Operations departments within mobile network operators, banks, other financial institutions and third party providers looking to strengthen controls to safeguard user funds and to protect their DFS businesses from internal and external fraud. Chief Information Officers and IT managers will also greatly benefit from this course to better manage their internal systems and procedures. To apply click here

Mar 2017

  • Manoj Sharma, Director, MicroSave Speaks at the Asia Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit 2017

    Hanoi, Vietnam:
    March 22, 2017, Manoj Sharma, Director MicroSave participated as a plenary speaker for a session titled ‘A New Age of Collaboration’ at the Asia Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit 2017. At the event, he was also interviewed by the International Finance Magazine for his views on the growing role of Digital Financial Services in accelerating Financial Inclusion. 
    The Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit is the region’s premier thought leadership event on financial inclusion. Hosted by the State Bank of Vietnam and organised by the Citi Foundation and the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC), in partnership with the Banking with the Poor Network (BWTP), the Economist Group, the Summit convenes key stakeholders in the inclusive finance ecosystem to drive collective actions to promote positive change and inclusive growth across the region.
    While addressing at the session, Manoj Sharma said "MFIs must first articulate clear value for adopting Digital Financial Services before jumping on board - you need a good plan, being a 'second- mover' is not always a bad thing".
    In his interview to the International Finance Magazine, Manoj Sharma said we are seeing that a lot of digital platforms are coming together to broaden the product range. By product range, we not only mean the range of financial services – savings, credit or insurance. As a test case in many countries, the social welfare schemes have started riding on the digital platforms which is very exciting for us.
    Unlike banking services for upper, middle levels, where services are delivered from one window, it is a different story for base of the pyramid customers. If they need a credit they need to sit in a group of 5 women. Similarly, there are different windows for savings and insurance. For the first time we are seeing that if its finance, it can be bought under one single window. And that’s exciting and really exciting. See the full interview here. Follow more highlights of the event on Twitter using #FinInclusionSummit. 

  • The Hindu Business Line Publishes MicroSave Article on Soil Health Card

    New Delhi, India: March 10, 2017, The Hindu Business Line, a leading Indian business daily, published an article titled ‘Addressing the soil health crisis’, authored by Akhand J Tiwari, Senior Manager, MicroSave and Abhishek Gupta, Associate, MicroSave. The article discusses that indiscriminate fertiliser use is driven by the compulsion to maximise short-term yields. Soil health cards (SHCs), launched by The Prime Minister nation-wide in early 2015 to rejuvenate India’s exhausted soils, need to improve in terms of positioning, marketing communication and distribution, keeping in mind the behavioural cues unearthed by MicroSave
    The Green Revolution, probably the greatest achievement of post-independence India, heralded an era of food sufficiency riding on the use of chemical fertilisers. Now, 50 years on, soil health is rapidly declining. There is ample evidence to show that indiscriminate use of fertilisers is the major cause of deteriorating soil health. 
    MicroSave recently conducted a study into farming practices in two paddy-producing districts of Andhra Pradesh (West Godavari and Krishna) and elicited farmers’ views on fertilisers, soil health and SHCs. Though the findings relate to a select sample in a specific region, they are indicative of attitudes and practices of kharif paddy farmers across the country. 
    The authors suggest in the article that a behavioural approach based on understanding farmers’ realities needs to be used. Many farmers are share-croppers seeking to maximise short-term yields with little care or concern for the long-term health of the soil. Others, who own their land, do not expect their children to farm and “live off the land”. So they aim to maximise short-term yields to finance the education, which is seen as the passport to a job and freedom from the toil of farming.
    Read the full article here

  • MicroSave Welcomes Isaac Ondieki as Regional Managing Director- Africa

    We are delighted to announce that today Isaac Ondieki joins us as Regional Managing Director-Africa, as David Cracknell moves to his new role as Global Director for Technical Excellence. 
    Isaac joins us from Ernst & Young where he is Executive Director for Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Prior to that he was with Deloitte as Associate Director. Isaac brings more than 20 years’ experience in areas including IT related strategy development, financial management, operations improvement, project management, change management and knowledge transfer. His experience and expertise will further strength MicroSave’s capabilities to deliver high quality, large-scale projects.
    David moves into a new role where he will lead our efforts to further enhance the quality and creativity of our work, both by leading key projects and by mentoring high potential staff within the organisation.

  • Demonetisation and Digitisation - Business Standard Publishes Findings from MicroSave Study

    New Delhi, India
    : 8th March 2017, Business Standard, a leading English daily from India published an article titled ‘Note Ban Boost for Digital Payments to Stay’. The article highlighted the findings from MicroSave’s Demonetisation and Digitisation Report. Stating the findings from the report, the article mentioned that two-thirds of respondents to continue with electronic-payment modes if ease of doing transactions persists. About a third of those who were using cheques, plastic money or non-cash payments after demonetisation would now go back to cash for many reasons, including behavioral ones as per the survey conducted by MicroSave
    This also means two-thirds would continue to use non-cash payment modes, provided there is ease in doing so, revealed the survey conducted to gauge how the pattern of transactions had changed after demonetisation.

    The article quoted Manoj Sharma, Managing director, Asia-Pacific, MicroSave, who said that the study covered Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. As many as 66 per cent of those covered said they would use non-cash payment systems if sufficient digital acceptance points were developed and training was provided on digital financial services. However, 34 per cent said they would return to using cash because of behavioural and functional issues.
    To Read the Demonetisation and Digitisation Report click here. To Read the entire news coverage click here.

  • NPCI Collaborates with MicroSave to Transform Villages into “Cash-lite Villages”

    Bhubaneswar, India
    : 7th March 2017, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India, has taken up a project to work with State Bank of India and Utkal Grameen Bank in transforming one of the panchayats in Odisha, India as less-cash or "cash-lite" panchayat. NPCI has partnered with MicroSave to design the program of transforming villages. The Panchayat of Karangamal, in the district of Naupada in Boden Block has been identified for the purpose. 
    The panchayat comprises of five villages where a week long campaign has started to spread digital awareness. NPCI‟s initiative will boost the digital payments ecosystem through various modes and channels of payments such as USSD based *99#, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), RuPay card and Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AePS). 

    Mr. A. P. Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI said, “India is currently witnessing a Digital Revolution. We have been credited for platforms like IMPS, AEPS, Rupay Cards, *99#, UPI and BHIM which are a few grounded innovations in payments space. We would like to study the adoption level at villages vis-à-vis towns and cities. This is also an experiment as to whether it is possible to shift the payment behaviour by a focused campaigns in a village.”
    Mr. Anil Kumar Gupta, Associate Director, MicroSave said, “Adoption of payments by rural masses is a challenging task. It requires meticulous planning, awareness, and demonstration for the benefit of people. It requires complete support by banks and various stakeholders on the ground. With right approach, the uptake and the results can be magical”.
    NPCI in collaboration with MicroSave, has taken a forward looking approach and is implementing a workable model which can be adopted by others in the country towards making villages cash-less / cash-lite. Read the entire press release here. Follow the cash-lite campaign at MicroSave's Twitter handle

Feb 2017

  • Fintech for Finclusion - A MicroSave Workshop

    New Delhi, India: February 24, 2017; SIDBI, DFID and MicroSave organised a knowledge sharing event on technological innovation for financial inclusion. The workshop titled “Using Technology to Build Inclusive Financial Systems” witnessed participation from industry leaders and practitioners to discuss technological advances in the field of inclusive finance. Knowledge sharing is crucial element in achieving the overarching goal of wider technology uptake by MFIs and other the Financial Service Providers (FSPs). 
    Post demonetisation the MFI industry has encountered yet another challenge, and to overcome it, the next leap of evolution is required - going cashless/cash-lite by using digital systems is a critical component of this evolution. Digital credit has the potential to solve numerous problems like -

    a. reduce the dependency on cash –transactions can be done remotely, and cash handling costs would reduce
    b. automate and standardise risk assessment – introduce alternate data and therefore reduce the element of subjectivity in credit worthiness evaluation and make the process more efficient
    c. and hence, improve the turnaround time

    These measures will bring down the operating costs of MFIs, the benefits of which can potentially be passed on to borrowers in the long run.

    Scaling new digital solutions requires solving multiple coordination problems, which in turn necessitates a holistic, ecosystem-based approach. And to develop this ecosystem, solutions like India Stack hold the key. This includes use of specific technology - Aadhaar authentication and eKYC, eSign and Digilocker, Unified Payments Interface, and consent architecture - with corresponding public APIs, under India’s Open API policy. 
    The objectives of the workshop included: 

    Discuss the latest technology trends and innovations which are likely to impact the FSPs’ ability to reach the poor in a sustainable and scalable manner.

    Highlight trends, challenges, lessons learnt and opportunities for FSPs in adoption of technology.

    Promote interest among FSPs and technology service providers for future collaboration and development of new products/shared services.

    At the event, H. Mahalingam, CTO, Equitas Bank spoke in length about the digital microfinance opportunities and cashless models. Nandakumar Palani, CEO, IFTAS discussed various disruptive technologies for financial inclusion. 

    For more details follow MicroSave on Twitter

  • MicroSave and the MasterCard Foundation Collaborate to Advance DFS in Francophone Africa

    February 1, 2017
    ; MicroSave, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, launched a new program to develop tailored training courses in digital financial services (DFS) in francophone markets of Africa. The program is expected to benefit over 250 DFS providers and will focus on the WAEMU region, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Madagascar. Additionally, a DFS knowledge portal in French will be launched as the “go-to” place for information on digital financial services.

    MicroSave’s Réseau Helix will train staff at financial institutions, mobile network operators, third parties and other digital financial services firms so that they better understand choices and options in planning digital financial services, especially for the unbanked.
    Shifting from cash-based transactions to formal financial services provides economic benefits and stability not only for poor individuals but also their families and the economy. Expanding financial inclusion through DFS cannot occur, however, if ecosystem players lack an understanding of client needs and how to address them through a compelling offer delivered via accessible, trusted channels. The program announced today will enable francophone markets to access training adapted to the local context. As well, it will provide regional benchmarking data and access to francophone expertise to local financial services enterprises and relevant government bodies.
    MicroSave’s Director, Graham Wright, stated, “We are excited to leverage our experiences and expand our knowledge in francophone markets. That’s where we see the opportunity to increase financial inclusion working with regulators, financial institutions, mobile network operators and third party agent network operators.”
    Sumaiya Sajjad, Program Manager at The MasterCard Foundation, said, “We believe that successful agent networks hold a strong potential to reach large numbers of unbanked individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our partnership with MicroSave to launch Réseau Helix will help a range of financial institutions to build the technical and strategic capacities of their core leadership and staff, enabling them to better meet client needs through agent networks.”
    After hearing about Réseau Helix, Maxime Fado, Head of Mobile Money for Moov in Benin said, “This news will bring us knowledge on best practices in this sector. The French courses offered in West Africa will allow a real focus on the specifics of the service in the local markets.”
    Réseau Helix will build upon the lessons from The Helix Institute of Digital Finance and work closely with local providers to offer insights from research and operational experiences. This should lead to a better understanding of appropriate models, products and services to launch or expand DFS solutions. For more details on Reseau Helix contact
    For the full press release, please see here

  • MicroSave's Findings on Financial Express. Read and Share!!

    New Delhi, India: February 13, 2017, Financial Express, a leading online English Daily, published an article titled "Demonetisation and Microfinance: Braving note ban drive, industry bounced back 90% by mid-December". The article mentions that microfinance’s biggest strength can be seen in the adverse situations affecting the sector. Between mid-November and December 2016, the country, more acutely the rural parts, witnessed huge cash crunch. But this did not deter women from gradually making timely loan repayments. Barring a few districts, the industry bounced back to over 90% repayments by mid-December 2016. When women come together in a joint liability format, they responsibly help each other in utilising the loans for livelihood enhancement, bringing a strong cooperative outlook towards their collective future.
    In the thick of demonetisation, states like West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh, Punjab and Goa had a collection shortfall of not more than 9%. This is no small achievement for the industry, signalling that women are willing to endure small pinches to keep their credit flow intact. The average ticket size of the industry is Rs. 11,425, which can be repaid in weekly instalment of Rs. 245 for 50 weeks. Smaller repayments make it easy for women to manage their finances, even in difficult times. These loans are utilised for sustaining micro-enterprises including tea stalls, kirana stores, cattle farming or some other income-generation activity meeting essential needs and services. 
    Stating Microsave & IFMR’s June 2012 report,the article states that MFIs in Andhra Pradesh greatly reduced or stopped lending operations after November 2010. As a result, usurious moneylenders are back in business. Also, to meet critical household needs, 12% of the study’s respondents sold their assets such as house, vehicle, cattle, jewellery, etc, post the exit of microfinance. Read the full article here

  • Enroll for Digital Money Grid India

    The Digital Frontiers Institute in collaboration with MicroSave is offering a remarkable course for professionals in digital money or digital financial services wanting to develop a fuller understanding of the emerging landscape for digital payments and financial inclusion in India. This self-paced 4 weeks course will require 4-6 hours per week of time and the course will be delivered online in our digital classroom. The course begins 27th March 2017 or 19th June 2017. To enroll click here
    Course introduction 
    The Government of India has embarked on a remarkable path to connect all its citizens onto a digital platform through which they can confirm their identity and consent to present relevant documentation to and financially transact with anyone else in the country, for whatever purpose, online and in real-time. We call this course as the Digital Money Grid, and it presents an opportunity to close the financial inclusion divide in a country that until recently held the largest number of unbanked people in the world. The Grid rides on public payment infrastructure coming from retail payments and ubiquitous mobile phones. This is linked to a broader e-Government agenda, which has the potential for bringing an unprecedented level of efficiency and transparency into the delivery of a whole range of public and social welfare services.
    Who should attend this course?
    Digital Money Grid is for professionals in digital money or digital financial services wanting to develop a fuller understanding of the emerging landscape for digital payments and financial inclusion in India. The intended audience includes professionals in India who expect to apply the understanding gained through the course directly in their market, as well as those outside India who want to understand and learn from the Indian model and experience. The course assumes, although it does not require, a background knowledge of digital financial services, such as a student would have after completing DFI’s Certificate in Digital Money.
    This course will seek in particular to discover how and why India’s DFS has developed so fast; and what lessons may be derived from this for other countries.
    Download the registration form here or write to

Jan 2017

  • Digital Finance to Bank the Unbanked Can Boost GDP by As Much As 6% in Southeast Asia

    Singapore - January 31, 2017 Digital technology that promotes financial inclusion can increase GDP by as much as 6% for economies in Southeast Asia, according to a new report Accelerating Financial Inclusion in Southeast Asia with Digital Finance. The report is jointly published by Asian Development Bank (ADB), global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, and financial inclusion-focused consulting firm MicroSave.
    The study, which looks at digital finance in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines, is derived from interviews with more than 80 stakeholders across the four markets, extensive secondary research, and economic analysis.
    Promoting the use of formal financial services continues to be a challenge in the region and the depth of engagement varies with different financial products. Among the study’s findings, only 18% of adults use a bank account to receive wages or pay utility bills and only 11% borrow from formal sources.
    “ADB sees financial inclusion as an essential part of financial sector development,” said Michael Barrow, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. “Without access to formal financial services, the unserved and underserved segments of society will be excluded from growth and its benefits.Digital finance presents a unique and potentially transformative opportunity to advance financial inclusion.”
    The research finds that digital financial solutions could play a significant part in closing gaps in financial inclusion, addressing about 40% of the volume of unmet demand for payment services and 20% of the unmet credit needs in the base of pyramid and micro, small, and medium enterprises segments.
    Digital financial solutions will have the most significant impact on financial inclusion in five key areas: 
    1. Enabling fast, low-cost, and convenient customer identification and verification processes;
    2. Improving supply-side economics with last mile distribution and servicing enabled by mobile phones and point-of-sale devices;
    3. Supporting supply-side business cases with initial push in government-to-person payments and remittance flows;
    4. Enhancing access to alternative sources of data to improve customer profiling, credit risk assessment, and fraud detection;
    5. Mobilizing micro-saving through lower cost digital origination and servicing channels. 
    “For this opportunity to be realized, collaboration by different participants in the ecosystem will be critical,” according to Duncan Woods, Head of Oliver Wyman’s Retail & Business Practice in Asia-Pacific. “Public policy and regulatory guidelines can provide the framework to stimulate the development of digital financial solutions, which we expect will materialize through collaborations between banks, telecommunications and financial technology firms, , and NGOs, each bringing specific capabilities along each part of the financial value chain.” 
    While digital finance alone cannot close the gaps in financial inclusion, the effect of leveraging digital technology to bank the unbanked could boost GDP by 2% to 3% in markets like Indonesia and the Philippines, and 6% in Cambodia.
    Making the most of this opportunity could also help influence the financial services industry, particularly in smaller markets such as Cambodia and Myanmar, where only a small percentage of the current needs for financial services are met by formal providers. 
    “Digital finance is the new normal in banking. Financial institutions will have to make this transition and develop distribution models and products for digital finance,” said Manoj Sharma, Managing Director of MicroSave in Asia.
    About Asian Development Bank
    ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 marked 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.
    About Oliver Wyman
    With offices in 50+ cities across 26 countries, Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting that combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC]. For more information on Oliver Wyman visit Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman. 
    About MicroSave
    MicroSaveis an international financial inclusion consulting firm with nearly 20 years of experience, operating in eleven offices across Asia and Africa. Our mission is to strengthen the capacity of institutions to deliver market-led, scalable financial services for all. We guide policy, provide customised strategic advice and on the ground implementation support to our partners, in key thematic areas such as Digital Financial Services, Inclusive Finance and Banking, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Private Sector Development in developing markets. For more information please visit Follow MicroSave on Twitter @MicroSave.

  • Enroll for a Great Training on Product Innovation and Development

    The vast majority of digital financial services are still based on P2P and bill payments. How can we move to the next level and offer solutions that meet the mass market’s myriad of financial needs?  The Helix Institute of Digital Finance offers all providers the opportunity to learn how to design successful digital financial services though training. The training on “Product Innovation and Development” is scheduled from March 6-10, 2017 on the beautiful Mombasa, Kenya. See the details of the course here. To download the application form click here
    This course takes participants through a systematic process for developing market-responsive products from insight generation, through to design and development.  It is tailored to meet the needs of institutions in need of a market-making anchor product, as well as those looking to expand their product offerings.

    Course at a glance:
    Participants will learn a systematic process for strategic product development including: 
    The application of market research and behavioral economics to understand how people make money management decisions,
    Using this knowledge to build product suites that meet different financial needs, and
    The operational systems and partnerships necessary to deliver products successfully.
    Topics to be covered:
    DFS Ecosystem & Constraints Framework
    Market Insights for Innovation and Design (MI4ID)
    Building & Managing DFS Partnerships
    Product Pricing & Delivery Channel Rewards
    Technology & Delivery Channels
    Risk & Fraud in Product Development
    Product Marketing & Communications
    Product Evolution: Looking into the Future
    Who Should Attend?
    This course targets middle to senior level managers in mobile network operators, banks and other financial institutions as well as third parties who are involved in DFS product development.

  • Using Interoperability to Become Cashless

    New Delhi, India
    : December 22, 2016, LiveMint, a leading English daily published an article titled ‘Using interoperability to become cashless’. The article debates how the recent monetary experiment has provided an opportunity to focus on India’s non-cash payment infrastructure.

    The news item states that the aftermath of the government’s decision to withdraw high-value banknotes have reached fever pitch. In the public discourse on Facebook and Twitter, arguments have usually taken colour from the political affiliation of the commenter; in more hallowed debates among policy wonks and economists, the views appear to be sharply divided on whether the withdrawal will bring net benefits or not. Some influential voices (Kenneth Rogoff, Larry Summers, among others) have argued that this monetary experiment may hurt. Others (like Bibek Debroy, J.R. Varma and Vivek Dehejia) have argued in favour of the withdrawal—that this will operate as a one-time tax on the current float of unaccounted-for wealth stored in cash while whiplashing the consumer economy into digital (or plasticized) transactions. Regardless of the merits of the measure, however, what seems certain is that unless the government and regulators act swiftly to put in place infrastructure facilitating digital transactions, the potential positives will remain just that—potential positives.

    One such critical infrastructural necessity is the interoperability of prepaid payment instruments (PPI), popularly known as wallets. While interoperability has several dimensions, in its simplest form it is the ability of, say, a Paytm user to transact with a merchant/user that uses another wallet (say, Freecharge). The ATM provides the most visible example of interoperability in retail finance. You walk into the ATM of any bank and swipe a card issued by your bank and withdraw cash. The card/point-of-sale terminal ecosystem is another example of interoperability. Interoperability is said to have pro-competitive effects and also promote financial inclusion.

    The authors of the article are Sakshi Chadha, Manager, MicroSave and Mandar Kagade, Policy Analyst, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, Indian School of Business. Read the entire article here

  • DFS: Are We Realising Their Full Potential? Join us for a discussion on 19th Jan 2017, London

    To register for this event log in to the website or email the Financial Forum coordinator for a First Time pass at - 

    Digital financial services are now being touted as the answer to financial inclusion. But there are growing concerns that DFS primarily focuses almost exclusively on payments – not least of all because the mobile network operators are leading the charge, and banks typically remain laggards.
    Having asked the poor to run the marathon out of poverty on one leg (microcredit), are we doing the same again by asking them to run the race with digital payments alone? We know that the poor need a range of financial services (savings, credit, insurance and payments) and thus real financial inclusion must necessarily provide all of these. Further details are available on 

    So how do we move DFS beyond payments? And are we doing enough?

    About the speakers:
    Graham A.N. Wright founded MicroSave and is currently its Group Managing Director. Graham has been deeply involved in digital financial services (DFS) from the days he sat on the original steering committee for M-PESA and supported its initial pilot-testing process. He has worked on a wide variety of DFS projects with banks and telcos in Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. 

    Anant Nautiyal is a Manager for the Mobile Money Programme at GSMA. In this role, Anant manages engagements in markets with mobile operators to foster collaborative ecosystem initiatives (such as merchant payments, PAYG service provider payments, interoperability and more). Prior to joining GSMA, Anant worked at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, and in philanthropic and consulting roles in the ‘mobile for development’ space.