Can You Really Use Mobile Money for Microfinance? Lessons from a Pilot

In this Note we examine the evolution and mechanics of MNO-MFI partnership and how this partnerships could be made mutually more rewarding in the context of mobile money deployments.

Mobile money is receiving increasingly global attention as some observers hope that it will largely replace cash – in the long run at least. MFIs stand to gain immensely from the advent of mobile money as (inter alia) they deal with large amounts of cash. Our experience is that there are obvious benefits from partnerships between an MFI and an MNO to provide mobile money facilities to the MFI’s clients. Mobile money agents will also benefit beneficiaries of social benefit transfer schemes such as “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS)” and “National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)”. This, in turn, will lead to better remuneration for agents. However to realise these benefits, the business case for agents, that must form the backbone of this offer, has to be carefully analysed.






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