Samveet Sahoo is a Senior Manager in Digital Financial Services domain of MSC India, focused in Payments and Distribution. He has seven years of experience in business strategy, client management, new product development, and stakeholder engagement in the financial services sector, spanning digital financial solutions to rural and inclusive banking.
Weaving a financial security net for Bangladesh’s garment workers
The readymade garments (RMG) industry has been a boon to Bangladesh’s economy by earning more than 10% of GDP and contributing to 84% of the country’s export earnings. Though most RMG workers started receiving wages through MFS wallets during the COVID pandemic, many do not have a formal bank account. Consequently, they cannot access a bouquet of financial products, such as credit, savings, insurance, and so on. Financial providers barely translate these needs into products and services that can serve RMG workers. However, they can cater to an untapped segment if they adopt an innovative design approach. Partnership with social enterprises that offer services to RMG workers can play a pivotal role here.
Different yet similar—the behavioral biases of low- and moderate-income segments in Bangladesh and Vietnam
“We see the potential volume, but do we design profitable products for low-and moderate-income (LMI) people?” MSC faces this question repeatedly in discussions with our clients across Asia and Africa—including our partners in Bangladesh and Vietnam under the MetLife Foundation-funded i3 program. In the first blog, we raise the question on the key behavioral biases to keep in mind to create compelling, engaging, and profitable products for the low- and moderate-income segment. The second blog speaks of the similarities and differences in the LMI segment in Bangladesh and Vietnam. The blog also takes you through the lives and struggles of two personas—Morium from Bangladesh and Hoang from Vietnam.
Different yet similar — behavioral biases of low- and moderate-income people in Bangladesh and Vietnam
“We see the potential volume, but do we design profitable products for low-and moderate-income (LMI) people?” MSC faces this question repeatedly in discussions with our clients across Asia and Africa—including our partners in Bangladesh and Vietnam under the MetLife Foundation-funded i3 program. Through this two-blog series, we question key behavioral biases to consider while creating compelling, engaging, and profitable products for the low- and moderate-income segment. The first blog speaks of the macro-economy and demography of the Bangladesh and Vietnam markets. We also take you through the digital financial services progress in both countries and the steps governments take to expand digitally. The next blog in this series will look at the similarities and differences of the LMI segment in Bangladesh and Vietnam.
Credit for low- and moderate-income people in Bangladesh—can new-age banks and FinTechs deliver the regulator’s wish?
The waves of digitization and technological advancements have led to the opening of MFS accounts for 60% of the population in Bangladesh. The country now boasts more than 1.1 million agents. Despite the widespread use of MFS and internet access, only 9.1% of people access the formal credit system. Digital credit can be a stepping-stone in Bangladesh due to the lower cost of delivering credit through digital means, combined with the mass digital readiness of consumers. Several solutions have emerged from banks, NBFIs, FinTechs, MFSPs, MFIs, and development partners, such as City Bank’s “Nano Loan” product pilot to Prime Bank’s loan product for blue-collar workers. Together, stakeholders are trying to forge partnerships to address problems around access to credit and social development in Bangladesh.
COVID-19 and FinTechs in Bangladesh—impact and resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic had a pronounced effect on FinTechs in Bangladesh. MSC sought to evaluate the extent of this impact, given our partnering role in the DFS and FinTech ecosystem in the country. MSC conducted this landscape study on FinTechs with support from Visa in 2021. This report defines the impact of COVID-19 on FinTechs and identifies the possible way forward.
Cool in crisis: How Bangladeshi MFIs stay resilient
Since its independence, Bangladesh’s resilience in the face of numerous calamities like floods, droughts, and famines has earned worldwide appreciation. This blog explores how the country’s microfinance industry stays resilient during crises and continues to protect the poor and vulnerable.
Lakshya: Helping the urban poor save to improve their financial health
Lakshya is a digital savings platform that provides access to formal savings and insurance to low- and middle-income (LMI) segments in India. It promotes the uptake of formal financial services and financial health within the community. This blog explores the journey of Lakshya and the positive impact it hopes to create within LMI segments.
Bangladesh – the basket case that taught microfinance to the world
As Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of independence, we look back at one of its greatest gifts to the world—microfinance. This blog highlights the role of Bangladesh’s four pioneering institutions—Grameen Bank, BRAC, ASA, and BURO Bangladesh—in the origin of microfinance and its local popularization, global adaptation, business model optimization, and product innovation.