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Good intentions: Why what you measure in financial inclusion is so important to the outcomes you achieve

Financial inclusion is increasingly recognised as a policy instrument to deliver on policy objectives such as welfare, health outcomes and food security. In fact, it is deemed so important that the recently published United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include equal access to financial services for all people as one of the goals to ending poverty. To track and measure the SDGs, a number of indicators have been agreed upon. For the financial inclusion component, the designated indicators are bank account uptake and activity.   Setting indicators and targets such as these are important. Policymakers are decision-makers. They set objectives…

Diving into the data: Exploring differences in MSMEs in Zambia

Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are recognised globally as a major engine of growth and employment creation. Access to finance is their most commonly cited barrier to growth. The IFC estimates that there are between 200 and 245 million formal and informal MSMEs in developing countries that do not have a loan or an overdraft, but require financing. That amounts to an estimated financing gap of US$2.1 to US$2.6 trillion.   In Zambia, MSME development is one way of reducing reliance on the mining sector and building a more diverse and resilient economy. In 2016, the Zambian government reaffirmed…

What use is financial inclusion, when you can’t pay the bills?

The 2017 budget, unveiled by the Minister of Finance Honourable Felix Mutati in Zambia earlier this month incorporates new austerity measures but has incorporated significant increases in social welfare benefits. . However, restricted liquidity conditions in the Zambian economy have significantly impacted access to capital and finance, hindering the expansion of productive enterprises and investment in assets for most households.   Financial inclusion is a powerful policy lever available to government to help deliver on the social welfare mandate, within the current Zambian context. With that in mind, the Zambian government is currently in the process of drafting a national…

Paid, but not paying off: Why G2P payments are not yet driving financial inclusion

Your alarm goes off. It’s 3am on the last Friday of the month. You don’t hesitate to get out of bed. You know you need to get to the local office of the South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) to get in the queue to get your pension. You’re anxious. You don’t want to be late, otherwise you could lose an entire day. And you’re worried that someone may try to steal your money on your way home. 

(Micro)insurtech: 5 challenges tech is addressing in microinsurance

The business of insurance is hard. Microinsurance has proven to be mostly impossible. Whilst promising examples have been documented of insurers achieving the impossible, sometimes even at scale, insurance cover for billions of excluded adults appears to be a long way down the road.   Reviewing our research to date we’ve attempted to identify the top reasons why this challenge appears insurmountable. We have, for now, settled on the following five: Inadequate knowledge of low-income customers. Inadequate access to these customers. Inappropriate products for non-“standard” risk needs. Customers are inexperienced users of formal risk management products. Insurers’ delivery costs are…
 

Blog

Good intentions: Why what you measure in financial inclusion is so important to the outcomes you achieve

Financial inclusion is increasingly recognised as a policy instrument to deliver on policy objectives such as welfare, health outcomes and food security. In fact, it is deemed so important that the recently published United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include equal access to financial services for all people as one of the goals to ending poverty. To track and measure the SDGs, a number of indicators have been agreed upon. For the financial inclusion component, the designated indicators are bank account uptake and activity.   Setting indicators and targets such as these are important. Policymakers are decision-makers. They set objectives…

Diving into the data: Exploring differences in MSMEs in Zambia

Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are recognised globally as a major engine of growth and employment creation. Access to finance is their most commonly cited barrier to growth. The IFC estimates that there are between 200 and 245 million formal and informal MSMEs in developing countries that do not have a loan or an overdraft, but require financing. That amounts to an estimated financing gap of US$2.1 to US$2.6 trillion.   In Zambia, MSME development is one way of reducing reliance on the mining sector and building a more diverse and resilient economy. In 2016, the Zambian government reaffirmed…

What use is financial inclusion, when you can’t pay the bills?

The 2017 budget, unveiled by the Minister of Finance Honourable Felix Mutati in Zambia earlier this month incorporates new austerity measures but has incorporated significant increases in social welfare benefits. . However, restricted liquidity conditions in the Zambian economy have significantly impacted access to capital and finance, hindering the expansion of productive enterprises and investment in assets for most households.   Financial inclusion is a powerful policy lever available to government to help deliver on the social welfare mandate, within the current Zambian context. With that in mind, the Zambian government is currently in the process of drafting a national…

Paid, but not paying off: Why G2P payments are not yet driving financial inclusion

Your alarm goes off. It’s 3am on the last Friday of the month. You don’t hesitate to get out of bed. You know you need to get to the local office of the South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) to get in the queue to get your pension. You’re anxious. You don’t want to be late, otherwise you could lose an entire day. And you’re worried that someone may try to steal your money on your way home. 

(Micro)insurtech: 5 challenges tech is addressing in microinsurance

The business of insurance is hard. Microinsurance has proven to be mostly impossible. Whilst promising examples have been documented of insurers achieving the impossible, sometimes even at scale, insurance cover for billions of excluded adults appears to be a long way down the road.   Reviewing our research to date we’ve attempted to identify the top reasons why this challenge appears insurmountable. We have, for now, settled on the following five: Inadequate knowledge of low-income customers. Inadequate access to these customers. Inappropriate products for non-“standard” risk needs. Customers are inexperienced users of formal risk management products. Insurers’ delivery costs are…
 

 

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