Blog

Storming the Walls – How Mozambique's 'Citadel Economy' shapes financial inclusion

When I first travelled through Mozambique, the picture was idyllic. Leaving sprawling Maputo behind, my main impression was of beaches, coconut trees and serene dhows. Every now and then you pass through a small village. You plan your mileage carefully, or run the risk of being left to buy plastic bottles of fuel next to the road. You buy fish, tomatoes, onions and fresh pão bread from the local market, and stop to buy cashew nuts from roadside vendors. But you make sure to be stocked up on essentials, because formal shops are few and far between. And, of course, you…

Secure in Exclusion – early warning signs of a less inclusive financial sector in South Africa

Opening a bank account in South Africa can be a frustrating experience. First, you need to pull together an inventory of documents (proof of income, employment and address, national identify, passport, etc.), second you need to book time off work or make provision for an early Saturday (when banks operate), then you need to physically go to the Bank, wait in the queue, and hope that the Banks’ processes and systems will agree that you are in fact who you say you are. Hopefully this only takes one trip. More likely, it will be multiple trips. For example when a…

This road will not get you there

This week I drove 600km from Cape Town airport to my home and sheep farm in the rural Karoo. Whereas the drive was pleasant and gave me time to reflect on many things, the joy of driving was definitely not the purpose of this journey. Getting home to my family was the goal.   I have realised that much of our difficulties in making headway with financial inclusion links back to this confusion between the road and the destination. Financial services, such as bank accounts or mobile money accounts, are roads not destinations. We travel across them because we want to…

Deepening measurement in financial inclusion

You manage what you measure and thus it is important to have a measurement framework that drives the right behaviour. Financial inclusion has strong established measurement frameworks dealing with access to and usage of financial services. (e.g. AFI's access and usage indicators, FinDex's formal account ownership indicator and FinScope's access strand).   These have had a strong impact on policymakers and regulators. 24 AFI members have committed to access targets and 31 to usage targets. National and global advances in these metrics are regularly celebrated and encouraged. New technologies, such as GIS plotting, has opened the door to target access…

Alternative data 'lends' a hand

Worried about how to improve your credit score? At least you have one. The harsh reality is that credit bureaus do not have data on the vast majority of the world’s population. According to the World Bank, credit bureaus cover less than a third (30%) of the adult population in the entire world, and in Sub Saharan Africa, they only cover 6% of the adult population.   What does this mean for credit lending? It means most adults in the world are excluded from access to formal credit. Why? There are a number of reasons that cause exclusion to credit;…
 

Blog

Storming the Walls – How Mozambique's 'Citadel Economy' shapes financial inclusion

When I first travelled through Mozambique, the picture was idyllic. Leaving sprawling Maputo behind, my main impression was of beaches, coconut trees and serene dhows. Every now and then you pass through a small village. You plan your mileage carefully, or run the risk of being left to buy plastic bottles of fuel next to the road. You buy fish, tomatoes, onions and fresh pão bread from the local market, and stop to buy cashew nuts from roadside vendors. But you make sure to be stocked up on essentials, because formal shops are few and far between. And, of course, you…

Secure in Exclusion – early warning signs of a less inclusive financial sector in South Africa

Opening a bank account in South Africa can be a frustrating experience. First, you need to pull together an inventory of documents (proof of income, employment and address, national identify, passport, etc.), second you need to book time off work or make provision for an early Saturday (when banks operate), then you need to physically go to the Bank, wait in the queue, and hope that the Banks’ processes and systems will agree that you are in fact who you say you are. Hopefully this only takes one trip. More likely, it will be multiple trips. For example when a…

This road will not get you there

This week I drove 600km from Cape Town airport to my home and sheep farm in the rural Karoo. Whereas the drive was pleasant and gave me time to reflect on many things, the joy of driving was definitely not the purpose of this journey. Getting home to my family was the goal.   I have realised that much of our difficulties in making headway with financial inclusion links back to this confusion between the road and the destination. Financial services, such as bank accounts or mobile money accounts, are roads not destinations. We travel across them because we want to…

Deepening measurement in financial inclusion

You manage what you measure and thus it is important to have a measurement framework that drives the right behaviour. Financial inclusion has strong established measurement frameworks dealing with access to and usage of financial services. (e.g. AFI's access and usage indicators, FinDex's formal account ownership indicator and FinScope's access strand).   These have had a strong impact on policymakers and regulators. 24 AFI members have committed to access targets and 31 to usage targets. National and global advances in these metrics are regularly celebrated and encouraged. New technologies, such as GIS plotting, has opened the door to target access…

Alternative data 'lends' a hand

Worried about how to improve your credit score? At least you have one. The harsh reality is that credit bureaus do not have data on the vast majority of the world’s population. According to the World Bank, credit bureaus cover less than a third (30%) of the adult population in the entire world, and in Sub Saharan Africa, they only cover 6% of the adult population.   What does this mean for credit lending? It means most adults in the world are excluded from access to formal credit. Why? There are a number of reasons that cause exclusion to credit;…
 

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