Latest Publications

Proportionate Regulatory Frameworks in Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from a Decade of Microinsurance Regulation

It is slightly over a decade since the first microinsurance regulations were introduced in India in 2005. With at least 18 insurance supervisors having rolled out microinsurance regulations today, the landscape is now vastly different. In this milestone publication 'Proportionate Regulatory Frameworks in Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from a Decade of Microinsurance Regulation', the Acess to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) looks back at what supervisory approaches have been undertaken since then, and draw lessons from the past. 

Cross-Border Remittances Study 2016

The World Bank estimates that in 2016 remittances from migrant workers to developing countries will be worth USD 440 billion. More than twice that of foreign aid. Remittances play a critical role in supporting the welfare for many individuals and households in developing countries. Moreover, remittances can contribute to economic growth, with research indicating that it can have a greater impact than ODA and FDI. However, many developing countries struggle to leverage these remittances.

 

One of the major impediments is the cost and ease of sending remittances. Nowhere is this more evident than in the remittance corridors between South Africa and the rest of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which are amongst the most expensive in the world. According to data collected by the World Bank as recently as 2015, the global average of sending remittances was ~7%. From South Africa, it was ~17%. Further, due to identification requirements and distribution challenges, many adults rely on informal channels.

Why use accounts: Understanding account usage through a consumer lens

Over the past five years, the move towards digital financial services and simplified account opening procedures has improved the take-up of accounts by the low-income sector. The 2014 Global Findex data highlighted that the number of people without access to formal accounts decreased from 2.5 billion in 2011 to 2 billion in 2014. Whilst recognised as a major achievement, it is clear amongst the global community that account ownership alone is not, in itself, the goal of financial inclusion.

 

The World Bank has encapsulated this objective in their target of universal financial access by 2020. Their vision is for adults to have “access to a transaction account or an electronic instrument to store money, send payments and receive deposits as the basic building block to manage their financial lives”. The ultimate goal beyond this initiative is to “reduce the world’s poverty  and increase prosperity”. 

Cutting corners at a most vulnerable time: The customer's perspective on abuses in the informal funeral parlour market in South Africa

With the details of the South African microinsurance regulatory framework soon to be finalised, questions still remain as to how best to approach formalisation and enforcement of informal funeral parlours. Previous research showed that enforcement will not be an easy task, as it is a fragmented industry where informal insurance is key to many parlours’ operations. Understanding the nature and extent of abuse is important in informing the enforcement response.

This study investigated the nature of abuse in the informal funeral parlour market by talking to consumers themselves. It applied a multi-pronged qualitative methodology including focus group discussions, in-depth interviews with burial society management and intercept interviews with various community members (such as police officers and pastors) in four locations across three provinces, to get to the bottom of what abuses consumers are exposed to and what options they have to respond to abusive practices.

 
Latest Publications

Proportionate Regulatory Frameworks in Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from a Decade of Microinsurance Regulation

It is slightly over a decade since the first microinsurance regulations were introduced in India in 2005. With at least 18 insurance supervisors having rolled out microinsurance regulations today, the landscape is now vastly different. In this milestone publication 'Proportionate Regulatory Frameworks in Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from a Decade of Microinsurance Regulation', the Acess to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) looks back at what supervisory approaches have been undertaken since then, and draw lessons from the past. 

Cross-Border Remittances Study 2016

The World Bank estimates that in 2016 remittances from migrant workers to developing countries will be worth USD 440 billion. More than twice that of foreign aid. Remittances play a critical role in supporting the welfare for many individuals and households in developing countries. Moreover, remittances can contribute to economic growth, with research indicating that it can have a greater impact than ODA and FDI. However, many developing countries struggle to leverage these remittances.

 

One of the major impediments is the cost and ease of sending remittances. Nowhere is this more evident than in the remittance corridors between South Africa and the rest of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which are amongst the most expensive in the world. According to data collected by the World Bank as recently as 2015, the global average of sending remittances was ~7%. From South Africa, it was ~17%. Further, due to identification requirements and distribution challenges, many adults rely on informal channels.

Why use accounts: Understanding account usage through a consumer lens

Over the past five years, the move towards digital financial services and simplified account opening procedures has improved the take-up of accounts by the low-income sector. The 2014 Global Findex data highlighted that the number of people without access to formal accounts decreased from 2.5 billion in 2011 to 2 billion in 2014. Whilst recognised as a major achievement, it is clear amongst the global community that account ownership alone is not, in itself, the goal of financial inclusion.

 

The World Bank has encapsulated this objective in their target of universal financial access by 2020. Their vision is for adults to have “access to a transaction account or an electronic instrument to store money, send payments and receive deposits as the basic building block to manage their financial lives”. The ultimate goal beyond this initiative is to “reduce the world’s poverty  and increase prosperity”. 

Cutting corners at a most vulnerable time: The customer's perspective on abuses in the informal funeral parlour market in South Africa

With the details of the South African microinsurance regulatory framework soon to be finalised, questions still remain as to how best to approach formalisation and enforcement of informal funeral parlours. Previous research showed that enforcement will not be an easy task, as it is a fragmented industry where informal insurance is key to many parlours’ operations. Understanding the nature and extent of abuse is important in informing the enforcement response.

This study investigated the nature of abuse in the informal funeral parlour market by talking to consumers themselves. It applied a multi-pronged qualitative methodology including focus group discussions, in-depth interviews with burial society management and intercept interviews with various community members (such as police officers and pastors) in four locations across three provinces, to get to the bottom of what abuses consumers are exposed to and what options they have to respond to abusive practices.

 

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