Whow, I remember the times so clearly before having been hijacked by the European Investment Bank. I was an independent consultant hired by one of the consultancies contracted by the IFC to develop the business case on digital financial services (DFS) with 5 (the final study was done on 9) microfinance service providers. We were visiting institutions in DRC, Madagascar, Senegal, etc to learn about their… Continue reading
Very excited to present you my latest publication! Before joining the European Investment Bank in Oktober 2015, I was working as independent consultant and specifically on „The Partnership for Financial Inclusion.“ This initiative was a joint effort by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the MasterCard Foundation (MCF). Besides an overall programme evaluation together with Oxford Policy Management (OPM) , I had been primarily hired to develop a business case of Alternative Delivery Channels (ADC) or banking agents in microfinance. Via a multi-year longitudinal study of eight microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, we were helping these institutions to implement ADC channels to achieve profitable growth, plus we were asked to identify general lessons about ADC implementations. In this very first publication we wanted to present the initial objectives when the MFIs set out to launch agent networks and their lessons learned from this initial first step. The participating institutions are: Continue reading
Financial Sector Deepening Trust–Tanzania (FSDT) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) conducted a nationally representative survey of smallholder households In Tanzania between August and September 2015. I am spending currently a lot for time on how to best finance smallholders and think that the results of the published report have not received sufficient attention from the microfinance industry. Especially when thinking about financial inclusion, 70% of Sub-Saharan Africa households depend on agriculture, most of them are unbanked, and most are smallholder farmers!
But what or who is a smallholder farmer? Continue reading
The recent visit of Dutch Queen Maxima has brought financial inclusion back onto the agenda of Indonesia`s government.
According to the World Bank`s Global Findex report 2014, only 36% of the Indonesian adult population (older then 15 years) has access to a bank account in a formal financial institution. It has a population of 250 million, over 13,000 islands and about 300 different ethnic groups. Continue reading
I really enjoyed reading the report – which is not often the case with these “full of data” kind of reports.
Please find below the update on the 2015 and 2016 Brookings FDIP, plus some interesting highlights. Continue reading
I have already written about online lenders (Online lenders – threat or promise?) or about the use of alternative data for credit assessments (As excited about alternative data?). Even though I find the concepts very exciting and the underlying promise hugely convincing, there is always something which worries me. It might be old fashioned but microfinance is based on the knowledge about the client receiving the loan. Since there is little collateral being provided it is important that the loan officers evaluates the client, determines repayment capacity, get cross references from neighbours, etc. I am still not convinced that this can be done remotely. There is definitely a role for alternative data to play to complement a client credit profile, but I am hesitant to believe that it is wise lending to poor people just based on how many people they have in their phonebook on their mobile phone. Continue reading