Financial Inclusion- News and Views - August 2013


August 2013


The monthly newsletter from the Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion documents the latest news and views in the financial inclusion space, to provide a knowledge base that will help build understanding around how to accelerate the poor’s access to high-quality financial services.

The lead stories this month showcase case studies of mobile money working for inclusion in three completely different countries. The first two experiences highlight the use of innovation, while following FATF guidelines of the risk-based approach, thus using mobile money networks to bring the unbanked onto the digital pathway to financial inclusion: a) Sri Lanka where the Central Bank has consciously allowed non-banks into the payments landscape with the objective of inclusion and b) Somaliland, where despite weak governance, the telecom company has adhered to FATF guidelines while achieving phenomenal success offering cash-in, cash-out, and digital payment transactions for free. In the third country study Zimbabwe, EcoCash has built up transaction volumes worth 22% of the country’s GDP in less than two years, by effectively managing an agent network and is now working for interoperability with the banking system.


Lead Stories


Enabling Mobile Money Policies in Sri Lanka: The Rise of eZ Cash

This paper by Simone di Castri documents how the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has put in a regulatory framework for achieving financial inclusion through innovation, creating a level playing field for banks and non-banks. To this end, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka now allows non-banks to issue electronic wallets as long as they maintain equivalent funds held in a custodial account in one (or more) licensed commercial banks. The successful adoption of eZ Cash has many lessons for India, particularly in the KYC domain; the proportionate risk-based principle has been used to allow opening an entry-level account which customers can activate remotely from their mobile phone.

Innovative Inclusion: How Telesom ZAAD Brought Mobile Money to Somaliland

This paper by Claire Pénicaud and Fionán McGrath puts together the achievements of Telesom Zaad in Somaliland, offering cash-in, cash-out and digital transactions for free, while proactively applying strict KYC norms. This pricing model – coupled with a major customer awareness campaign – has led to remarkable activity rates. In March 2013, 270,000 active mobile money customers conducted on average ~40 digital transactions in a single month, broken down into 25 P2P transfers and bulk payments (e.g. salary), 9 airtime purchases, and 6 bill payments/merchant payments. As a benchmark, even the leading mobile money deployments in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Pakistan process only 2-5 digital transactions per customer per month. Despite weak regulatory capacity and the lack of a national id, the telco is following FATF recommendations of a risk-based approach to customer due diligence, along with monitoring of suspicious transactions.

Big ambition meets effective execution: How EcoCash is altering Zimbabwe’s financial landscape

Phil Levin has analysed the success of EcoCash in Zimbabwe where in 18 months, the number of mobile money accounts exceeded the country’s bank accounts and transaction volumes are around 22% of the country’s GDP. There are significant lessons to be learnt on delivering a simple product that addressed customer needs, on marketing and awareness through brand ambassadors, on maintaining a quality distribution network where 80% of revenue was given to agents as commissions etc. The move now is to integrate with the formal sector by providing interoperability with the banking system.

Section I: Policy – the latest from India’s policymakers

Agenda for Inclusive Growth

Dr. Deepali Pant Joshi, Executive Director, RBI, July 24, 2013

Conference of Principal Code Compliance Officers (PCCOs)/Chairmen of Regional Rural Banks

Dr. Deepali Pant Joshi, Executive Director, RBI, July 15, 2013

Section II: News and Views Digest – the latest from India and abroad


Bankers, officials hail financial inclusion work in Madhya Pradesh

Banks have deployed 1.95 lakh biz correspondents till Mar 13

Madhya Pradesh unveils scheme for financial inclusion

The great bank race

Automan pays others' bills on the go, makes 15k

Will microfinance firms make good banks?

No number in mind for new bank licences: RBI

AP sixth in financial inclusion: Crisil

Financial inclusion: Rural credit architecture needs an overhaul

StatsGuru: Taking stock of the state of financial inclusion in India

New bank licences: Tough obstacle ahead, says Fitch
  AND Industry approves RBI conditions on new banks

Opening up of banking sector will boost rural economy: Ficci

Tata, Birla, India Post among 26 applicants for bank licence

Finacial inclusion remains key factor with bank licences: Tirthankar Patnaik


Financial Services That Poor People Want

Research with a Roll of the Dice

Zimbabwe: Prestige Banking Not Sustainable

Naming Sub-Accounts to Trigger Intuition (and Fun) Around Customer Intentions

Indonesia Moves Towards a Cash Light Economy

Three Thoughts for Financial Inclusion Entrepreneurs

International Remittances and Branchless Banking: Emerging Models

Latest on Branchless Banking from Indonesia

Financial Inclusion: Blurred Lines, Sharper Vision

Section III: Research – surveys and studies on expanding access to financial services

A Microcredit Crisis Averted: The Case of Bangladesh

Greg Chen and Stuart Rutherford, CGAP Focus Note 87, July 30, 2013

Household Interviews in Bangladesh, 2013

Stuart Rutherford and S. K. Sinha, CGAP, July 2013

Promoting Financial Inclusion through new technologies

ADB Institute, July 26, 2013

Role of Retail Payment Systems on Supporting Financial Inclusion

ADB Institute, July 26, 2013

Toolkit: Financial Management and Ratio Analysis

MicroSave, July 23, 2013

Toolkit: Process Mapping and Risk Analysis

MicroSave, July 17, 2013

Financial Inclusion for Stability: Access to Bank Deposits and the Deposit Growth during the Global Financial Crisis

Rui Han and Martin Melecky, World Bank, July 16, 2013

Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants 2004–2011

Richard Rosenberg, Scott Gaul, William Ford, and Olga Tomilova, CGAP, July 16, 2013

Financial Access 2012: Getting to a More Comprehensive Picture

Oya Pinar Ardic, Kathryn Imboden, and Alexia Latortue, CGAP, July 9, 2013



Mobile Money Services: Enabling Inclusion

Policy Brief May, 2013

Evolving Regulatory Trends with Non-bank Entities

Policy Brief April, 2013

In the media

Speeding financial inclusion in India

Mint, July 17, 2013

Banks need to follow a 'listen to the customer' model

The Financial Express, June 4, 2013

SV Divvaakar: Mobile phone-banking is failing to meet its potential

The Financial Express, March 7, 2013


Regulation key to successful mobile money ventures for inclusion

Behaviorally Informed Rational Financial Inclusion Policies

Poor are Rational


Editor: Sumita Kale can be contacted at

The Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion was launched in 2011 to distil and disseminate information on accelerating the poor’s access to high-quality financial services. The Centre is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

© Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion. All rights reserved. 31st July 2013.


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