insights | Blogs

We keep you up to date through some of the best thought pieces currently available: alternative perspectives and fresh slants on the challenges and opportunities of using data to get closer to customers and build accountability and trust.

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Openi2i has launched

We at FinMark Trust, together with Cenfri, have been working on a new initiative – Openi2i – to share some of the programmatic learnings we’ve discovered from the last 5 years of jointly implementing the insight2impact (i2i) programme. We have partnered with NextBillion to host Openi2i and you can read the latest article by Dumisani […]

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Data ecosystem for financial inclusion 2.0 and the real econ...

Often policy makers, regulators and financial service providers are far removed from the realities of the people whose lives we are trying to improve. Data is one of the ways in which we are able to connect financially excluded people to the formal financial sector and thereby improve desirable societal outcomes such as poverty reduction and equality. […]

Analytics
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Sizing the grey economy: An improved FinScope MSME methodolo...

The MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) sector is arguably the biggest employer in many economies, particularly in the developing world, and observed to be the biggest absorber for marginalised segments such as women, youth and poor communities. The broader problem, particularly in developing economies, is the large(r) proportion of informal enterprises that fall below […]

FinScope MSME
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SADC Financial Inclusion – Measuring progress

The SADC Financial Inclusion programme at FinMark Trust (FMT) has been compiling monitoring information on financial inclusion indicators in selected SADC countries since 2017. This activity is in partnership with the UNCDF, as part of the SADC Making Access Possible (MAP) programme, which supports financial inclusion through a process of evidence-based country diagnostics leading to […]

SADC FI
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In conversation with Ahmed Cassim

My name is Robert Jones, a Research and Innovation Consultant at FinMark Trust. This week I was afforded the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Ahmed Cassim, Managing Director at Hello Group, to discuss their highly successful cross-border remittances service ‘hellopaisa’. “hellopaisa international money transfer service allows you to send cash to countries across the […]

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Lower documentation requirements; driving greater financial ...

While financial inclusion has risen to 68% globally, Sub Saharan Africa continues to lag with only 32% of its citizens having an account at a financial institution. This translates to over 400 million Africans who are not making use of formal banking and other financial services. One of the greatest impediments to account ownership is […]

Deepening Financial Inclusion
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DataHack4FI launches in 7 countries

The Data Hack for Financial Inclusion (DataHack4FI), the largest Pan-African innovation competition, is an initiative within the i2i (insight2impact) program jointly hosted by FinMark Trust and Cenfri. DataHack4FI encourages collaboration and skills development to promote the use of data and data analytics to solve financial and economic inclusion challenges, thereby extending valuable financial services to […]

insight2impact
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Top six insights on Gender from FinScope data across the SAD...

FinScope data analysis has revealed many insights on gender. The analysis shows high levels of exclusion for women in Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a recorded 35% of women excluded, compared with 30% for men. This reflected a gender gap of 5% compared to the global gender gap of 7%. Some of these gender […]

FinScope
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Shoprite Lesotho cross-border remittance product achieves R1...

The Shoprite cross-border money remittance product reached the R1 billion mark in January, after just three years of it being implemented between SA and Lesotho. The cost of a transfer of R900 is 2%, which is one of the cheapest cross-border products in the world. A remittance is when a person sends money, usually small […]

SADC Payments and Remittances
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Achieving Financial Inclusion Goals Through Digital ID in Ma...

Digital Financial Identity has been top of mind for FinMark Trust since the idea was first raised in the SADC FI Forum in July 2017. We followed this up with a Digital Financial Identity Workshop in January 2018, where we delved into the challenges and benefits of a digital financial identity. In mid-July, FinMark Trust […]

SADC FI
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Will inclusive financing mechanisms promote more women-led a...

Written by Innocent Njati Banda Banks need to step up to support women in agriculture Just like any other business, women-led agribusinesses require a number of factors to be successful, such as availability of affordable high-quality inputs, equipment and labour; availability of suitable land for growing crops, rearing animals or processing produce; technical support from […]

SADC FI
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Mapping Financial Access Points in Lesotho

Measurement of financial inclusion (FI) has been informed by indicators of barriers to financial services (access), benchmarking and monitoring levels of uptake, assessing levels of usage, monitoring the quality of services provided and diagnosing the financial health of users. Countries with explicit FI policies tend to develop monitoring and evaluation frameworks which in turn is […]

SADC FI
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The Value of Savings Groups and Stokvels for Financial Inclu...

The emphasis of financial inclusion is now on how more competitive financial markets can work better for poor people (Porteous, 2004). It acknowledges that increasing financial inclusion requires a better understanding of how services, formal and informal, can meet people’s needs (Ledgerwood and Jethani, 2013). The current economic situation in South Africa presents a large […]

SA FI
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Jump-starting mobile money innovation for the advancement of...

A financially inclusive system serves every individual’s needs by empowering them to manage liquidity, achieve goals and face shocks, ultimately contributing to an improved quality of life. The use of formal financial services is limited in Lesotho, particularly for low-income and rural populations (69% of Basotho adults are estimated to live in rural areas [1]). […]

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When the bus driver is the only option…

Access to formal remittance services is difficult for many migrants because of the onerous documentation requirements that banks and remittance providers impose on prospective clients. South Africa has long been the dominant economy in the region. Statistics indicate that South Africa contributes almost two thirds of regional GDP[1]. It comes as no surprise then that […]

SA FI
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Ever wondered why you need so many documents before you can ...

These requirements are a legacy of regulations meant to ensure that the financial system is sound and is not abused for fraud, money laundering or the financing of terrorism. However, they have unwittingly contributed to the continued exclusion of many of the most vulnerable members of society from the financial system. Anyone who has tried […]

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The Many Faces of Social Exclusion

Despite progress around the world, many people continue to face social exclusion. While not a cure-all, financial services have the potential to connect them to more opportunities. Meet Aminata, a young Senegalese woman in her late teens. She lives with her parents and four siblings in Kedougou, a small town in southeastern Senegal. Aminata completed […]