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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Innovation ecosystem scoping in the SADC region

Technological innovation is increasingly disrupting traditional sectors and encouraging inclusive economic growth that addresses development challenges within emerging markets. While the SADC region is not far behind in the use of technological innovation to foster growth, it is still trailing in the translation of tech-enabled innovation into meaningful social and economic impact. Product and service […]

Deepening Financial Inclusion
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Should African governments consider alternate distribution c...

In April 2020 hundreds of thousands of Africans may have missed their appointments to collect their antiretrovirals (ARVs). Right to Care Chief Executive Professor Ian Sanne told the African News Agency that data shows increasing numbers of missed appointments to collect treatment. This reporting is corroborated by data collected in the COVID-19 Tracker by FinMark Trust […]

insight2impact
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Data indicates 6.1 million Covid-19 SRD potential grant reci...

There is a lot of attention on the effects and impact of Covid-19 on our daily lives and we are immersed in stories from all sectors, businesses, and the plight of the ordinary South African. Policymakers are tasked with reducing the spread of the disease and balancing this with negative economic impacts. There are pockets […]

FinScope
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Cash, cards and COVID-19

Although we are adjusting to keeping in touch with our loved ones digitally, we do inevitably need to emerge from our quarantine cocoons to pay for things. Encouragingly, FinScope 2019 data shows increases in the proportions of adults using cell phone banking (23%) and banking apps (12%). Collectively, however, this is still less than a […]

FinScope
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Using data to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on livelihood...

It is our intention that the insights gained from this information can be used by interested parties, be they government policy makers or civil society organisations, to better plan their response to the COVID19 pandemic No country or continent is untouched by COVID-19; but developing markets will see more short- and long-term negative social and […]

insight2impact
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South Africa’s informal savings market thrives despite hig...

South Africa’s informal savings market thrives despite high financial inclusion levels – R44 billion collectively saved in approximately 820,000 stokvels. Financial exclusion is not a myth. In low-income countries and areas, financial exclusion is for many an undeniable reality. For communities in these areas their financial services needs are seldom met because financial services are […]

Promoting Beneficial Usage
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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