Nov 2018

  • MicroSave and MetLife Foundation launch i3 program in Vietnam


    MicroSave and MetLife Foundation flagged off the i3 program in Vietnam at a country launch event in the capital city of Hanoi on 14th November, 2018, to improve the financial health for low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities across the country. The i3 program, which stands for Innovate, Implement and Impact, aims to help these communities by supporting strong and capable financial services and FinTech institutions to design and deliver financial products and services that meet the needs of LMI people. The program expects to reach out to 400,000 direct beneficiaries in Bangladesh and Vietnam. Around 2 million indirect beneficiaries are expected to subsequently benefit from to the program initiatives.

    More than 100 financial inclusion industry experts, including regulators, bankers, microfinance institutions leaders, mobile financial service providers, and FinTech entrepreneurs attended the launch event. Mr. Pham Xuan Hoe, Deputy Director General, Banking Strategy Institute, State Bank of Vietnam; Mr. Ha Hai An, Deputy Director General, Department of International Cooperation, State Bank of Vietnam; Mr. Bui Quang Vinh, Deputy General Director, Vietnam Bank for Social Policies; Mr. Nguyen Ba Diep, Executive Vice Chairman, MoMo (M_Service JSC); Mr. Gaurav Sharma, CEO & General Director, BIDV MetLife Life Insurance LLC; and Mr. Filip Graovac, Deputy Country Representative Vietnam, The Asia Foundation participated as special guests.

    Speaking at the event, Mr. Gaurav Sharma, CEO and General Director, BIDV MetLife Life Insurance LLC said, “Vietnam is undergoing a historic and exciting growth phase, making this the right time and perfect opportunity to ensure the growth is inclusive and equitable. MetLife Foundation is very well aligned with the Vietnam government’s priority of improving the financial health of low- to moderate-income people, and the i3 program is a great example of that. We hope to create a positive impact on the financial lives of 2 million people across Vietnam with this initiative.”

    Mr. Bui Quang Vinh, Deputy General Director, Vietnam Bank for Social Policies said, “VBSP is a government-owned bank taking the lead in policy and microfinance in Vietnam. We have the largest network coverage in the banking system that ensures that over 6.7 million poor and policy holders in rural, mountainous, remote, and isolated areas can easily access financial and banking services at 63 provincial branches, 630 district transaction offices, and 10,962 transaction units opened at the Communal People’s Committee offices nationwide. With the cooperation of MicroSave through the i3 program, we expect to raise the digital financial literacy for the poor, help increase and improve access to the full range of digital financial services to those who lack access to traditional banking services, accelerating economic opportunities for low-income households and women-led microenterprises.”

    Mr. Nguyen Ba Diep, Executive Vice Chairman, MoMo (M_Service JSC) said, “We greatly appreciate MicroSave’s efforts and focus for Vietnam market and do hope we could together change low-income people’s lives and make it much better in the future. MoMo would like to contribute its efforts to increase financial inclusion in Vietnam through its mobile e-wallet and physical distribution system.”

    Mr. Manoj Sharma, Managing Director, Asia, MicroSave, delivered a keynote presentation at the launch. He said, “While basic access to banking services and products remains a challenge in Vietnam, the government has shown firm commitment through conducive policies that aim to advance financial inclusion. Through the i3 program, MicroSave aims to work with strong and capable financial services and FinTech institutions to design and deliver financial products and services that meet the needs of low- and moderate-income people, who aspire to lead financially healthy lives.”  

    A major highlight of the event was a panel discussion with influencers from the digital financial space. The panel discussion session was moderated by MicroSave’s Associate Director Anil Kumar Gupta and comprised the top brass from State Bank of Vietnam, BIDV MetLife Life Insurance LLC, Vietnam Bank for Social Policies, MoMo (M_Service JSC), and The Asia Foundation, all of whom are committed to building financial health for all.

    The event provided a great opportunity for liaising with multi-level stakeholders. The insights and lessons from the event will be helpful for the program management team and the interested financial service providers and FinTechs to factor in for their future endeavors to bring meaningful financial inclusion to Vietnam.

    Nearly 29 TV, Digital and Print media published news articles based on the event. Follow some of the news items mentioned below:

    2.Vietnam Economic Times
    3.Vietnam Financial Times

    For more details visit i3 Program website or contact us at –

  • Supporting FinTechs to cater to the financially excluded

    Mumbai: Mohit Saini, Manager at Digital Financial Services Domain at MicroSave was invited as a speaker to the annual event of ‘Digital Payments South Asia’. The event covered all the opportunities to convert cash transactions to digital payments in the world’s fastest growing payments market, including mobile payments, digital IDs, QR Codes, interoperability for mobile wallets, and contactless payments. The event saw participation from regulators, national payments networks, international payment systems, banks, FinTech companies, payment services providers, merchants, and leading payments solutions providers. 
    Mohit spoke about the potential of FinTechs to serve the low- and middle-income (LMI) segments in India. The current FinTech landscape and investment trends suggest a growing influence of FinTechs in India. Growth, however, is concentrated in the metro cities. FinTechs in payments and credit continue to attract the maximum investment. He noted that while the top of the pyramid is financially well-served; FinTechs have the opportunity to cater to the LMI segments. However, like most incumbents, FinTechs have a limited understanding of the LMI market and its potential. 
    Mohit mentioned four potential ways in which FinTechs can reach out to the unserved LMI segments and are likely to create a sustainable business model. This included redesigning products and services from the ground up, developing a phygital distribution channel, building awareness and trust through effective communication, and utilising their core strengths while partnering with incumbents.  
    He also participated in a panel discussion with various experts such as Arun Sharma, Director, DBT Mission in Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India; Krishnan Dharmarajan, Executive Director, Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion; and V. Shankar, Managing Director & CEO, Maximus Infoware. He highlighted the importance of client-centricity, innovation, and collaboration to serve the financially excluded segments in India. 
    The event was organised APSCA, which is the industry association for payments and identity in Asia and includes companies from secure smart chip-based and contactless applications to the latest digital payments and digital identity services.

  • Leveraging FinTech for inclusive growth

    A snapshot from the conference on emerging perspectives in FinTech
    New Delhi: MicroSave director, Manoj Sharma, speaks as a panelist at the International Conference on Emerging Perspectives in FinTech. The conference aims to engage government bodies, regulators, industry players and sector experts in the discourse on regulatory frameworks, enablers, and challenges for Financial Inclusion through FinTech.
    Digital financial services have a huge potential to reach out to the financially excluded sections of society. The government of India’s digital initiatives, proactive support from the Reserve Bank of India by setting up differentiated banks in India has created an enabling environment for the institutions to reach the last mile. With improved infrastructure such as power and affordable data and voice services by telecommunication providers have created a multiplier effect to the policy initiatives taken by the government. Start-ups and non-traditional organisations riding on innovative models have entered the financial services space. The traditional financial service providers are also learning fast and introducing cutting-edge technology to retain their influence. With this fast-changing financial ecosystem, Manoj will discuss challenges encountered in fulfilling the potential to deliver inclusive growth.
    Other panelists for the session are Sh. Rajiv Kumar, IAS, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Government of India; Sh. Manish Jain, Partner, Digital Consulting – Fintech & Blockchain, KPMG India; Sh. Narayan K. S. Gopinath, Professor & Chief Administrative Officer National Institute of Financial Management; Sh. Ajay Kanwal, MD, Jana Small Finance Bank Ltd; Ms. Sucharita Mukherjee, Founder, Kaleidofin Private Limited; and Sh. Ravi Varanasi, Chief - Business Development Officer, National Stock Exchange of India Limited.
    This Conference is being jointly organized by National Institute of Financial Management under the aegis of DEA-NIFM Research Programme, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India with the Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Oct 2018

  • MicroSave collaborates with BRAC Bank, Bangladesh, to help it establish agency banking

    BRAC Bank has contracted MicroSave to help it establish an agency-banking channel in Bangladesh. BRAC Bank is a leading private commercial bank in Bangladesh, focussed on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Our team will work closely with BRAC Bank to envision and operationalise agency-banking channels across Bangladesh. At present, BRAC Bank has a network of 186 branches and 457 SME unit offices, services 1.2 million customers, with a strength of 6835 employees. With robust agency banking systems, BRAC Bank aims to offer high-quality customer service to customers through simpler processes, increased convenience, and ease of access to finance.

  • NITI Aayog collaborates with MicroSave for FI on the Transformation of Aspirational Districts

    Mr. Rakesh Ranjan, Advisor, NITI Aayog signed the SoI with Mrs. Bhavana Srivastava, Associate Director of MicroSave
    in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. 

    New Delhi, Oct 10: NITI Aayog and MicroSave signed the Statement of Intent (SoI) to collaborate and work towards enhancing the status of financial inclusion in 27 aspirational districts under the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme’.
    Mr. Rakesh Ranjan, Advisor, NITI Aayog signed the SoI with Mrs. Bhavana Srivastava, Associate Director of MicroSave in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. The signing ceremony cements the vision of the Government to improve socio-economic outcomes in 117 districts as part of the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme’. 

    As a part of the programme, the center, state government, and the district administration is working towards rapidly transforming Aspirational Districts to improve their performance in key areas of Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure. This programme is anchored at NITI Aayog. 

    MicroSave, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is providing technical assistance to enhance financial inclusion in 27 districts, across 8 states, through six key indicators. Through this programme, MicroSave is working with district administration, bank officials and policymakers to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the key financial inclusion initiatives. The project implementation would enhance the level of access and uptake of selected products for the last mile consumer. 


Sep 2018

  • A great start for the i3 Program Bangladesh!

    MicroSave flagged off the i3 program in Bangladesh at a country launch event in the capital city of Dhaka. The 36-month program receives support from the MetLife Foundation, with MicroSave as the implementer. The i3 program stands for Innovate, Implement, Impact, and aims to bring meaningful financial inclusion in Bangladesh. The initiative seeks to utilize digital technology and uncover the needs, aspirations, and behaviors of low- and moderate-income (LMI) people.  The i3 Program will work closely with implementation partners to improve the financial health of LMIs – through interventions at both demand- and supply-sides. The program expects to reach out to 250,000 direct beneficiaries in Bangladesh. Around 2 million indirect beneficiaries are expected to subsequently benefit from to the program initiatives.
    The launch event saw attendance from more than 100+ industry experts, including regulators, banks, microfinance institutions, mobile financial service providers, and FinTechs. The Minister of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology, Mr. Mustafa Jabbar graced the occasion as chief guest. Mr. Syed Almas Kabir, President of BASIS, and Mr. Syed Hammadul Karim, General Manager – Bangladesh, MetLife were also present as special guests. 
    Speaking at the event, Mr. Jabbar said, “Bangladesh is now a role model for the world—in terms of using digital services to improve the lives of ordinary people.” He also explained that Bangladesh’s biggest challenge is to build proper infrastructure for the mobile financial service (MFS) system. He noted, “I can say with pride that by June of 2019, every single Union Parishad of Bangladesh will be able to enjoy fiber optic connectivity.” He hopes that everyone in the country would have access to mobile internet in the days to come. 
    Mr. Karim from MetLife said, “Bangladesh is looking for innovative solutions to address the challenge of financial health for low-income Bangladeshis. I am proud to say that at MetLife Foundation we are well-aligned with the priority of the Bangladesh government to improve the financial health of low- to moderate-income people. The i3 program, which focusses on digital transformation, is a brilliant example of that. We hope to create a positive impact on the lives of 2 million people in Bangladesh through this initiative.”  
    Introducing MicroSave’s endeavors under the i3 program, Mr. Manoj Sharma, Regional Director, Asia, MicroSave, gave a keynote presentation at the launch. He noted, “Basic access to banking services and products still remains a challenge in Bangladesh. Through this program, MicroSave is trying to bridge the gap between the low- and moderate-income segment and basic financial services.” 
    A major highlight of the event was a panel discussion with influencers from the digital financial space. The panel discussion session was moderated by MicroSave Associate Director Anil Kumar Gupta and comprised the top brass from Banks, MFIs, FinTechs, payment service providers and regulators. The panelists emphasized the importance of interoperability and digital know-your-customer (e-KYC). 
    The event provided a great opportunity for liaising with multi-level stakeholders. The insights and lessons from the event will be helpful for the program management team and the interested financial service providers and FinTechs to factor in for their future endeavors. 

    Please see the live coverage of the entire event here. For more details visit i3 Program website or contact us at –

    Nearly 15 Print and 25 Digital mediums published news articles based on the event. Follow some of the news items mentioned below -

  • i3 Program set to launch in Bangladesh to enhance financial inclusion


    MicroSave is all set to unveil the much-awaited i3 program in Bangladesh at a grand country launch on 24th September, 2018 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The i3 is a 36-month program that will focus on working with implementation partners in Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The program is funded by the MetLife Foundation and implemented in Bangladesh and Vietnam by MicroSave and in China and Malaysia by UNCDF The launch event will be held in the capital city of Dhaka, with expected participation from 100+ industry experts, including regulators, banks, microfinance institutions, mobile financial service providers, and FinTechs. The Minister of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology, Mr. Mustafa Jabbar will be present at the event as chief guest, alongside special guests Mr. Syed Almas Kabir, President of BASIS, and Mr. Syed Hammadul Karim, General Manager – Bangladesh, MetLife. 
    The i3 program stands for Innovate, Implement, Impact, and aims to bring meaningful financial inclusion in Bangladesh. Despite impressive recent macroeconomic growth in Bangladesh, lack of financial inclusion continues to be a substantial problem and has a particularly severe impact on the low- and middle-income (LMIs) customer segments in these geographies. The initiative seeks to utilize digital technology and uncover the needs, aspirations, and behaviors of low- and moderate-income (LMI) people. The program will work with implementation partners and expects to reach out to 250,000 direct beneficiaries in Bangladesh. We expect that 2 million indirect beneficiaries will subsequently benefit from the program initiatives.
    The launch event will be a great opportunity to introduce the program to multi-level stakeholders in the country and liaise with current and potential program partners. The event will feature speeches by the chief guest, special guests, and MicroSave senior management, followed by perspectives from program partners. Finally, a panel discussion will round off the program, with participation from key stakeholders from the industry. Join us in making the launch event a resounding success! Stay tuned and follow us on social media using #i3Program #i3Bangladesh #FinTech4LMI #FinTech4Finclusion. Please do watch our curtain raiser video for the event here.


Aug 2018

  • MicroSave join hands with J.P. Morgan, CIIE to launch $9.5mn Financial Inclusion Lab in India

    New Delhi, India: The initiative aims to identify and scale up early-stage fintech start-ups that focus on the lower- and middle-income (LMI) segments in India. The Lab will host a series of accelerator programs to identify solutions for specific financial challenges, and leading ideas will be supported with start-up capital, market access, technical assistance, mentoring and sector expertise.
    The initiative will glean insights from MicroSave and CIIE on where and how fintechs can help the LMI segment. The start-ups will enable access and usage of appropriate financial products and services such as savings, credit, and insurance for LMI households. The collaboration gained a prominent media coverage in the press across India & US.

    For more details & to apply, click here. For the detailed study, go here - Fintech Study to Model a Financial Inclusion Lab

    Read press coverage here: Live Mint, UNIIndia Finance NewsSify financeFinextra, Business WireThe Economics TimesYOURSTORY

  • Fintechs would soon lead the way to India's financial inclusion, states latest study

    Fintechs in India
                                                            Photo credit- Yourstory
    New Delhi, India: A recent report by JP Morgan examines India’s emerging fintech landscape and scopes out the role of fintech start-ups for full financial inclusion in the country. Findings from the report featured in Yourstory, a popular online platform that focuses on entrepreneurship in India.
    MicroSave has been one of the key contributing partners to the report, in association with IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). The article highlights key findings from the study and talks about how India’s fast-growing fintech ecosystem would soon lead the way to India’s financial inclusion.

Jul 2018

  • MicroSave helps tier-II bank in Kenya to enter the burgeoning digital banking space

    Nairobi, Kenya: Housing Finance Company (HFC) in Kenya has just launched a micro-lending
    product – the HF Whizz app. Products like this have become lucrative for banks, as interest
    rates are not controlled. HFC has been predominantly a mortgage lender and the app is part of
    its diversification strategy. HFC has promoted the app as a one-stop shop for all banking
    functionalities at the palm of your hand.
    HFC has been one of MicroSave’s partners and we have been involved in the conceptualisation
    through our market-led approach. We have provided end-to end technical support and
    operational implementation of this product. HFC envisions to utilise the digital banking
    platform to enhance customers experience, provide comprehensive business functionality, and
    drive profitability. The CIO, Mr. George Njuguna, in his media coverage said “use-cases, not
    products will drive digital financial services which MicroSave supported us with.”
    Watch the media coverage on the launch here.

  • Economic Times Publishes MicroSave Study on the State of Fintech in India

    New Delhi, India:
    17th July, 2018; The Economic Times, a leading print and online news agency in India, published findings from a recent MicroSave report on the state of fintech in India, which we had created with support from J. P. Morgan. The report quotes our findings that fintech companies successfully cater to only 23% of the elite or affluent section of the Indian economy while a huge portion remains untapped. 
    The 600 million-strong population in India that belongs to the lower middle income (LMI) group still remains untapped. The LMI segment earns between from USD 2 and USD 10 per day. Of the 600 million LMI population, 347 million have the potential to pay for fintech services, as these users are urban, smart, independent, and Internet-savvy. 
    The article refers to our study and says that currently, most fintechs serve the affluent, tech-literate customers in tier-I geographies, leaving over 80% of the addressable LMI group untapped. “While the LMI segment offers sizeable opportunities for different stakeholders like fintechs, investors, donors and incumbents, there exists a significant disconnect between fintech and investors, and fintech and incumbents.” 
    Read the full article here

May 2018

  • MicroSave Garners Accolades at MetLife’s Recent Inclusion Plus Programme

    MicroSave's partner Shakti Foundation recognised for its work on Agent Banking in Bangladesh by MetLife Foundation's Inclusion Plus event for innovation in financial inclusion.

    On 7th May, 2018, the MetLife Foundation concluded the sixth wave of its acclaimed Inclusion Plus programme in Dhaka. The programme invited pitches on innovative products and services to increase financial inclusion for low-income households across Bangladesh. Fifty-one financial service providers participated in the competition, with a grant of USD 100,000 to be awarded among five finalists. Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and NGO Affairs Bureau in Bangladesh presided over the event. An expert panel of judges assessed the participant’s pitches. 
    Shakti Foundation was selected as one of the grant awardees for its work on Agent Banking for financial inclusion in Bangladesh. MicroSave has been providing technical assistance to Shakti Foundation for establishing Agent Banking services. We have closely worked with Shakti Foundation to envision agent banking systems and make them operational across its presence in Bangladesh. 
    At present, Shakti Foundation has branches in 53 districts and employs over 3,500 people. It provides services to 498,292 households. With robust agent banking systems in place, the foundation is set to increase its outreach and impact by manifolds to reach the underserved segment in Bangladesh. 
    For more details, visit

  • United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) invite RPF for communication services for I3 program

    MetLife Foundation, The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and MicroSave are joining forces to develop the I3 programme that seeks to improve the offering of digital finance and solutions so that they are more appropriate, affordable and safe for low income users. This is a four-country initiative in Asia, with MicroSave acting as the implementing organization in Bangladesh and Vietnam and UNCDF implementing in China and Malaysia. Each of these markets is in a different stage of development and will require different approaches. However, the initiative wishes to develop a common communication strategy at the regional and global level that provides consistent messages and relevant content to inform and support other initiatives in inclusive digital finance and solutions. 

    The goal of the i3 Programme is to promote the idea and methods of how better innovation practices can help companies design, develop, test and launch financial products that customers need and that can improve their financial health and in doing so, highlight the commitment, experience and leadership of the MetLife Foundation, MicroSave and UNCDF to make finance work for the poor.
    MicroSave and The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) hereby invites you to apply for Pre-qualification for the communications services for the I3 programme, including:
    Content and learning
    Media relationship and placement
    Event Management
    As this is a large procurement UNCDF will undertake a prequalification that will be followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP) which will result in agreements with the successful bidders for the various categories for an initial period of one year, renewable up to a maximum of three years.
    Only pre-qualified vendors shall be invited by UNCDF to submit offers for the supply of services for UNCDF under the I3 Programme, whose scope, quantities and detailed specifications will be defined as the need for them arises. 
    Please send any questions in writing to Submissions need to be sent later than 25 May 2018  to the following address: 
    Please use the subject: Pre-qualification of Contractors for I3 Programme. For more information click here

Mar 2018

  • Launching MI4ID - An In-House Design Thinking Approach - in its Brand New Identity

    MI4ID – Market Insights for Innovation & Design – is MicroSave’s two-decades of research methodology in a brand new avatar. The new brand signifies MicroSave’s commitment to a ‘market-led’ research to solve the persistent development challenges facing millions worldwide in an emphatic manner.
    The brand showcases the seriousness with which MicroSave regard every assignment. MI4ID champions MicroSave’s rigorous research methods perfected over many years and reinforces our mission – from designing digital financial services for the mass market to optimising agricultural value chains; from helping refugees to addressing the enormous challenges posed by climate change; and much more. 
    Under the brand, the company provides solutions to financial institutions, governments in India, Kenya, the Philippines, and other countries in Asia and Africa.

    Since inception in 1998, MicroSave has partnered with more than 200 institutions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. During this period, we have developed about 200 financial products, designed over 75 digital finance projects, and published more than 500 publications.

    MicroSave teams, based out of various offices across Asia and Africa, have used the MI4ID approach diligently in various assignments, benefiting our clients, and more importantly, bringing happiness to their millions of customers.
    We go live with the dedicated webpage. To learn more, navigate and scroll through its different sections.

  • Moneycontrol Publishes MicroSave article on Blockchain and its Role in Sustainable Development

    New Delhi, India: 06 March, 2018,, a leading online news agency in its article titled ‘Blockchain in India: Moving beyond the rhetoric’ stated how India is keen to work on innovative solutions to promote financial inclusion and empower masses at a faster pace. The article is authored by Anurag Saxena, who heads Strategic Initiatives at MicroSave. While there has been a visible resistance to accepting cryptocurrency, there has been a lot of action around blockchain in the past year in India.

    Anurag also mentioned that NITI Aayog has been encouraging discussions on making use of technology platforms. He notes that NITI Aayog has been keen to explore the potential of blockchain technology in financial inclusion initiatives. If we start connecting all the dots, a fertile ground for seeding innovation is ready in India. Anurag also stressed that blockchain represents a canvas of opportunities to create scalable solutions that could meet a range of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
    Read the full article here.

Feb 2018

  • Total TV Interviews Manoj Sharma, Director MicroSave on the Launch of State of Agent Network Report

    New Delhi, IndiaMicroSave’s recently launched report – State of the Agent Network, India 2017, tracks the progress on Digital Finance and its penetration in rural parts of India. Manoj Sharma, Director – Asia at MicroSave, spoke to Total TV, a leading news agency, in an interview on the sidelines of the ANA India Wave II launch. He stated that in India while digital finance was earlier seen only in terms of CICO (Cash In-Cash Out), now digital finance has seen a splurge in financial services as well. Manoj mentioned that the ANA India study also focused on the total revenue earned by the agents and how fraud has had an impact on their business. To listen to the entire interview click here. Please note that the interview video is in the Hindi Language. 

  • MicroSave presents the Outline of the NFIFL Strategy for the State of Qatar

    Governor of Qatar Central Bank HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud Al Thaniat addressing the audience at a stakeholder meeting on National Strategy for Financial Inclusion & Financial Literacy in Qatar. 
    Doha, Qatar: MicroSave has been supporting the Qatar Central Bank to develop a National Financial Inclusion and Literacy Strategy for the State of Qatar. The MicroSave team was in Doha to present the outline of the strategy and gather feedback from the key stakeholders. These included key departments in the Qatar Central Bank, relevant government departments and ministries, private sector financial institutions, and other non-profit organisations that have a role in conceptualising and implementing the National Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy (NFIFL) Strategy.
    During the opening of the workshop, the Qatar Central Bank Governor, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud Al-Thani reaffirmed the State of Qatar’s commitment to financial inclusion and efforts to introduce financial literacy at an early stage. The Governor also stated that promoting financial inclusion is also one of the five goals of the Second Strategic Plan (SSP) for Financial Sector Regulations (2017–22), which was launched in December 2017.   
    Bhavana Srivastava, Associate Director, MicroSave began her presentation with explaining how Qatar is a unique country for financial inclusion. On the one hand, there exist a high proportion of low-income migrants in Qatar who only have access to basic banking services. On the other hand, there are Qataris and high-income expats who have access to all the banking services but may need support to develop their financial capability. 
    As part of the stakeholder consultation process, the MicroSave team facilitated four thematic roundtable discussions with the relevant stakeholders. These roundtable discussions focused on gathering feedback on specific areas that may either have an impact on or likely to be affected by the National Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy Strategy. The discussions received an enthusiastic response from all the participants who not only echoed the sentiment of improving financial inclusion and financial literacy for all the population segments in Qatar but also showed the eagerness to participate in the implementation of the strategy.     
    Read the full coverage here – The Peninsular, Qatar Central Bank, Gulf Times, Qatar Tribune 

  • Widespread Media Coverage for MicroSave’s State of the Agent Network India Report

    New Delhi, 14 February, 2018. The Helix Institute of Digital Finance, the digital financial services (DFS) training arm of MicroSave, launched the State of the Agent Network, India 2017 at an event held in Delhi, India. The launch event and the report findings garnered immense attention from print as well as online news agencies and resulted in extensive coverage of MicroSave’s Agent Network Accelerator project in all leading media releases. 
    The launch event was attended by Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India, Sh. Lok Ranjan, Joint Secretary, Department of Financial Services and a packed audience of policymakers, practitioners, thinkers, and media personnel. 
    The report is based on MicroSave’s nationally representative research in 2017, with interviews of 3,048 banking correspondents – commonly referred to as agents. The report presents findings from the digital financial services (DFS) landscape in India. It covers strategic attributes, such as the structure of the agent network, viability, quality of providers’ support and providers’ compliance with regulatory guidelines on digital financial services. 

    In his address, Dr. Arvind Subramanian quoted "I am great fan of MicroSave - the spirit, the people and above all the work that MicroSave does". He also mentioned that India needed more financial inclusion. While launching the the report Manoj Sharma, Director, MicroSave stressed that India presents a clear example of how policy can drive the financial inclusion agenda. 
    The articles that appeared in various media underlined the key findings from the report. They highlighted how core banking use has soared by 400% in 2017 on digital agents and how compliance with interoperability will boost business volumes for bank agents. 
    Read the full report here and follow the action on social media using #ANAIndia #AgentNetworksIndia
    Read various news articles mentioning the key highlights from the report –

  • Attend Fintech Master Class in Gurugram, India!

    Understanding Fintech from an expert can enhance your knowledge and help in bridging gaps in the ever-evolving industry. Abhishant Pant, Founder of Cashless Journey is conducting a Fintech Master Class. 
    Why you must attend this class – In a knowledge-driven economy, re-skilling and up-skilling by professionals are essential for both professional and personal growth.
    The disruption which has happened in the Indian B1anking and Financial Services space over the last five years has been simply overwhelming. It has led to both job redundancies and job opportunities. However, the learner’s struggle comes in the form of not having the right source for accurate and timely information. Although the industry is eager, it remains clueless to identify the appropriate source. Currently in India, there is no single source of truth to tap into and learn from in a crisp manner on what constitutes the fintech domain. Be the first one to attend this Master Class. 
    For more information and details contact Abhishant Pant here -


  • FirstPost Covers MicroSave On the Union Budget 2018

    New Delhi, India:
    1st February, 2018:, one of India’s leading online news portals, showcased MicroSave’s insights on the Union Budget 2018 across two articles. The articles featured our Managing Director – Asia, Manoj Sharma, on the expectations of India’s financially marginalised segments from the budget. The first article covered the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). Mr Sharma observed that the PMJDY scheme, while successful, “needs to transition beyond a savings account to long-term, goal-based savings.”
    MicroSave recommends that the Budget earmarks more funds to push PMJDY so that it becomes a source of wealth creation for the poor. We recommend that the government implements gold-based investment schemes targeted at weddings of the beneficiaries’ children. 
    FirstPost’s second article deals with MicroSave’s insights on the Ujjwala scheme. Despite its popularity among low-income households, not all beneficiaries use gas cylinders and often go back to their chulahs (wood-fired ovens). There are behavioural, logistical, and pricing issues that constrain the segment that Ujjwala targets. Mr Sharma questioned if the Budget can increase spending on Ujjwala. 
    The article also highlighted MicroSave’s recommendations on phasing out kerosene subsidy. MicroSave experts observe that some people may remain in darkness if the government removes kerosene subsidy without providing another reliable source of lighting. The government should, therefore, give a minimum subsidy for people to start using electricity or introduce a pre-paid system for distributing power.

Jan 2018

  • MicroSave Signs SoI with NITI Aayog

    New Delhi, India: January 18, 2018, several leading online news agencies covered the signing of Statement of Intent (SoI) between NITI Aayog and MicroSave. The signing took place in the presence of Anna Roy, Adviser, Data Management and Analysis and Industries, NITI Aayog and Puneet Chopra, Associate Director, MicroSave. The signing of the statement flags off a collaboration on digital transformation and innovations across sectors.
    The potential areas of collaboration between MicroSave and NITI Aayog were identified as smart agriculture, digitising agriculture value chains and access to markets, digital payments, digitisation of direct benefit transfers (DBT) in food, fertilizer, fuel such as LPG and kerosene, among others.
    While signing the SoI, Anna Roy mentioned that “this partnership with MicroSave will help identify potential areas to create transformative economic impact. NITI Aayog had taken several innovative initiatives to advance the government's goal of promoting digital payments. Programs like DigiDhan campaigns, the BHIM app promotion, and cashless townships have created increased awareness across the country for adopting digital modes in financial transactions. NITI now intends to utilise this base to enable transformation in the economic spheres. NITI Aayog intends to explore ways to support the creation of greater economic activity streams and increased productivity".
    In his address while signing the SoI, Puneet Chopra stated that “It is an honour and a privilege to collaborate with NITI Aayog, a premier think-tank of the Government of India. In collaboration with NITI Aayog, we aspire to catalyse, accelerate, and scale the impact digital transformation for the weaker and the excluded segments, and also scale the benefits from it.” Read the full coverage here – ANI, Business Standard, OutlookIndia, WebIndia123

  • MetLife Foundation – MicroSave Collaboration Accelerates Digital Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh

    Mr. Arfan Ali, President & Managing Director, Bank Asia, and Ms. Humaira Islam,  Founder & Executive Director, Shakti Foundation led the signing ceremony at the head office of Shakti Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 
    Dhaka, Bangladesh: MetLife Foundation and MicroSave recently facilitated a partnership between Bank Asia Limited and Shakti Foundation under the ‘Digital Financial Inclusion’ project. The project aims to digitise various micro-credit transactions, such as loan disbursement, repayment, and savings deposit of Shakti beneficiaries through the agent banking network of Bank Asia. Under this partnership, the nationwide branch network of Shakti Foundation will also act as the agent network for Bank Asia. 
    Ms. Humaira Islam, Founder & Executive Director, Shakti Foundation and Mr. Arfan Ali, President & Managing Director, Bank Asia led the signing ceremony at the head office of Shakti Foundation in Dhaka. Also present at the event were Mr. Ravi Kant and Mr. Jakirul Islam from MicroSave, alongside senior officials from Bank Asia and Shakti Foundation, namely, Ms. Humaira Azam, Deputy Managing Director, Bank Asia; Mr. Mahfuzur Rashid, Deputy Executive Director, Shakti Foundation; and Mr. Imran Ahmed, Consultant, Shakti Foundation. 
    Bank Asia Limited is a leading agent banking provider in Bangladesh while Shakti Foundation is an eminent microfinance institution that works for disadvantaged women in the country.

  • MicroSave’s Study on DBT in Fertiliser Receives Wide Media Coverage

    A study by MicroSave, on DBT (direct benefit transfer) in fertiliser revealed that 59 per cent of farmers were in favour of linking Aadhaar to the sale of highly subsidised fertilisers. MicroSave conducted the study across 14 districts in Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana between July and September, 2017.

    Associate Director and Head of Digital Financial Services (Government and Social Impact) at MicroSave, Mitul Thapliyal, spoke to The Times of India in this context. Mitul noted that sentiments of farmers were similar to what we observed during demonetisation. They were getting inconvenienced but willing to stand in long lines as Aadhaar based authentication is expected to reduce diversion of fertiliser and improve availability. Mitul added that demonetisation was transient but buying fertiliser through Aadhaar authentication is going to be a regular affair. So, steps must be taken to reduce authentication time.
    Click here to read the news article.

  • Graham’s Blog on Banking & Financial Post! Download and Read!

    New Delhi, India, 11th January 2018: The Banking & Financial Post, a leading fortnightly online magazine, published a recent blog authored by Graham Wright, Group Managing Director of MicroSave. Titled Can Fintech Really Deliver On Its Promise For Financial Inclusion?, the blog takes an in-depth look at why fintech in its current form may be largely irrelevant for mass markets.
    In the blog, Graham states how inadequate infrastructure, few smartphones, and the oral nature of communication of rural customers have had an impact on the uptake of digital financial services for the mass markets. Fintech is irrelevant for most villagers because providers have made little effort to tailor interfaces or use-cases for the low-income market. The vast majority of fintech providers continue to develop solutions for the affluent and middle classes. Graham is sure that fintech can indeed deliver on its promise, and explains how in The Clear Blue Water on the Other Side of the Digital Divide.
    The Banking & Financial Post is a bimonthly magazine that reports key trends and in-depth analysis in banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sectors. It covers all aspects of the sector – from major challenges in the growth of the sector to new technological advances. Read the entire blog here.