September 9, 2014
Barbara Magnoni, Emily Zimmerman
How can we extend financial products and services, like microinsurance, to low-income consumers at scale? In theory, “low touch” sales and services can reach large numbers of people at low cost. But so far, attempts to enroll new customers without active sales efforts have largely failed. As a result, “high touch” sales and distribution channels are seen as necessary to convince low-income consumers to purchase financial products, especially unfamiliar and complex ones such as microinsurance. But these high touch channels may incur costs that the small...
September 5, 2014
1. Sustainable Development Goals: FAI affiliate Michael Clemens reacts to the inclusion of migration policy in the latest draft of the UN's SDGs... Center for Global Development
2. Immigration: ...while David Roodman evaluates the domestic economic impact of migration for receiving countries. ...
September 3, 2014
August 29, 2014
1. Digital Payments: "Digitizing government payments can serve as a catalyst, spurring further innovation in this space and paving the way for more involvement by private sector actors and the international community."...
August 22, 2014
1. Savings: Will increased access to formal savings accounts in India translate to greater financial inclusion? Live Mint
2. Remittances: FAI's Timothy Ogden spoke with The New York Times' editorial board about some of the macro challenges of...
August 22, 2014
I write this from Dhaka, where I am visiting for the second time to help get our mobile banking impact evaluation in motion. I am not here alone, however, and I wanted to devote this post to introducing the truly outstanding Bangladeshi economists, research staff and organizations who are our partners in this research study.
First, we are uniquely privileged to be working with Dr. Hassan Zaman as a co-principal investigator on this study. Dr. Zaman is the chief economist...
August 18, 2014
We write a good deal about remittances because they are a big part of the financial lives of many poor households—on the sending and receiving end. Remittances receive a lot of attention in aggregate because so much money is flowing: a reasonable estimate is that more than $600 billion is moving annually and that the vast majority of that is flowing to poor households. On Friday...
August 15, 2014
1. Cash Transfers: Conditional cash transfers in the US encounter ridicule and skepticism, but this "foreign import" for the war on poverty has promise....
August 13, 2014
In an interview with FAI, economist Jenny Aker explained that effective commitment savings products are those that balance flexibility and restrictions:
“If you give someone a savings product and it completely ties their hand, they don’t want to use it. They want to have a little bit of that tying of the hand so they can’t spend that money but they don’t want to be completely divorced from access to that money....
August 8, 2014
1. Retail Banking: Banks may continue to go digital but this doesn’t mean the brick and mortar branch is disappearing. Customers who use mobile and online banking more than once a week are over 60% more likely to be active retail-branch users than those who do not....