Pathways out of poverty: Innovating banking technologies to reach the rural poor
Authors: Opoku, Lydia; Foy, Deborah
Source: Enterprise Development and Microfinance, Volume 19, Number 1, March 2008 , pp. 46-58(13)
Publisher: Practical Action Publishing
Abstract:Microfinance, the provision of financial services to the poor, has emerged as one of the promising pathways out of poverty. But how can the people living far from the pathway access microfinance? This case study addresses this question by looking at how an innovative microfinance bank in Africa, Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM) is exploring alternative delivery approaches and tailored products that appeal to the rural population who have been excluded by the high cost access to the mainstream financial sector. It is experimenting with mobile banking services using armoured trucks equipped with smart card technology, value chain interventions, weather-indexed insurance and savings accounts. Initial evidence indicates that these have the potential to reduce risk, cost and improve access to financial services for those whom microfinance has found difficult to reach. However, the analysis suggests there are inherent challenges that need to be addressed if these successes are to continue.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2008-03-01
- Enterprise Development & Microfinance provides a forum for those involved in the design and implementation of enterprise development and microfinance programmes in developing countries. With themes such as the sustainability of microfinance institutions, the impact of poverty on clients and producers and value chain development it is essential reading for managers of projects, providers of technical assistance, consultants to projects, policymakers and the staff of donor agencies.
Formerly Small Enterprise Development journal
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