Digital Financial Services

Financial solutions delivered over mobile and digital channels, typically enabling greater reach than traditional banking channels.  Services may include transactional or payments solutions that enhance client productivity or purchasing power.

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KCB Bank
Report: KCB Group, a RAF Learning Partner, shares details on their current programming efforts as of 2016. Most specifically, the report highlights their USD 30 million partnership with The Mastercard Foundation, in which KCB has committed to offering financial services to 2 million smallholder farmers.
Analysis: Our learning brief explores the role of digital approaches (across the lending value chain) in making it possible to profitably serve the smallholder market at scale. What do the digital journeys of financial service providers entail? What results are FSPs seeing and what challenges do they face?
Analysis: Smallholder asset lender Juhudi Kilimo used a cloud-based management information system to improve its operational efficiency. Then it tested a new SMS reminder initiative, which proved promising in pilot but faced challenges during rollout. Elvin Walela tells this chapter in the story of Juhudi's digital journey.
Analysis: The fourteenth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, the Dalberg Design Impact Group (DIG) explores the causes of low uptake in digital credit for smallholders to better understand how we can develop concrete product solutions to jump-start adoption of digital credit products by them. 
Tool: Speaker presentations posted from the Learning Lab's October 2016 partner gathering where financial service providers and other practitioners shared experiences and research on digitally-enabled finance and customer centricity.
Analysis: The Learning Lab is researching how digitalization affects the business case for smallholder finance, specifically: what role do digital tools play in successful business models for lending to smallholders? Here we provide early findings from the research, in the form of a presentation from a Sep. 2016 workshop where Dalberg and the Lab discussed the results of organization surveys and expert interviews.
Report: Cutting edge approaches to rural and agricultural finance rely on varying degrees of digitalization to reach more customers, and reduce costs and risks of serving smallholders. However, when the the product deployed is itself digital, there are new risks to manage. This handbook presents a risk management framework for DFS.
Spotlight:

M-KOPA, a winner of the 2015 FRP Scaling Competition, has taken a leadership role in Solar Home System financing. Read more to learn how M-KOPA is expanding its business model to address rural farmers’ needs through innovative financing options.

Spotlight: New guest blog from Farming First uses two case studies from their recently released climate smart video and case study series to explain how climate smart agriculture practices enable smallholders to more effectively and reliably use finance for agriculture production.
Report: IIF and CFI Accion’s recently published report, “The Business of Financial Inclusion: Insights from Banks in Emerging Markets” digs into commercial banks and the role of digital technology in the emerging market, a concept the Lab is currently looking into for the RAF space.
Analysis: The Learning Lab analyzes applications from the first Scaling Competition of The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity. Findings confirm key trends from the first Innovation Challenge and identify new trends around bundled service offerings and digital solutions.
Tool: USAID mSTAR's recently published Guide, offers a road map for the use of digital finance services in agriculture to improve the value chain and increase farmer income.

Digital Financial Services

Financial solutions delivered over mobile and digital channels, typically enabling greater reach than traditional banking channels.  Services may include transactional or payments solutions that enhance client productivity or purchasing power.