Customising financial services

In the series ‘Finance Matters’, we have examined the various elements that enable the provision of high-quality financial services, particularly for the under-served segments of the population.

Simple products not always best

A common refrain that one hears in the context of financial services for low-income households is the importance of “keeping it simple”.

Challenge of financing SMEs

India is home to about 26 million small enterprises (with investments less than 50 million) that account for about 20 per cent of the country’s GDP .

No money to govern rural India

In India, gram panchayats (GPs) were given constitutional legitimacy following the passage of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, which was meant to decentralise power and responsibility to them to…

How markets can serve farmers

Agriculture incomes in India are volatile because of a number of unforeseen factors, such as weather, disease/pest infestations and/or market conditions.

Making money transfers work for migrants

Gopal G., a native of West Bengal, moved to Delhi 14 years ago to find a job to support his 11-member family. In Delhi, he works with a goldsmith,…

Historical data, vital to design

Households slip into “bad states of the world” due to several reasons, including accident or death of the earning member, medical emergency of a family member, poor or excess…

Options for low-income households

A defining characteristic of the finances of low-income households is the irregularity and seasonality of cash-flows, and the generally small surplus.

Channel designs for financial inclusion

Financial inclusion is as much about convenient channels of delivery as it is about appropriate products.

Managing risks in microfinance

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) essentially act as financial intermediaries, bridging the gap between mainstream financial institutions and low-income households for a specific type of credit need that is short-term and…