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Digital Financial Services and Branchless Banking

Ayani offers experience with digital financial services (DFS), mobile banking, agent networks and related technology, partnerships, research, assessment, implementation and evaluation.

Some of our recent projects in this area include:

  • Assessing the business case to better serve female farmers through digital financial and non-financial services in three African countries;

  • Seconding a Finance Manager to a pioneering electronic payments company operating for a period of one year. By the end of the project, the client was on track to serve 100,000 card users through 1,800 access points;

  • Assessing the mechanisms to facilitate funds’ transfers by traders working across West African countries and currencies;

  • Assisting a central bank with the implementation of branchless banking services in rural areas;

  • Designing a mobile money rural savings product for groups and individuals, and providing technical support to financial institutions, agents and end users to deliver the products;

  • Supporting a leading MFI to develop a business plan to offer a mobile money transfer service in collaboration with Airtel Money.


SIGNATURE PROJECTS




Expansion of women's financial inclusion through digital financial services in Mozambique

Ayani is working with the Improving Women’s Access to Financial Services initiative, which has the objective of assuring access to financial and non-financial services to women. The project focuses on assuring access to sustainable savings and credit services from autonomous savings and loans groups, including the consolidation of existing groups as well as the reinforcement of service providers to promote appropriate innovations to low income populations in rural areas.

Within this context, Ayani is carrying out an assignment to reinforce and/or introduce linkages between women’s savings groups and mobile banking services offered by mKesh, M-PESA and other electronic money platforms, payment and transfer services. Ayani formulated a strategy, developed and is delivering training materials for agent networks, as well as TOTs for equipping end users to effectively access and use services. Ayani is also designing an M&E framework using results chain- and theory of change- based internationally recognized standards for a private sector development monitoring system.

Assessing the business case to better serve female farmers through digital financial and non-financial service in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania

Socio-cultural and economic factors affect women’s demand for and regular usage of services that can improve their livelihoods, including mobile and digital financial and non-financial services. For example, low levels of literacy result in relatively less awareness among women about service offerings. Limited mobility has an important impact on willingness to travel outside of village or neighbourhood to access such services. Risk aversion (and in rural areas “fear”) is a profound impediment to engagement in economic activities and/or expanding professional or business opportunities.

The objective of this current assignment funded by AGRA is to identify costs and benefits of adapting approaches, product features, marketing, and delivery channels that overcome barriers facing women and that will attract female farmers to enrolling and using (digital) financial and non-financial services more. This will be achieved by 5 case studies in three African countries and a learning event to improve solutions for women farmers.






Seconding an electronic payment company in West Africa

Ayani seconded a Finance Manager to a pioneering electronic payments company operating for a period of one year. FERLO’s platform supports transactions between consumers and a range of transacting parties, such as financial institutions, employers, merchants, individuals and the government. By the end of the project, FERLO was on track to serve 100,000 card users through 1,800 access points.

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