August 2018
From the editor

Dear RFILC members,

We are delighted to submit to your attention a new International Labour Organization (ILO) Impact Insurance Facility paper “Make change happen: Getting insurance providers ready to better serve low-income households”. To serve low-income and emerging consumers effectively, insurance providers need to make significant changes to the way they do business. Changes can include finding cost-effective ways to understand the needs of a new market segment, reaching clients through different distribution channels, managing expenses to accommodate for lower margins per policy, and building systems to tackle large volumes of transactions. Insurers may also need to make changes to how they recruit, train, incentivize and retain their staff, how they structure their organization, the technologies they use, and the partners they work with. This paper, in short, presents a process that can be used by insurers to initiate and manage the changes required to serve low-income households. The paper also illustrates the practical experiences of six partners who have tested this change process.

The second highlight is the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) report “Examining Customer Journeys at Financial Institutions in Cambodia: Using Big Data to Advance Women’s Financial Inclusion”. When financial products and services are used effectively by the underserved population, they have the potential to strongly impact people’s lives. This study was conducted to encourage a shift in focus from examining access to finance to understanding actual usage of financial products. More precisely, the study demonstrates the potential of Big Data analytics to generate granular sex- and youth-disaggregated data on the use of financial services, and to apply insights to inform product development and policy making. The report also offers business and policy recommendations for improving customer retention through better product development.

Finally, the Microfinance Centre (MFC) and the European Microfinance Network (EMN) will hold their joint annual conference, in partnership with Seed Capital Bizkaia Micro, from 3 to 5 October 2018 in Bilbao, Spain. This year theme will be “People and the Digital Revolution: Advancing Our Social Mission through Technology”. The conference will focus on the implications of the digital revolution on financial and social inclusion. The conference is bound to explore how microfinance institutions can be proactive in embracing and making the most of technology to provide valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs, start-ups and social enterprises.

With best regards,
The RFILC editorial team

We hope you enjoy your visit to the RFILC.

The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: