Faculty corner

We continually hear from faculty that they are working on interesting pieces of analysis or research that others within the Boulder community might enjoy hearing about. In response, we created this “Faculty Corner” to highlight faculty work in a way that promotes discussion and builds analytical approaches. Please think about ways you might contribute to this space and facilitate a deeper conversation!



Original Posting: Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund

Good investors, bad investors?

I recently attended the morning Master Class session of the Boulder Microfinance Training in Turin. Activities during that morning were overshadowed by the sudden and tragic death of one of our colleagues from Oikocredit the day before. Our thoughts and condolences go out to her family, friends and colleagues in Peru.

The session was about a dialogue between investors and microfinance practitioners, regulators, TA providers and other actors. Despite the tragic events, the debate was lively. Obviously there is a need to ask questions to and challenge the investor community. The main themes were:

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Are emotions such as empathy and gratitude critical, but overlooked, elements of building long term relationships with customers?

Trust is often considered an institution’s, particularly a financial institution’s, most valuable currency. Customer relationship management (CRM), also known as Relationship Marketing (RM), has moved away from short term transactional relationship thinking to focusing on strategies to gain the trust and loyalty of clients for long-term relationships. Many RMs consider providing good customer service, incorporating feedback, using multiple marketing channels and building a “brand that delights” as key components of these strategies. But what is often ignored are other mediating mechanisms through which trust and commitment are gained and can then impact performance outcomes.

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Four Challenges to Scaling Digital Financial Inclusion: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Interviews Ken Njoroge, CEO of Cellulant.

The financial inclusion agenda attempts to extend a broad range of financial services to the over two billion people around the globe who do not have access to formal financial services. This is a challenging proposition, given constraints in infrastructure, cost of service provision and lack of products to meet the needs of diverse customer segments. Digitalization promises to address at least some of these challenges by leveraging the nearly ubiquitous growth of mobile phones, thereby reducing cost, increasing efficiency and reaching new client segments. Typically, mobile money addresses a common pain point, which then sets the digital rails on which other products and services can be delivered. But traditional financial service providers and new players are grappling with how to move from gateway products, such as money transfer service or air top ups, to a wider range of service provisions.

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Opportunity to collaborate in an exercise involving big data, market segmentation, and the challenge of estimating market potential for an individual institution

As our faculty will already know, the World Bank Group has issued two statistical data sets containing financial inclusion statistics along a multitude of indicators for individual countries. The indicators presented are superbly interesting, and some of this data has never been seen on such a global scale before, such as percentage of adults in a particular country or region who borrowed for education or school fees, or who received remittances via mobile phone. The entire online database is available here and the data can be downloaded and used for analytical purposes. The book version of FINDEX is Little Data Book on Financial Inclusion.

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