Digital Finance Can Transform Agriculture

Digital Finance Can Transform Agriculture

By Former Communications Officer

Advances in Technology could be the solution to smallholder farmers’ access to financial services in Uganda. Take Enid Nimusiima, 42 years old, a member of Mushanga Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) in Sheema District, in Uganda.

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Leveraging (Alternative) Data To Deliver Efficiencies In Credit Extension

Leveraging (Alternative) Data To Deliver Efficiencies In Credit Extension

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FinTech in Uganda: Implications For Regulation

FinTech in Uganda: Implications For Regulation

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    FinTech holds great potential for both financial inclusion and economic development in a wider sense. Digital financial solutions have been expanding access and reach to consumers, especially the unbanked and under-banked. They have been significantly lowering the costs of providing financial services, making it possible to serve the base of the pyramid in a more profitable way. Fintechs have also enabled new business models that offer expanded services to customers and continue to generate new revenue streams for financial service providers.

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    Solar Energy Lighting Up The Way To Financial Inclusion

    Solar Energy Lighting Up The Way To Financial Inclusion

    By Peter Kawumi (Former Manager Competitive Strategies)

    Increased access to solar energy by rural households and small businesses will drive demand for formal credit in the developing world.

    Off-grid solar energy solutions are taking off. For the over 1 billion people living without electricity, the ability to use technology to access cleaner energy over time can be life-transforming. In sub-Saharan Africa, most people lack access to electricity. This limits their opportunities to education, business growth and presents significant health risks. Grid electricity remains an expensive resource for many – especially the rural poor.

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    Digital Payments: Unlocking the Formal Economy for Small Businesses

    Digital Payments: Unlocking the Formal Economy for Small Businesses

    By Joel Muhumuza (Former Manager, Financial Services)

    Like many developing countries, Uganda is a cash economy. This is particularly true for the transportation sector. Boda-Boda’s or motorcycle taxis dominate private transportation in Uganda, particularly in major towns like the capital city – Kampala. Until recently, boda-boda drivers in Uganda’s cities and towns acquired customers by standing alongside busy roads close to where people might need transport. With the increased penetration of smartphones and the emergence of companies like SafeBoda, an app based ride hailing company for motorcycle taxis – the dynamics of demand and supply have changed, with drivers now able to accept passenger requests from anywhere within a certain catchment area. Thus matching demand and supply more accurately.

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    FinScope 2018: The case for a deeper and more inclusive financial sector in Uganda

    FinScope 2018: The case for a deeper and more inclusive financial sector in Uganda

    The FinScope Survey is often conducted to respond to a lack of information regarding the need for financial services. The study is designed to determine how individuals 16 years or older (i.e. adults) manage their money and the extent to which they use financial services to do so. The study also enhances monitoring changes in levels of financial inclusion over time. The 2018 FinScope survey was conducted in 316 Enumeration Areas, and 3002 adults responded. The weighted FinScope data represents an adult population of 18.6 million Ugandans.

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    From Ideas to Field Tests in 4 Days: A Design Sprint for Refugee-Centered Financial Services

    From Ideas to Field Tests in 4 Days: A Design Sprint for Refugee-Centered Financial Services

    By John Won*, Consulting Associate (BFA) and Peter Kawumi, Former Manager Competitive Strategies (FSD Uganda)


    In June 2018, BFA, a global consulting firm led a four-day design sprint for financial service providers (FSPs) to develop and test solutions tailored to over 1.3 million forcibly displaced people (FDPs) in Uganda. This was the latest engagement in a multi-phase program by FSD Uganda and FSD Africa to increase awareness and create financial services for forcibly displaced people. It was the second refugee-focused design sprint in the FSD Network, the first having been held in Rwanda.  Preceding activities included a roundtable discussion with financial service providers in Uganda in December 2017 and a series of customer journey-mapping workshops in Uganda in April 2018. Through these engagements, a number of major FSPs in each market are gaining a better understanding of the needs and capabilities of refugees and identifying pathways to improving financial products and services for refugees as new customers.

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    How sandboxes can help the rural poor borrow, contribute to growth

    How sandboxes can help the rural poor borrow, contribute to growth

    According to Uganda’s National Household Survey 2016-2017, eight out of every 10 Ugandans reside in rural areas, with the majority engaged in agriculture, while those living in urban areas are mostly involved in the trade and service sectors.

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    FinScope Uganda 2018 Survey Report

    FinScope Uganda 2018 Survey Report

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      The FinScope 2018 survey was designed to determine how individuals 16 years or older (i.e. adults) manage their money, the extent to which they use financial services to do so, and to monitor the changes in levels of financial inclusion over time.

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      How Ugandan financial service providers leverage data for decision making

      How Ugandan financial service providers leverage data for decision making

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        Insight2impact (i2i), FSD Africa and Oxford Policy Management (OPM), together with Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) – developed and implemented an online survey that sought to understand the ways in which financial service providers (FSPs) collect, store and use data in Uganda. The responses in the survey span the period from 29 August 2017 to 10 November 2017 and it is specific to Uganda only.

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        Mapping the Financial-access Journey of the Refugee

        Mapping the Financial-access Journey of the Refugee

        Applying UX design to help financial service providers in Uganda better serve forcibly displaced people

        By John Won, Consulting Associate, BFA


        Applying UX design to help financial service providers in Uganda better serve forcibly displaced people

        In April 2018, BFA facilitated a series of workshops for six banks – Diamond Trust Bank, Equity Bank, FINCA, Opportunity International, Post Bank, Ugafode – and a mobile network operator – Africell, in partnership with FSD Uganda. We shared research and statistics about the over 1.3 million forcibly displaced people (FDPs) living in the country, based on recent UNHCR data. And we invited the participants to imagine their life not as an employee of a large financial service provider (FSP) in Uganda, but rather to imagine their life as if they were a forcibly displaced person. “Step into the shoes of a refugee,” we instructed them:

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        Notes from the Frontier: Could Refugee Populations Be Ripe For Financial Inclusion?

        Notes from the Frontier: Could Refugee Populations Be Ripe For Financial Inclusion?

        As we approached the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement area, we were met with a calm sense of normalcy. People went about their business as usual, men and women tilling farms, children running around playing in school grounds and traders displaying their products at small designated shopping centres within the settlement.

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        Linkage Banking in Uganda

        Linkage Banking in Uganda

        This report is of a study on linkage banking, commissioned by FSD Uganda to enhance understanding of relationships between Savings and Lending Groups (SLGs) and Financial Services Providers (FSPs).

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        Interoperability in Mobile Financial Services in Uganda

        Interoperability in Mobile Financial Services in Uganda

        Friends Consult Limited (FCL) was commissioned by Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) in collaboration with Bank of Uganda (BoU) to conduct market research on interoperability in mobile financial services in Uganda. Interoperability is defined as the ability for different systems to connect with one another.

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        Next Generation Digital Financial Services in Uganda: Lessons from India Stack

        Next Generation Digital Financial Services in Uganda: Lessons from India Stack

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          The objective of next generation digital financial services workshop is to share experiences from the India Stack to spur discussions on the applicability and opportunities for Uganda. India Stack is a unified software platform that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to utilize a unique digital Infrastructure to solve India’s problems towards presence-less, paperless, and cashless service delivery.

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