For at least a decade, the microfinance industry has been watching and discussing changes in the financial sector driven by technology with a keen interest in the new potential for expanding the traditional microfinance model. This Working Paper takes a unique look at microfinance institution (MFI) innovation with digital technologies by featuring case studies on the following MFIs that successfully created measurable customer and business value through digitization: Amret (Cambodia), Bancamía (Colombia), Microfund for Women (Jordan), Al Kuraimi Islamic Microfinance Bank (Yemen), and FINCA Impact Finance (global). Based on these cases, the paper offers insights and recommendations of wider applicability to inspire and inform digitization initiatives by other MFIs regardless of their size, location, or maturity.
Rushing into technology solutions, without having the institutional capability in place to commercialize them, is a common mistake microfinance institutions make when digitizing. Here's how to avoid this costly misstep.
Customer centricity is key to ensuring a microfinance institution's digital solutions actually meet customer needs -- and there's ample evidence it's good for business. Yet many microfinance institutions overlook this critical aspect of digitization.
Kicking off a new series on how microfinance institutions can avoid common mistakes when digitizing, this post highlights the need to start with a clear business case and presents six proven ways digitization has benefited microfinance institutions.