Diaries Executive Workshop
Nairobi, Kenya (18th May 2011)
May 18th, FSD together with Microfinance Opportunities, jointly
hosted the Kenya Financial Diaries Workshop at the Fairview Hotel.
The invitation-only event was very well attended by senior management
from over 10 major banks and microfinance organisations (including
Equity, Safaricom, Orange, Postbank, KCB, Faulu, KWFT, Coop Bank,
K-REP, CBK.). The workshop was expertly facilitated by Guy Stuart
(lecturer in public policy, Harvard University) and Monique Cohen
(CEO Microfinance Opportunities). It involved a number of interactive
sessions in which the audience participated with plenty of enthusiasm
of the workshop facilitators Monique Cohen (right), in discussions
with participants during an interactive group session.
workshop had two main purposes. Firstly, it was geared to familiarising
the banking and microfinance industry in Kenya with the Financial
Diaries tool. The financial diaries research approach is based
on collecting detailed data on how households manage their financial
flows. Financial diaries can give us data on constraints to usage
including how transaction fees shape the pattern of deposits,
withdrawals and remittances; weaknesses in existing product offers,
whether products are meeting the real needs of the market and
a better understanding of the competitive landscape by showing
what financial services customers actually use to cover their
needs. Given that market penetration for BOP segments is still
well below par, this kind of research methodology is invaluable.
The facilitators were at pains to impress on the participants
the potential value their own transactional data in enabling them
to better identify market opportunities and tailor products to
better serve the needs of existing customers and increase market
the facilitators presented initial high level findings from a
Microfinance Opportunities Financial Diaries research exercise
on a mixed population of M-PESA and non-MPESA users in Western
is King: 95% of transactions are still in cash (only
5% go through M-PESA).
income households handle a lot of cash: median handled
per week is Ksh 4,230 (median net income is Ksh 1,372 per week).
of e-money flows are within families or between friends:
One implication of this scenario is that products and services
need to be designed for social networks not just for individuals.
e-money loop is short: 75% of M-PESA remittances are
cashed out, mostly within a day (median daily balance is KSh
173); but business remittances are more likely to be ‘on-sent’.
users are less vulnerable to health shocks: there is
some evidence that households with M-PESA are less vulnerable
to risk, due to the fact that they can quickly mobilise funds
and pay hospital bills through M-PESA mitigating potentially