Blogs & publications

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Why disruptive innovation in the financial sector can benefit poor people

Meaningful financial solutions can help poor people manage day to day, deal with risk and invest in the future.

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Blog

Building a better compass: Creating financial inclusion measures that are allied with people and their well-being, Part 2

The last blog in this series argued that using formal account access as the primary yardstick for progress in financial inclusion is a poor navigational tool for stakeholders working to strengthen the link between financial systems and the well-being of populations.

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Blog

Building a better compass: creating financial inclusion measures that are allied with people and their well-being, Part 1

Open a report on – or read the mandate of an organization working in – financial inclusion and chances are that in the introductory paragraph you’ll read a variation of a single sentence that motivates the whole endeavor: “Worldwide, more than 2 billion adults do not have access to an account at a formal financial institution”.

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Blog

10 Things You didn’t know about Financial Access

Financial access is accelerating

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Blog

The use of mobile money technology: a dividend or disaster for FSAs?

This is the third blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA.  Read the first blog here: Financial services associations: an imperfect solution and the second blog here: FSA asset financing: when paying more yields more.

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Blog

FSA asset financing: when paying more yields more

This is the second blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA. The survey took place in 2017 in Bamba, Kakeani and Mukuyuni and involved in-depth interviews with over 60 respondents including customers, their non-member neighbours and FSA staff. 

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Blog

Financial services associations: an imperfect solution

This is the first blog in a series about financial services associations based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA.

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Blog

In Kenya, bank accounts again more popular than m-pesa – why?

Retail banks can still thrive in the face of mobile money, as long as they are prepared to adapt

This blog was originally published by CGAP.

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Financial service providers

Finance and living well

Kenya’s more successful mass market financial solutions have demonstrated the importance of social values by enabling poor Kenyans to manage their money in ways that cultivate their visions of well being.

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Blog

10 things you didn’t know about financial inclusion in Kenya

Financial inclusion is growing, and fast. Kenyans excluded from any form of financial service dropped from over 40% of adults to 17% between 2006 and 2016.

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Payments

Person-to-government (P2G) payment digitisation: Lessons from Kenya

This study was originally published by GSMA on their wesbite.

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Publications

Impact evaluation of FSD Kenya’s savings groups project

FSD Kenya commissioned Oxford Policy Management (OPM) to conduct an in-depth impact assessment of their savings groups programmes which were undertaken in collaboration with two international non-governmental organisations, CARE and Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

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Publications

Brief: Impact evaluation of FSD Kenya’s savings group project

FSD Kenya invested substantially in supporting savings groups (SGs) based on the hypothesis that these kinds of informal services are more accessible to underserved markets.

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Blog

Unlocking fintech innovation with domestic capital

n May 2017, I had the honour of being on a fascinating Euromoney panel about expanding the digital financial ecosystem. One of the many topics that we discussed was the dearth of debt financing available for fintechs and start-ups limiting the potential for scale.

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Publications

Creating value through financial inclusion

2016 marked the first year of FSD’s strategy for the period 2016 to 2021. The financial landscape in Kenya has evolved in ways far beyong the vision of FSD Kenya at our inception in 2005.

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Blog

How much does it cost to run bank accounts in Kenya?

Although this question seems simple and straightforward, answering it is more difficult than it looks.

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Publications

The price of being banked

This report outlines the findings from a two-year study by FSD Kenya to understand the costs for banking services in Kenya. Two rounds of mystery shopping surveys were completed in October and November of 2015 and 2016
to build a database and measure the costs for basic bundles of transactions such as opening, running and closing bank accounts.

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Blog

Why price transparency in banking is good business

Banking remains the largest sub-sector by assets and the most systemically significant in Kenya’s financial services sector. Developments, especially those enabled by technology, have brought a sizeable number of new, mostly poorer and vulnerable first-time consumers into the market.

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Blog

The Future of Finance: Kenya’s Youth

Steps to a financial future where there are as many financial opportunities as there are young people.

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Blog

Young Money: Why Kenyan youth know everything, and nothing, about finance

Kenyans are learning about money earlier than you might think: as early as four or five they’re picking up financial lessons from their parents. By 18, almost a third have mobile money accounts.

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Blog

With great opportunity comes great risk: Keeping up with Kenya’s population boom

Africa’s population is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. More than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa and of the additional 2.4 billion people projected to be added to the global population between now and 2050, 1.3 billion will be in Africa.

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Publications

The impact of financial services associations

Financial services associations (FSAs) are rural community-level member based semi-informal financial institutions, that are a hybrid of savings and credit cooperative organizations (SACCOs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs).

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Blog

Unlocking opportunities for the poor, Part two

Our first blog in this series discussed the Hunger Safety Net Programme and savings groups (SGs), for which we’ve also sought to use market based approaches. Part Two, discusses the use of a market based approach in graduation programmes.

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Blog

Leveraging Kenya’s informal sector for growth

Finance helps economic growth, and in turn, job creation.

Today is the first annual International Day for small and medium sized enterprises.

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Annual reports

2016 Annual report

The report gives an overview of FSD Kenya’s proposed programme of activities and major issues surrounding financial inclusion during 2016 and highlights of our initiatives.

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Blog

Unlocking opportunities for low income households – Mechanisms of behaviour change

The impact of the recent six-month drought is readily apparent. The earth is dry and cracked and most of the trees and shrubs are barren. Riverbeds are full of dried branches and the livestock that roam the area are but skeletons, with many dead along the road.

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Blog

Return on Investment: Making Remittances Work for Africa

Vibrant social networks are what make Kenya unique and modern technology is making them functional.

Friends and family make for a happier and more fulfilled life but in Kenya, they’re also the key to survival.

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Payments

Reducing Costs and Scaling Up UK to Africa Remittances Through Technology

Sending money to Africa is more expensive than anywhere else in the world, according to new research due to be published at this week’s Global Remittance Conference in New York. The report argues that existing technology – like regional automated clearing houses, remittance payment processing hubs and aggregators – could all make sending money from the UK to Africa much, much cheaper.

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Blog

The hidden costs of hiring in Kenya

Across Africa, entrepreneurs and business leaders are increasingly aware that hiring top talent is critical to winning in the marketplace. In Kenya especially, technology-driven financial services companies (“fintechs”)  struggle to recruit efficiently and effectively: when they post a job opening, they are often inundated with a high volume of applications and selecting candidates feels like a subjective process prone to bias and inconsistency.

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