Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Case Studies on Access to Financial Services

Designing financial products that meet the needs of the poor and the middle class and creating the policy environment in which financial institutions can flourish are core development challenges.  Such efforts are on the rise but have tended to be scatter-shot, based on intuition and belief rather than empirical evidence. Realizing this knowledge gap, CGD launched a research program directed by senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez that aims to identify the preconditions and good practices for improving financial inclusion—and the obstacles to doing so. The project includes six case studies that apply the analytical framework described in Policy Principles for Expanding Financial Access, the report of the CGD Task Force on Access to Financial Services.  Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, and South Africa were selected as case studies because they lead in innovation and offer a wide variety of products to improve access to finance.

A final report compiling the lessons from the case studies will advance specific policy recommendations for policymakers, multilateral organizations, and donors seeking to replicate successful financial access strategies.

The Case Studies

Each study will offer a comprehensive analysis of the most important innovations and initiatives for financial access undertaken in the respective country. In these studies, the CGD principles of financial access are used as the analytical framework to assess the effectiveness, sustainability, and replication capacity of the initiatives and to identify obstacles that need to be addressed. Case studies will be posted here as they become available.

Brazil by Marcio Nakane and Bruno Paulo de Rocha

  • Correspondent Banking
  • Simplified Bank Accounts
  • Payroll Bank Loans

India by Sona Varma

  • Growth of Microfinance
  • No Frills Accounts

Kenya by David Cracknell

  • Equity Bank
  • Safaricom’s M-PESA
  • Kenya Post Office Savings Bank
  • Musoni Kenya

Mexico by Gonzalo Castañeda, Sarah Castellanos, and Fausto Hernandez

  • Mortgage-backed Securities Market
  • Network of Popular Savings and Loans Banks
  • Electronic Market for Reverse Factoring
  • Store, Niche and Correspondent Banking

Peru by Eduardo Moron and Claudia Cooper

  • Microfinance credit: Saving and Loan Banks (CMACs)
  • Branchless Banking
  • MiVivienda Mortgage Loans
  • Electronic Factoring

South Africa by Michel Hanouch and Robert Kentley

  • The Mzansi Initiative
  • Capitec Bank
  • MTN Banking
  • Pension-backed Housing Finance

An Intermediate Product: Discussions on the Case Studies—The 2010 Workshop

On July 15 and 16, 2010, CGD organized a workshop where authors of each country study presented their preliminary results. A group of selected experts, including a number of members of the CGD Task Force acted as discussants. The agenda of the workshop, including links to PowerPoint presentations can be found here