Blog Posts

MaTontine: Digitizing traditional savings groups for Financial Inclusion

by Sahana Arun Kumar, Managing Director; Chris Czerwonka, Senior Consultant and Nimisha Iyer, Research Intern

Tontines are traditional, informal savings groups that allow groups of women across Francophone Africa and other regions in the world to set aside money on a regular basis with the aim of accessing a larger amount through loans after a certain period of time. Each month women contribute their share of money to the tontine. At the end of each month one of the women in the group will gain the pot as a loan.


Alternative Channels & the Customer Relationship: Possible responses to the effects of Covid-19 on MFIs

by Raúl Gómez Velásquez, Senior Associate Consultant, Amarante Consulting

The disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has been so dramatic that it has changed the way we live – how we interact with each other, how we work and how we do business. It is likely that nothing will ever be quite the same, even once we get it under control. Governments in many countries have put in place rules on social distancing to stop the spread of the virus.


Can Superplatforms Transform Financial Inclusion in the Least Developed Countries? Insights from Nepal

by Audrey Misquith, Senior Consultant at Amarante and Keyzom Ngodup Massally, Regional Technical Specialist at UNCDF Nepal

Superplatforms like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Alibaba are transforming the global financial marketplace with “big brands, big budgets and big data.” As a “platform of platforms,” a superplatform holds immense disruptive power and can pave the way for a new-generation financial sector, one with smarter payment and lending models and wider outreach. In Nepal, where the smartphone penetration rate is 75% and poised to reach 90% by 2025,


M-Agri Services: Opportunities and Challenges

by Audrey Misquith, Senior Consultant and Lina Dieudonné, Research Intern

There are reportedly 570 million farms in the world of which more than 500 million are family farms. Among these farms, an estimated 475 million are small farms, less than 2 hectares in area, cultivated by smallholder farmers. About 3 billion rural people live in these farms, working on their plots to supply food to a substantial proportion of the world’s population while also producing food for household consumption.


The place of women in the cocoa sector in Ivory Coast

by Manohisoa Boulier, Senior Consultant and Shriya Sundaram, Consultant

Version française disponible ici

Cocoa is now called as the “gold” of Ivory Coast as it holds the prestigious position of the most coveted raw material that the country produces. However, at the local level, the country deals with various issues such as cocoa tree diseases; massive deforestation; child labor in cocoa plantations; and not much improvement in income for farmers and their families.


La place des femmes dans le secteur du cacao en Côte d’Ivoire

by Manohisoa Boulier, Senior Consultant

English version is available here

Le cacao est désormais appelé l’or de la Côte d’Ivoire, laquelle tient la place de prestige de premier producteur mondial de cette matière première convoitée. Pourtant, au niveau local, le pays affronte, avec plus ou moins de réussite, différentes problématiques telles que les maladies des cacaoyers ; la déforestation massive ; le travail des enfants dans les plantations de cacao ou encore l’amélioration des revenus des producteurs et de leurs familles.


Migration and Remittances in Nepal: Insights from the Field

by Audrey Misquith, Senior Consultant

Amarante Consulting was recently contracted by UNCDF in Nepal to develop remittance-linked use-cases for migrants on an innovative digital architecture. We kick-started this project in October 2018 with the preparation of a concept note, identification of partner institutions and a market scan. As a next step, we travelled to the rural and semi-urban areas of Banepa and Panchkal to interview a range of stakeholders including migrants and their families,


Is Blockchain for Financial Inclusion?

Financial inclusion refers to the process of extending access to financial services to the previously unbanked or underbanked population found mostly in remote areas, in developing countries or among various social groups such as women or migrants. The lack of appropriate access and adapted products and services catering to the 1.7 billion unbanked population (Global Findex, 2017) is due to gaps on both the demand and the supply side.


Digital Transformation: What perspectives for MFIs? (Post 2 of 2)

There are many reasons why MFIs might be hesitant to undertake digital transformation. Firstly, heavy up-front investments are required for such initiatives, and small MFIs might lack the necessary resources. Even large MFIs should always conduct careful financial analysis and build a long term digital strategy before launching a digital initiative. Additionally, strong support from the management team is needed to undertake a digital transformation,