Our joint market analysis
Our research takes advantage of Accenture’s position as one of the leading financial services consultancies globally and CARE International as one of the leading non-profits focused on financial inclusion in developing countries.
We are jointly creating a diagnostic tool that can be used to highlight the current levels of financial inclusion capability in individual financial institutions, and to allow comparison across peer organisations. We are also looking for the successful innovations and solutions in the market today, to understand how and why they are working and where they can be scaled up and replicated elsewhere. The results will be published in early 2015.
We define financial inclusion as the provision of credit, savings, insurance, remittance products and associated services to low-income groups, women and girls, youth and marginalised segments of society. This includes the important areas of micro and small enterprises.
We are looking at how a wide range of banks with differing business strategies are reacting to changes in the sector driven by technology, new entrants and emerging customer segments. We want to understand specific initiatives undertaken by banks in improving awareness, accessibility, and security for under-served segments, including their products and business processes.
Why is Accenture doing this?
Accenture was an early signatory of the Linking for Change Savings Charter, when it was first discussed at Davos this year. The company is now following up on its commitment by using its extensive knowledge of the global banking industry to work closely with CARE International in some ground-breaking research to help major banks capture the opportunity that financial inclusion presents to create economic and social value, for themselves and the societies in which they operate.
Why is CARE doing this?
Long engagement in financial inclusion has taught CARE International that banks need to be part of the solution – hence our programming to expand linkage with a variety of banks including Barclays, Equity and Fidelity, and our advocacy work on the Linking for Change Savings Charter.
The Charter seeks to encourage banks to develop a wide range of strategies and capabilities to serve this market. This needs to be underpinned by a practical framework for countries and financial institutions to understand how advanced they are in fostering / providing financial services, and, very importantly, how they can do better.
The research will hopefully allow companies to learn from peers across a significant number of countries. It will also identify ‘blockers’ to inclusion on which CARE can then engage with the relevant governments and regulators.
What do the banks get out of it?
Banks are provided the opportunity to compare their financial inclusion capabilities against recognised leading practices and get an insight into successful innovations and models from other countries. This should support the banks in addressing new markets as well as improve compliance with the agenda of regulators.
Where are we?
We have recently completed a proof of concept in India, Kenya and Zambia, which has allowed us to test and refine our methodology and approach to capture the data, insights and ideas we are looking for.
Over the next few months we are intending to extend our research to over 10 countries, with at least 30 banks, providing us with a comprehensive view of current trends, issues and examples of how very low-income customers can be served effectively.
Watch this space!