Nairobi, Monday 17th July 2017 – Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) have entered into a partnership to implement the ‘Deepening Financial Inclusion Using Evidence Based Decision Making’ project.
Digital finance services are increasingly becoming a critical asset for financial service providers (FSPs) within sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Digital finance adoption is enabling these providers to improve their operating effectiveness and their service delivery to customers. Digital delivery channels are increasingly becoming a cost-effective method of enabling FSPs to reach a broader clientele. Further, there is a growing realisation within the financial sector that insights derived from analysis of FSPs internal data and big data leads to improved customer value propositions. Hence, it enables FSPs to provide relevant financial services to financially excluded market segments which includes low-income women.
The project seeks to demonstrate to FSPs the benefits of using data to make evidence based decisions. This will involve: i) building the capacity of FSP staff to use data to make evidence based decisions; ii) demonstrating the business case for FSPs to utilise internal data and big data to develop financial products that address the financial needs of different customer segments within their operating environments; iii) building the capacity of local research and data analytics communities to provide data handling support to FSPs; and iv) developing a toolkit that will provide guidance to FSPs seeking to use internal and external data to make evidence based decisions.
Paul Musoke, the Director Competitive Strategies at FSD Africa said: “We are pleased to be partnering with IDRC in this exciting journey. The most significant trend affecting the financial sector today is digital finance services, changing the way products are delivered at scale. With growing digital footprints driven by the mobile phone and internet, poor and excluded people are becoming less anonymous. Coupled with the exponential increase in data that provides deeper insights into how people manage their financial lives, data management and analytics capabilities are going to be imperative for the sustainability of FSPs going forward. The opportunities it offers to profitably reach excluded segments previously regarded as un-bankable, with relevant products at scale are truly exciting.’’
“This pioneering work with FSD Africa will make the business case for investing in data use and analysis, which will hopefully lead to the development of innovative financial products and services better suited for women. By helping service providers better understand women’s needs and the key barriers they are facing, we believe the gender gap in access to finance can be reduced. We know that when women have control over their finances, they are empowered to make better decisions for themselves and their families. We are confident that this partnership will contribute to maximising the impact of financial inclusion in a way that fosters opportunities for women and the poor,’’ said Martha Melesse, Senior Program Specialist in charge of the project at IDRC.
The project will cover at least three (3) countries; Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Zambia and will run for a duration of 30 months.
It is our conviction that using data analytics to develop insights into customer preferences will be a powerful spur to game changing product innovation that will have a big impact on people’s lives within SSA.
Notes to Editors
As part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development effort, IDRC invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive large-scale positive change.
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LinkedIn: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
About FSD Africa
FSD Africa is a non-profit company which aims to increase prosperity, create jobs and reduce poverty by bringing about a transformation in financial markets in SSA and in the economies, they serve. It provides know-how and capital to champions of change whose ideas, influence and actions will make finance more useful to African businesses and households. It is funded by the UK aid from the UK Government
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