the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

Distinguiendo las características del ahorro programado

By Avril Perez

English version available at the Prosavings program website

Durante el transcurso del año venimos hablando sobre el ahorro programado y sus beneficios. Sabemos que al ahorro programado también se le conoce bajo otros nombres como ahorro contractual, ahorro planificado o ahorro previo. Y también sabemos que, a diferencia de otros tipos de ahorro, el ahorro programado se caracteriza por los mecanismos que le permiten a los clientes ahorrar, periódicamente, montos pequeños y flexibles, para que a lo largo del tiempo este ahorro se pueda destinar a uno o varios fines previamente definidos.

Recognizing excellence in Caribbean microfinance

By Ryan Tang

A Microfinance Start-up Becomes Front-runner, Client Protection, and ‘Very, Very Good Sauce’

On the evening of October 31, 2013, microfinance stakeholders from around the Caribbean gathered at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica to participate in the second annual Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean, sponsored by Citi Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund under the auspices of the Caribbean Microfinance Capacity-Building Project II. The Excellence in Microentrepreneurship in Suriname award was presented to Mr. Jurgen Boodie, owner of Restaurant JiJi’s, the Excellence in Microfinance Product Innovation award was won by Access Financial Services in Jamaica, and La Inmaculada Credit Union in Belize emerged as the winner of the Excellence in Microfinance Transparency award. As a few of the speakers noted, there is something special about gathering microfinance stakeholders in one place and recognizing the accomplishments of the best.

Pobreza: Del plato a la boca, cae la sopa

By Shoshana Grossman-Crist

Del plato a la boca, cae la sopa: Tres ingredientes para hacerla llegar

El pasado 29 de septiembre, durante el panel de Pobreza que formó parte del forito Sesiones de Aprendizaje en Microseguros: Latino América y el Caribe” en Guadalajara, México se vio claramente que el dicho mexicano “Del plato a la boca, cae la sopa” resulta apropiado para describir el proceso de comercialización de los microseguros. . Incluso con un microseguro bien diseñado, puede ser difícil hacerlo llegar “a la boca” de las poblaciones más pobres. 

The power of design: how the right tweaks can make a difference for remittance clients

By Rebecca Rouse

You may think you’ve seen it all, but you’ve never seen anything like Living Wallet. This product concept from a team of Japanese designers is taking savings and control to a new level.    

The idea behind Living Wallet is that even though it’s difficult to save, a well-designed product can help you maintain your savings goals when temptation calls. The wallet is linked to a phone app that tracks your bank account balance. When your balance dips and you reach for your wallet to purchase something, the wallet literally runs away from you and evades your hand. If you’re quick enough to catch it, it begins to scream and cry for help.

What do we really know about MFI clients?

By Avril Perez

We returned from the XVI Foromic in Mexico with plenty of energy and fresh ideas in the bag. Through this series we want to explore emerging trends in the realm of financial inclusion – from microcredit to distribution channels. Join us during the next few weeks and participate with your comments. 

What do we really know about MFI clients? We tend to have a general knowledge of clients’ needs and wants - health, education, decent housing, protection against emergencies - but perhaps we are missing more meaningful information, a deeper knowledge that would allow MFI’s to better serve their clients. A panel titled “MFI Clients: What do we know about them?” featured in this month’s XVI Foromic, put this concept into perspective for me. In addressing clients’ needs through financial products, it is important to take into account the different resources clients already have and the different money management strategies they usually pursue. Conducting segmentation at a deeper level is the key.