Publications

How M-Shwari Works: The Story So Far

15 Apr 2015
  • Tamara Cook
  • Claudia McKay

M-Shwari represents the next frontier of digital financial services as it demonstrates that mobile money infrastructure can be leveraged to offer higher value financial products at scale. “Shwari” means calm in Kiswahili, yet M-Shwari, a bank account offering a combination of savings and loans, has taken the Kenyan market by storm. Offered as a collaboration between the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and mobile network operator (MNO) Safaricom through its […]

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Protecting the poor: A microinsurance compendium

09 Apr 2015
  • Craig Churchill
  • Michal Matul

“Protecting the Poor: A microinsurance compendium, volume II”, is a unique collection of recent practices and emerging ideas in microinsurance. It covers the numerous innovations that have emerged in recent years to meet the challenges of providing insurance to low-income people, from new products and delivery channels to consumer education tools, while examining institutional changes in regulations, providers and schemes. As the microinsurance community dramatically evolves and millions more low-income households […]

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Social Performance Indicators for Microinsurance

09 Apr 2015

This note presents the social performance indicators for microinsurance, which are designed by and developed for microinsurance practitioners to monitor, improve and champion social performance. Why is social performance important? Microinsurance targets vulnerable and financially excluded people who are exposed to relatively high levels of risk, such as illness, death, natural disaster, crime or crop failure. If well designed and delivered, microinsurance can provide a formal and dependable coping mechanism […]

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Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Donors Supporting Microinsurance

09 Apr 2015
  • Taara Chandani

Microinsurance is the provision of insurance services to low‐income people, who typically do not have access to insurance or to adequate social security services. Microinsurance is receiving increasing attention from donors as an effective strategy for helping the poor to cope with risks, reduce vulnerability, and build their asset base. This Note offers operational guidelines for donors as they construct a road map for entering or for getting more deeply […]

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Performance Indicators for Microinsurance

09 Apr 2015
  • John Wipf
  • Denis Garand

Microinsurance is regarded by some as a risk management mechanism that the poor can use to compensate for the lack of appropriate state-sponsored social protection programmes. Alternatively, it is viewed by others as an opportunity to provide financial services to the low-income market at a profit. Regardless of where the emphasis is placed, all microinsurance programmes should aim to become viable since donor or government subsidies are either only temporary […]

Financial Inclusion and Global Regulatory Standards: An Empirical Study across Developing Economies

08 Apr 2015
  • Mariana Magaldi de Sousa

Developing global regulatory standards for financial inclusion in developing economies This paper assesses to what extent differences in the adoption of post-crisis global regulatory standards can explain cross-country variation in financial inclusion. It enquires into whether implementation of global regulatory standards hampered financial inclusion or helped it. It also evaluates whether national regulators in developing countries have been able to apply international regulatory recommendations in a proportionate manner. The paper […]

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Discussion Paper Consumer Protection in Microinsurance

05 Apr 2015
  • Martina Wiedmeier-Pfister
  • Janina Voss

An input to the Consumer Protection Task Force of the Microinsurance Network Microinsurance markets are growing rapidly. New providers enter the market, offering innovative products and/or employing innovative provider models. Innovations can lead to new consumer protection needs, and also have a tendency to aggravate existing challenges of asymmetric information, market power imbalances and other imperfections that are typical for insurance products in general and are worse when poor and […]

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Beyond sales: New Frontiers in Microinsurance Distribution

05 Apr 2015
  • Anja Smith
  • Herman Smit
  • Doubell Chamberlain

Lessons for the next wave of microinsurance distribution innovation Achieving scale through cost-effective distribution is one of the biggest challenges facing insurers in low-premium environments. The emphasis is increasingly falling on innovative distribution models as alternatives to traditional microinsurance distribution approaches, which typically rely on microfinance institutions. During the last decade, insurance providers and their distribution partners have been experimenting internationally with developing and extending products to clients in new ways. This note takes stock of fourteen microinsurance business […]

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The Emerging Global Landscape of Mobile Microinsurance

05 Apr 2015
  • Camilo Tellez
  • Peter Zetterli

The number of MMI deployments is growing fast. Our scan documented an increase in the number of new products going to market every year (with the exception of 2009, which was at the height of the global financial crisis), from two in 2006 to 20 in 2012 and 15 in the first eight months of 2013. The products offered included life, health, accident, cattle, crop, and travel insurance. The lack […]

Making insurance markets work for the poor: microinsurance policy, regulation and supervision

05 Apr 2015
  • Hennie Bester
  • Doubell Chamberlain
  • Christine Hougaard

In times of crisis, poor people are often the most at risk and least able to protect themselves. Calamities such as the sudden death of a family member, illness or injury, and loss of income or property can increase the vulnerability of poor people and perpetuate poverty.Insurance can mitigate the losses from such risks. However, despite the growing importance and rapid expansion of insurance services geared to low-income households (microinsurance), many poor people remain without […]

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