Date archives "June 2019"

Reimagining informality leads to opportunities for lending and insurance

One of the most significant potential benefits digital platforms offer for financial inclusion is in redefining what it means to be an informal merchant or worker. Most Africans participate in the informal economy, sometimes beyond the purview of the state and tax authorities and often without secure contracts, benefits, or social protections. Continue reading

How financial exclusion and lack of trust hamper e-commerce platform models

Faced with a customer base that lacks bank accounts or who do not trust online payments, many e-commerce platforms have developed tools and processes that allow customers to pay in cash for most transactions. In this note, I argue that while this strategy is fueling growth in transaction volumes and active customers, issues with fraud, failed deliveries and late/uncollected receivables stemming from the use of cash are opening platforms up to substantial losses. Additionally, e-commerce platforms have not been as proactive as they could be in launching strategies to onboard and pay financially excluded merchants and workers. This misstep is probably limiting the number of merchants that would be selling on e-commerce platforms if mobile money or easier conversions to cash were implemented.Continue reading

Digital platforms offer new opportunities for innovative African banks to grow

E-commerce and online labor platforms could be good business partners for African financial services providers. This is especially true for banks whose scale makes them prime partners for digital platforms. Similarly, banks and other financial institutions stand to benefit from the large numbers of consumers and producers on platforms’ growing networks.Continue reading

Three pain points of African platforms adding financial services to their business models

There are several important challenges that digital platform businesses are facing when trying to integrate financial services into their business models, but we saw three themes emerge from our recent research highlighting areas where Africa platforms are struggling.Continue reading

Platforms and Partnerships

In 2018, FiDA Partnership conducted light touch research to unpack platform business models, looking at how they are evolving in terms of financial services. Desk research synthesized information about the business model for more than 40 platform businesses active in Africa, with a few global players included for comparison. For a select number of these, we captured additional details about the platform participants’ economics (e.g. workers, merchants, etc.). Interviews with several key African digital platforms supplemented this information with insights and details around the challenges and obstacles that African digital platforms face, particularly in partnering with financial institutions and FinTechs to directly integrate financial services offerings into their business models. We also interviewed a few other ecosystem players to add perspectives from financial services partners and investors.Continue reading

Three important ways platforms are changing the landscape for financial inclusion

In 2018 FiDA Partnership conducted interviews with several key platforms in Africa looking at how platform business models are evolving in terms of financial services. This blog discusses three important ways that platforms are changing the landscape for financial inclusionContinue reading

Three business model changes to make African platforms work better for financially excluded workers and merchants

As we explored platform business models, we found examples of practices that we hypothesize could impede the participation of the financially excluded. We discuss considerations for improving several business practices that could be problematic for financial inclusion, and we highlight three problems and offer suggestions for organizations to consider or areas for researchers to explore more deeplyContinue reading

Why African platforms are adding financial services to their business models

Why would a tractor company need to be in the insurance business? Why would a ride-hailing company start offering credit? It’s actually an old story. From store credit cards in the US and carnês de loja in Brazil, to Ally Financial—the bank started by General Motors—the line between financial services and consumer goods and services has always been blurry. We’re seeing this again: in the recent wave of platformization, platforms are getting into the finance game to support their core business. Continue reading