MIX News Brief: 26 April 2019

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26 April 2019

Every other week we post recent articles curated by our team of data analysts and financial sector experts.  The articles span sectors and topics including fintech, smallholder finance, mobile money and more.  The MIX News Brief is intended to keep socially responsible investors and businesses updated on the latest thinking on financial services for the poor because, at MIX, our mission is to provide the data, analytics and insight that enable decision makers to build inclusive financial services ecosystems.  Let us know what you think by tweeting at @mix_market!   


Understanding How Mobile-First Millennials Are Reshaping Expectations in the Retail Banking Industry (Facebook IQ)

You read that byline correctly: Facebook (IQ) published a new report exploring attitudes towards financial management in the digital age. Appropriately, the report is in a native digital format and covers nine countries: United States, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Indonesia, and Brazil. Interestingly - and maybe there is a lesson to be learned from this - the takeaways remain the same across the countries including giving consumers the ability and tools to manage their money on the go. Perhaps many of the findings from the survey (conducted by Accenture) are unsurprising, but reinforce the shifts in attitudes toward personal financial management.


Smallholder Households: Distinct Segments, Different Needs (CGAP)

CGAP released a new report - well, "Focus Note" - that is an important exercise in customer segmentation. Often grouped as a single segment, smallholder farmers and their households are diverse and have distinct needs.  The segments were defined based on three components: (1) crop and livestock sales, (2) amount of agricultural land, and (3) smallholder livelihood profile. The analysis of survey data from six countries resulted in three segments of smallholder farmers: Subsisting, Commercializing, and Diversifying.  With the information and characteristics included in this focus note, financial service providers can provide more tailored and, thus, more appropriate products for this important customer segment. 


No end to poverty without financial inclusion, says World Bank (FT)

"I really think we’re not going to eradicate poverty unless we have financial inclusion." Ceyla Pazarbasioglu of the World Bank offers a direct, succinct statement, which our team at MIX can certainly get behind. Though bullish on financial inclusion, Ms. Pazarbasioglu isn't naive as to the risks involved with financial services, highlighting the fact it must be done in the "right way" in order to create positive impact and not harm vulnerable populations. She goes on to add that fintech holds significant promise becasue it "...reduces costs, it’s much more efficient, it can be scaled up.”  But again, she acknowledges the importance of not ignoring the risks involved. While you're there, be sure to read the larger FT series titled Financial Inclusion: Middle East & Africa.