Mobile financial services have been widely recognized as a driver of financial inclusion for the rural poor. However, despite large sums of money being poured into mobile money, branchless banking, and mobile banking offerings around the world, enrollment numbers and usage rates remain low. Few services end up actually reaching those who need them the most.
When Grameen Foundation, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, partnered with two institutions offering microfinance services in Uganda to connect bank accounts to mobile money, we were keenly aware of this challenge. Extensive research was conducted to understand both the evolving customer needs and the existing operations at their branch offices. With these findings work with Centenary Bank and Pride Microfinance Ltd (MDI) was conducted to maximize adoption. This case study documents the original findings, recommendations for overcoming the adoption challenge, and the unique approaches each institution took to reach its customer base.