CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), an independent policy and research center housed at the World Bank Group, recently launched a series on its microfinance blog to promote discussions of savings services for poor people. Public participation is encouraged through the posting of comments to the website.
Mr Graham Wright, program director for Indian technical assistance and research center MicroSave, was the first to contribute to the series with a post titled “The Power of Successful, Market-led Savings Mobilization” . Mr Wright features the Grameen Bank, a Bangladeshi microfinance institution (MFI), and Equity Bank, an MFI based in Kenya, for their efforts to offer savings products and services. He purports that the following three key principles have enabled the MFIs to effectively mobilize savings: (1) savings must be mobilized from the larger public and not from poor people alone; (2) institutions should develop incentives to build up and maintain balances, disincentives to withdraw and revenue from transaction fees in order to control the costs associated with mobilizing savings; and (3) efforts must be directed towards developing management information systems, training programs, marketing tools and robust customer service.
By Jacqueline Foelster, Research Associate
About CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor): Housed at the World Bank Group, CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) is an independent policy and research center dedicated to facilitating the provision of financial access to poor people worldwide. CGAP is supported by approximately thirty development agencies and private foundations. Its mission is to provide market intelligence, to promote standards and to offer advisory services to governments, microfinance providers, donors and investors.
Sources and Additional Resources:
 CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) Microfinance Blog, http://microfinance.cgap.org/
MicroCapital.org Brief, March 21, 2011, “Nextmf.org Relaunched as Savings-Revolution.org Will Cover Community-Managed, Savings-Led Microfinance”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-nextmf-org-relaunched-as-savings-revolution-org-will-cover-community-managed-savings-led-microfinance/
MicroCapital.org Brief, February 15, 2011, “CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) Explores Over-Indebtedness in Microfinance Through New Blog Series”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-cgap-consultative-group-to-assist-the-poor-explores-over-indebtedness-in-microfinance-through-new-blog-series/
MicroCapital.org Brief, January 21, 2011, “CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) Drafts Technical Guide, ‘Advancing Savings Services: Resource Guide for Funders,’ for Public Review”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-cgap-consultative-group-to-assist-the-poor-drafts-technical-guide-advancing-savings-services-resource-guide-for-funders-for-public-review/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=CGAP+%28Consultative+Group+to+Assist+the+Poor%29
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Grameen Bank, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Grameen+Bank
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Equity Bank, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Equity+Bank
Browse the MicroCapital Universe and add your entry to the wiki at http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/