1 Rural Finance Knowledge Management Newsletter Knowledge Management Newsletter March 2008, Issue No. 9 Dear Readers, The Rural Finance Knowledge Management Partnership (KMP) is an initiative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Centre Internationale de Développement et de Recherche (CIDR), and MicroSave. It undertakes joint action research on rural finance issues in eastern and southern Africa. The partnership also aims to provide rural finance technical support to IFAD programmes and projects. Knowledge The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery Anais Nin IN THIS ISSUE Editorial 1 Rural Finance Thematic Workshop 2 Knowledge and Experience Sharing 5 Notes on Branchless banking in Kenya 9 Workshops & Training Opportunities 17 Announcements 18 News 21 This quarterly newsletter provides rural finance experiences and information in a user friendly manner to those who do not have internet connectivity. We appreciate your comments on how to make this newsletter more responsive to your needs. This issue highlights the upcoming annual regional rural finance thematic workshop to be held from 12 to 14 August 2008 in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The workshop will be co-hosted by KMP which is financially supported by IFAD, the Swedish Cooperative Centre and Vi Agroforestry (SCC-Vi), and the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). The theme of the workshop is The role of apex organizations in responsive product development and rural finance outreach. To achieve deeper outreach, rural finance institutions must develop products that respond to their customers needs and that are sensitive to the cyclical demand for financial services influenced by the risks of most agricultural lending. The workshop research paper will focus on microinsurance as one example of risk mitigation strategy. In addition, the co-hosts SCC-Vi and ICA, as well as selected IFAD projects and programmes in the region will share their experiences around this theme. This information is available on the website and you can also take the opportunity to register online. This issue also brings you Notes on regulating banking in Kenya. Given various pending legislations, Kenya has an opportunity to establish a regulatory environment that will support the development of a variety of branchless banking models. The Government of Kenya and the Central Bank have shown strong interest in branchless banking and are commited to instituting legal and regulatory changes that will support new technology-based products and services and enable increased outreach. Please take time to visit the website at org and register as a member to begin to benefit from news and events, downloadable resources and discussion forum. All past issues of this newsletters are also available on the website. Best wishes to all our readers, The RFKM Newsletter Editorial Team Editorial The Rural Finance Knowledge Management Newsletter is published quarterly. Readers are requested to send any articles on rural finance, field experiences, workshop, conference, and training announcements by to the RFKM Team for publication. A token of appreciation will be provided to readers who take time to write and submit articles to this newsletter.
2 Rural Finance Regional Thematic Workshop for East and Southern Africa Rural Finance Regional Thematic Workshop Theme: Role of apex organizations in responsive product development and rural finance outreach This joint workshop brings together rural finance experiences of three partners in the region the Swedish Cooperative Centre and Vi Agroforestry (SCC-Vi), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). Swedish Cooperative Centre and Vi Agroforestry The SCC was created by the Swedish Cooperative Movement in 1958 while the Vi Agroforestry rogramme was started in West Pokot, Kenya in In January 2006 the two organizations, with a common origin in the cooperative movement in Sweden, merged into one regional organization, SCC-Vi Eastern Africa. In southern Africa, SCC work is represented by SCC Southern Africa Regional Office as Vi Agroforestry carries out its work in the East African region only. Through long-term development work and help to self-help, SCC- Vi equip poor people with the tools needed to fight poverty. Its interventions in eastern and southern African are guided by its vision of A world free from poverty and injustice. SCC-Vi projects are financed through fundraising and by SIDA, the Swedish Agency for Development Cooperation. SCC has three strategic areas of intervention: agricultural development, food security and local business development; Housing and habit; and Financial services. For the period , over US$ 7 million has been committed for financial services projects in the eastern and southern African regions., SCC-Vi has established strong partnerships with rural finance players within the two regions, among them the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, Uganda Cooperative Alliance, Uchumi Commercial Bank in Tanzania, and Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperative, all in a bid to create access to rural financial services. SCC-Vi has also expanded its strategic focus in financial services and is looking into promoting microinsurance and financial literacy within the region. SCC-Vi has currently started both local and international partnerships with micro-insurance players like Cooperative Insurance Company of Kenya and Folksam Mutual Insurance Company of Sweden. Other players have also shown interest in the programmes. How IFAD comes in The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in It is one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. IFAD participation in this workshop is through the Rural Finance Knowledge Management Partnership (KMP) for East and Southern Africa. In December 2003, IFAD s President approved the provision of a grant to the Kenya Gatsby Trust (KGT) to support of KMP. This partnership which brought together IFAD, the French NGO Centre International de Développement and de Recherche (CIDR), and multidonor regional financial services initiative, MicroSave Africa (later replaced by Decentralised Financial Services), sought to strengthen IFAD s engagement in rural financial service delivery in eastern and southern Africa. It was envisaged that it would enhance the technical capacity in the region, and so strengthen the project supervision function, enhance IFAD s ability to engage in policy dialogue with its member countries, and enable it to learn more about rural financial service delivery in the region. The activities are carried out under four partly inter-linked components: (i) implementation support to IFAD-supported rural finance interventions, (ii) knowledge management and capacity building support to IFAD network, (iii) joint action research, and (iv) promoting rural finance policy dialogue.
3 The International Cooperative Alliance The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) was founded in 1895 is an independent, nongovernmental organization which unites, represents and serves cooperatives worldwide. It is the largest NGO in the world. ICA members are national and international cooperative organizations in all sectors of activity including agriculture, banking, fisheries, health, housing, industry, insurance, tourism and consumer cooperatives. Currently, ICA has 220 member organizations from 85 countries, representing more than 800 million individuals worldwide. ICA s Regional Office for Africa based in Nairobi has supported development of rural finance services in the region in project work, research and capacity building through the MICRONET network. In West Africa, ICA s regional office has supported cooperatives and women groups to implement micro-credit, micro-insurance and income-generating activities to reach the rural poor. In the past SCC-Vi, IFAD and ICA held separate thematic workshops but in 2007 the three organizations held their first joint rural finance thematic workshop in Kampala, Uganda. The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Finance Investment, Uganda and was a huge success. This time they have decided to bring together their experiences once again and learn from each other. This workshop is a follow up towards a long-term partnership, which aims to look at synergies that can be created to add value to each other s effort in improving access to financial services in the region. Workshop theme Networks play a key role in fostering synergy and promoting working together in various fields. They bring much-needed energy to bear and act as guiding posts in matters of policy, as well as providing direction on what their constituencies need. Networks and apex organizations provide the right forums to bridge the gap in information sharing and knowledge, and solidify social and economic development. In several instances, they have helped coordinate grassroots activities, lobbied for favorable legislation with governments, supported appropriate product development in rural finance services provision, and initiated development initiatives for efficient delivery of financial services to the rural poor. While networks have promoted some activities in the sector they are involved in, there is little evidence to bear on their role in responsive product development in rural finance development. Notwithstanding, there is great enthusiasm currently to get Apex bodies to be involved in the rural finance sector, particularly in developing responsive products for the poor. The question is, how can networks and apexes be used in deepening rural outreach? How can they encourage innovative products that respond to the needs of the rural poor? Some of the products that are in great demand such as micro-insurance and financial literacy, have not been given enough attention. Micro-insurance, for example, is a relatively new field and has not yet fully emerged as a distinct grassroots development sector by tailoring its products to the rural areas. However, a recent survey has established that the sector is already making small but significant progress in addressing the insurance needs of the poor. From the findings of above survey you did not talk about a survey before this pls put it in context, the insurance sector in the region has many players. In 2006, the sector had 83 insurance companies operating across the four countries which ones? with total assets of US$ 1.8 billion and gross premiums of US$ 0.7 billion. But despite this significant size, the sector is only serving a minute 1.6% of the total population in the four countries. This means that the livelihoods of over 98% of the population in eastern Africa are exposed to many risks inherent in life, many of which are insurable. As is common, the poor are the most exposed, and by extension, all povertyreduction efforts by development partners and the poor themselves are also exposed. IFAD, SCC and ICA as key development partners and promoters of rural financial development are particularly passionate about insuring the risks of the poor. Given the above scenario, how responsive is the nascent micro-insurance industry to the needs of the rural poor in offering products that inform and encourage innovative financial servicez provision for the rural poor? To achieve deeper outreach, rural finance institutions (RFIs) need to develop products that correspond to their customers needs and that are sensitive to the cyclical demands for financial services influenced by the risks of most agricultural lending. Most economic activities in rural areas are linked to the agricultural value chain. By virtue of their location, RFIs are better positioned to deliver simple and affordable products and services that offer value to poor customers. At Rural Finance Regional Thematic Workshop
4 Rural Finance Regional Thematic Workshop Micro-insurance will cover risks that small-scale food producers are not aware are insurable (above and next page). the same time, RFIs can gain a lot from apex organizations or partners willing to support development initiatives geared at increasing accessibility of micro-insurance services to the poor. This study explores the involvement of networks and apex organizations in responsive product development processes. Do they have any role to play? This is important to know in promoting collaborative work in rural development. Product development is the process of improving existing products or developing new products either for an organisation s existing market or for new types of clients. RFIs offer products for various purposes income generating, income smoothing and risk management, housing loans for home improvement, savings facilities for wealth accumulation to manage cost and risk aspects, microinsurance to mitigate against risk, money transfer and remittances, and agricultural finance. The term product for microfinance refers to financial services that customers purchase because they fulfill particular needs. This includes the manner in which the product is delivered. Study: A rapid survey of microinsurance providers in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda This report presents the findings of a rapid survey commissioned by the Swedish Cooperative Centre (SCC) and Vi Agroforestry in December 2007, on providers of insurance services to the poor (referred to as micro-insurance) in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The purpose of the survey was to review and explore the micro-insurance sector in the four countries to identify initiatives shaping developments, existing gaps and opportunities requiring intervention, and the main players. Case studies The study will be complimented by country-specific experiences of micro-insurance practices in select organizations in the region, and the role of RFIs networks in product development. The case studies will survey a sample of networks and their role in enhancing responsive products tailored to the rural poor. Emphasis will be on the role networks are playing in money transfer and remittances and in financial literacy, documenting RFI experiences, identifying satisfaction levels of rural clients, and involving of networks in designing these products. This will reveal if RFIs and financial service providers developing and rolling products have taken into account what their clients need and if networks have any influence in this activity. The case studies will seek to examine the role of networks in designing and innovating these products, and how apex organizations assist beneficiaries of financial services in rural areas. Experience of various networks on the above will be highlighted.
5 This theme aims to reveal in greater depth and evaluate the role networks play and how their activities can be improved for greater rural finance outreach, Workshop sub-themes and to enhance customer satisfaction and service delivery. These case studies will therefore showcase the role and experiences of networks and apex organizations in enhancing rural outreach (for responsive products) and their challenges. Role of apex organizations and networks in responsive product development for the rural poor and customer responses to micro-insurance Access to financial services contributes to rural development and poverty reduction by promoting income-generating activities and reducing vulnerability. While there is a considerable presence of RFIs serving rural communities, accessing relevant financial services has remained poor. In addition, RFIs offer a limited range of products that are not responsive to the financial needs of the rural poor. Factors hindering introduction of appropriately packaged financial services include lack of infrastructure, lack of a regulatory environment, high transaction costs, and risk attributed to low levels of economic activity. Developing new products also requires availability of resources and staff with capacity and expertise. RFIs generally have insufficient institutional capacity to handle a wide range of financial products. In this year s IFAD KMP (in collaboration with SCC and ICA) workshop, one of the subthemes will be exploring micro-insurance as a riskmitigating option for the rural poor in their quest to create wealth and reduce poverty. The financial services sector has recently witnessed an influx of players offering a variety of products. The question is whether all these players are truly meeting the financial needs of the rural poor. In its mandate to promote institutions that tailor relevant financial service delivery to the rural poor in southern and eastern Africa, IFAD through KMP is interested to find out the role played by apex organizations in facilitating product offerings that reflect current demand and that respond to the needs of rural poor communities. SCC-Vi in its vision to reduce poverty and injustice in the region, will be interested to learn how apex organizations can play an effective role in creating access to a basket of financial services for the rural poor, among their other roles as representative Rural Finance Regional Thematic Workshop
6 Atelier thematique regional de Finance rurale organizations for their member organizations. Several networks and apex organizations are involved in rural finance. What role do these organizations play in promoting responsive products? The Rural Finance Knowledge Management Project and its partners will explore the role they play and their contribution towards customer-responsive products. This part of the study will specifically examine the role of networks in promoting money transfer services and financial literacy to assist the rural poor. Two sub-themes will be discussed. 1. The main paper will discuss the micro-insurance supply landscape in the East African subregion. The study looks at policies and the regulatory environment for micro-insurance. It identifies key players in the micro-insurance sector with a view to establishing the extent to which they are addressing the needs of the poor. The study also identifies existing gaps and opportunities for intervention to increase accessibility to microinsurance services for the rural poor. As a followup, the sub-theme will review and discuss issues in micro-insurance and forge. The findings will provide a discussion platform to establish key approaches in developing responsive microinsurance products for the rural market. 2. The second sub-theme will review cases of apex organizations and their contribution in promoting money transfers and remittances and financial literacy as responsive products for the rural poor. This sub-theme will discuss the importance and responsiveness of financial literacy and financial remittances in meeting the needs of the rural poor. Challenges faced by networks and apex organizations face in providing these two products for the rural poor will form key highlights. A central issue in the discussions will be: do networks and apex organizations have a role in enhancing responsive products tailored to the rural poor? In second sub-theme discussions will aim to establish the rural finance networks or apex bodies existing in each country their role/mandates in the rural finance sector how they support innovative product development particularly with regard to the two products in question any innovative approaches they pursue in responsive product development that is noteworthy who consumes their services? the mechanisms in place to support product development or create awareness for responsive products in rural finance outreach
7 Atelier thematique regional de Finance rurale pour l Afrique australe et orientale Thème: «Le rôle des organismes d appui dans le développement des produits répondants aux besoins de l extension des institutions de finance rurale». Cet atelier commun réunit les expériences des trois partenaires sur la finance rurale dans la région; notamment le Centre Coopératif Suédois & Vi Agroforesterie (SCC-Vi), le Fond international pour le développement agricole (FIDA) et l Alliance Internationale Coopérative (AIC) opérant dans la région. Le Centre Coopératif Suédois et le Vi Agroforesterie Le SCC a été crée en 1958 par le Mouvement Coopératif Suédois, tandis que le Programme Vi a commencé en 1983 dans le Pokotouest au Kenya. En janvier 2006, les deux organisations, ayant une origine commune du mouvement coopératif en Suède, dans la région de l Afrique de l est, se sont intégrées dans une organisation régionale, le SCC-Vi de l Afrique de l Est. Bien qu en Afrique australe le travail du SCC-Vi est représenté par le Bureau Régional de l Afrique Australe et le Vi Agroforesterie est seulement présent en Afrique de l est. A travers un travail de développement à long terme et l aide à autosuffisance le SCC et le Vi Agroforesterie ont équipé les pauvres avec des outils nécessaires pour combattre eux mêmes la pauvreté. Les interventions du SCC-Vi dans la région sont guidées par sa vision d un monde libre de pauvreté et d injustice. Les projets de SCC-Vi sont financés à travers la collecte de fonds et par l Agence Suédoise pour le Développement de la Coopération (SIDA). Le SCC a cinq domaines stratégiques d intervention dont le developpement agricole, la securité alimentaire et les activités génératrices de revenue communautaire, l habitat, et les services financiers. Au cours de la période allant de 2006 à 2008, plus de USD 7 million ont été déboursés pour les projets des services financiers dans la région de l Afrique Australe et Orientale. Dans ces deux régions, le SCC- Vi a établi des fortes relations de partenariat avec les acteurs opérant dans les finances rurales, entre autres : la Banque Coopérative du Kenya, l Alliance de Coopérative de l Ouganda, la Banque Commerciale Uchumi en Tanzanie, et l Union des Coopératives et d Epargne du Malawi, tout cela dans le but de faciliter l accès aux services financiers ruraux. Le SCC-Vi a aussi étendu sa stratégie pour inclure les services financiers et se penche sur la promotion de la micro-assurance et l alphabetisation financière au sein de la région. Le SCC et Vi Agroforesterie ont actuellement débuté ensemble un partenariat local et international avec les acteurs de la micro-assurance tels que la Société Coopérative d Assurance du Kenya et la Société Mutuelle de Coopérative de Suède (Folksam). D autres acteurs ont aussi manifesté leur intérêt pour ce programme. Le Fonds International pour le Développement Agricole Le Fonds International pour le Développement Agricole (FIDA), une agence spécialisée des Nations Unies, a été établi comme une institution financière internationale en 1977 comme un des résultats majeurs de la Conférence mondiale sur l Alimentation tenue en La participation du FIDA dans cet atelier, se manifeste à travers le cadre d un partenariat sur la gestion des connaissances pour l Afrique australe et orientale (KMP). En décembre 2003, le président du FIDA a approuvé l octroi d une subvention à l ONG Kenya Gatsby Trust (KGT) en vue de soutenir le partenariat de la KMP. Le partenariat qui avait pour but de réunir le FIDA, l ONG française, le Centre International de recherche pour le développement (CIDR) et l Initiative des Services Financiers Multilatérale, connue sous l acronyme MicroSave Africa (plus tard remplacée par les Services Financiers Décentralisés) poursuivent l objectif de renforcer l engagement du FIDA dans la provision de service financier en Afrique de l est et australe. Spécifiquement, il était prévu que cela renforcerait la capacité technique dans la région et ainsi que la fonction de la supervision, aussi bien que permettre au FIDA de mieux s engager dans la dialogue avec ses pays membres sur la politique, et lui permettre d apprendre d avantange à propos sur la provision des services financiers rural dans la région. Les activités sont entreprises en partie par quatre sous- composantes interdépendants: (i) appui à l exécution des interventions de la finance rurales soutenues FIDA ; Atelier thematique regional de Finance rurale
8 Atelier thematique regional de Finance rurale (ii) la gestion des connaissances et appui au renforcement des capacités des réseaux supportés par le FIDA, (iii) sur les actions commune sur la recherche ; et (iv) la promotion du dialogue sur la politique des finances rurales. L Alliance Internationale de Coopérative L Alliance Internationale de Coopérative (ICA) qui a été fondée en 1895, est une organisation indépendante, non-gouvernementale qui unit, représente et sert les coopératives à travers le monde. C est la plus grande organisation nongouvernementale au monde. Les membres de l AIC sont des organisations coopératives tant nationales qu internationales, représentées dans tous les secteurs d activités y inclus l agriculture, le secteur bancaire, la pêche, la santé, l habitat, l industrie, l assurance, le tourisme et les membres des coopératives. Actuellement, l ICA a 220 organisations membres dans 85 pays, représentant plus de 800 million d individus à travers le monde. Le bureau régional pour l Afrique basé à Nairobi a appuyé le développement des services financiers ruraux dans la région à travers les projets, de la recherche et renforcement des capacités à travers le réseau MICRONET. Le bureau régional en Afrique de l ouest, le Bureau Régional de l AIC a appuyé les coopératives et les groupes des femmes pour exécuter les projets de microcrédit, de la micro-assurance et les activités génératrices des revenus pour atteindre le pauvre rural. Dans le passé chacun d entre eux (SCC-Vi, IFAD et ICA) a tenu separement des ateliers thematiques, mais l année dernière (2007), les trois organisations ont tenu leur premier atelier thématique commun sur la finance rurale à Kampala, Ouganda. Cette fois-ci ils ont décidé de partager leurs expériences et d apprendre les uns des autres. Cet atelier est un suivi vers un partenariat à long terme, dont l objectif est de créer les synergies qui peuvent ajouter un plus value aux efforts de chacun des partenaires pour l amélioration d accès aux services financiers dans la région. Le thème de l atelier Les réseaux ont toujours joué un rôle important sur la promotion de la synergie et du travail en commun dans divers domaines. Ils apportent beaucoup d énergie exigée pour appuyer et agir qui guide la formulation de politique et donner une direction sur ce que leurs clientèles ont besoin. Les réseaux ou les organisations d appui constituent les forums appropriées pour combler le retard dans le partage de l information et des connaissances, et renforcer le processus de développement social et économique. Dans plusieurs cas, ils ont aidé la coordination des activités, fait pression sur l adoption des législations favorables par les wv gouvernements, appuyer le développement des produits appropriés dans la provision des services financiers en milieu rural, et ont également initié le développement des initiatives dans leur secteurs pour une provision effective des services financiers en milieu rural défavorisé. Tandis qu il est clair que les reseaux ont encouragé certaines activites dans les secteurs dans lesquels ils sont impliqués, il existe peu d évidences sur le rôle qu ils jouent dans le développement de produit approprié aux besoins. Néanmoins, Il y a actuellement un enthousiasme évident d impliquer les organes d appui dans les activités courantes du secteur de finance rural, en particulier dans la mise en place des produits qui répondent aux besoins des pauvres. La question la plus importante est de savoir comment utiliser les réseaux ou les organismes d appui pour accélérer l extension des finances rurales? Et aussi comment encourager la mise en place des produits innovateurs qui répondent aux besoins du pauvre rural? Certains de ces produits qui sont très demandés et sur lesquels on n a pas accordé suffisamment d attention sont la microassurance et l alphabétisation financière. La micro-assurance par exemple est un domaine relativement nouvel et n a pas encore complètement émergé comme un secteur distinct du développement à la base en créant des produits spécifiques des régions rurales. Cependant, une étude récente a établi que le secteur fait relativement un peu des progrès mais néanmoins significatifs en ce qui concerne les besoins de l assurance du pauvre. A partir des conclusions de l étude citée ci dessus, le secteur de l assurance dans la région compte beaucoup d intervenants. En 2006, le secteur était représenté par 83 compagnies d assurances opérant dans quatre pays avec un portefeuille de 1,8 milliards USD et un volume assure d assurance de 0,7 milliard USD Mais en dépit de ce volume considérable, le secteur sert seulement 1.6 % de la population totale des quatre pays sans considérer les pauvres. Ces chiffrent reflètent le fait que 98 % de la population en Afrique de l Est est exposé aux risques innombrables de la vie, dont beaucoup seraient assurables. Comme c est souvent le cas, les pauvres sont les plus exposés, et par conséquent, par extension, tous les efforts de la réduction de la pauvreté entrepris par les
9 partenaires de développement et le pauvre eux-mêmes sont aussi exposés. Le FIDA, le SCC et l ICA étant des partenaires du développement et des promoteurs du développement des finances rurales sont particulièrement concernés par le manque d assurance contre les risques pour les pauvres. En considérant les faits mentionnés ci-dessus, il serait intéressant de trouver combien l industrie de la microassurance répond aux besoins du pauvre rural en termes d offrir le produit avec l objective d informer et d encourager la mise en place de la provision des services financiers innovants pour le pauvre. Pour accomplir une extension plus large, les institutions de la finance rurales (IFR) doivent développer des produits qui répondent aux besoins de leurs clients et qui sont adaptés à la demande cyclique pour les services financiers qui sont influencés par les risques des prêts agricoles. La plupart des activités économiques dans les régions rurales sont liées à la chaîne de valeur agricole. Les IFR, en vertu de leur localisation sont mieux placées pour pourvoir les produits et services qui ajoutent les plus values à leurs clients. En même temps, les IFR peuvent beaucoup gagner des organisations d appui ou partenaires qui sont prêts à supporter le développement des initiatives ayant pour objectif d augmenter l accessibilité comme par exemple aux services de micro-assurance par les pauvres. D où la nécessité d explorer dans cette étude l implication des organisations d appui et des réseaux dans le processus de développement des produits appropriés. Est-ce qu ils ont un rôle à jouer? Il est important de répondre à cette question pour mieux promouvoir le travail collaboratif en développement rural. Le développement d un produit peut être défini comme le processus d améliorer des produits existants ou le développement d un nouvel produit soit pour l organisation du marché existant ou pour de nouveaux types de clients. Les IFR offrent des produits pour des buts divers: génération des revenues, les stabilisation des revenues et gestion des risques, prêt pour l amélioration de l habitat, facilités d épargnes pour l accumulation de la richesse pour gérer les aspects des coût et risque de la finance agricole, la micro assurance pour alléger le risque, le transfert d argent et la finance agricole. Le terme produit se définie ici comme les services financiers auxquels les clients souscrivent car ils répondent à des besoins particuliers. Ceci inclus également la manière que le produit est livré aux clients. La recherche : Une étude rapide sur les pourvoyeurs de la microassurance au Kenya, en Ouganda en Tanzanie et au Rwanda Ce rapport présente les conclusions d une étude rapide commanditée en decembre 2007 par SCC et Vi Agroforestrie sur les fournisseurs des services d assurance aux pauvres (auxquels on se réfère comme la microassurance) au Kenya, en Ouganda, en Tanzanie et au Rwanda. Le but de l étude etait d examiner et d explorer le secteur de la microassurance à partir de l aspect de la provision dans les quatre pays avec une vue d identifier des initiatives qui déterminent le court de développement dans le secteur, les écarts existants et les opportunités necessitant l intervention ; et les pricipaux acteurs dans le secteur. Etude des cas : En plus, l étude sera complétée par des expériences spécifiques des pays reflétant ainsi la pratique de la micro-assurance par quelques organisations dans la région avec des cas d etude qui couvriront le rôle des réseaux dans le développement des produits appropriés par les institutions financières rurales (IFR). Le cas d espèces par pays examinera un échantillon de réseaux et leur rôle dans l amélioration des produits appropriés conçus pour répondre aux besoins du pauvre rural. Un accent particulier sera accordé à l examen de deux produits (le transfert et envois d argent et l alphabétisation financière) inventorier les expériences des IFR, les niveaux de satisfaction des clients ruraux et la participation de réseaux dans la conception de ces produits. Cela révélera si ces développeurs et fournisseurs des services financiers des produits ont tenu compte des besoins de leur client et quelle est l influence des réseaux sur ce processus. Le cas d espèces tentera d examiner; le rôle de réseaux dans la conception et l innovation de ces produits et comment les organisations d appui ont porté une assistance aux bénéficiaires de services financiers dans les régions rurales. L expérience de divers Réseaux sera mise en exergue. Cette partie du thème vise de révéler en détail et évaluer le rôle joué par les réseaux et comment cela peut être amélioré pour une extension plus large des services financiers en milieu rurale, en améliorant la satisfaction du client et la provision de service. Ces études des cas refléteront ainsi le rôle et expériences qui mettent en exergue la contribution des réseaux et organismes d appui dans l amélioration des services financiers et les défis auxquels ils font face. Atelier thematique regional de Finance rurale
10 Sous-thèmes de l Atelier : Le rôle des organismes d appui dans le développement des produits répondants aux besoins de l extension des institutions de finances rurale, et la l attitude de la microassurance par rapport aux besoins des clients Atelier thematique regional de Finance rurale L accès aux services financiers contribue au développement rural et à la réduction de la pauvreté en améliorant la génération des revenus et en réduisant la vulnérabilité. Bien qu il y ait une présence significative des IFR qui sert les communautés rurales, l accès aux services financiers reste encore limité. En plus, la gamme de produits offerte par les IFR a tendance à être limité en terme de diversité et ne sont pas appropriés aux besoins financiers du pauvre rural. Certains des facteurs qui entravent l introduction de services financiers convenablement conçus sont: le développement des infrastructures, une structure de régulation, le coût élevé des transactions et le risque attribué aux niveaux réduits des activités économiques. Le développement de nouveaux produits requiert aussi la disponibilité de ressources et un personnel capable et compétent. Les IFR ont généralement une capacité institutionnelle insuffisante pour gérer une large gamme de produits financiers. Le thème de cette année explorera la micro-assurance comme une option qui atténue les risques pour le pauvre rural dans leur désir de créer la richesse et réduire la pauvreté. Récemment, le secteur des services financier a connu un afflux considérable d intervenants offrant une variété des produits. Cela pousse à se demander si tous ces intervenants servent vraiment les besoins financiers du pauvre dans les milieux ruraux. Dans son mandat de promouvoir les institutions qui conçoivent les services financiers appropriés pour le pauvre rural de l Afrique Australe et Orientale, le FIDA, à travers le KMP, serait intéressé de connaitre les rôles joué par les organisations d appui dans la facilitation de la mise en place des produits qui reflètent la demande actuelle et répondent au mieux aux besoins des communautés pauvres rurales. Le SCC-Vi dans vision de réduire la pauvreté et les injustices de la région, serait intéressé de savoir comment les organisations d appui peuvent jouer un rôle effectif en créant l access a un ensemble des services financiers pour le pauvre rural, parmi tant d autres rôles comme représentations de leurs organisations. Il y a un nombre de réseaux et des organismes d appui (comme c est le cas peut être) qui sont impliqués d une façon ou d une autre dans le secteur de finance rurale. Quel rôle ont ces organisations dans la promotion des produits appropriés? Le KMP, avec ses partenaires, veulent plus explorer sur le rôle joué et la contribution de ces organismes d appui ou les réseaux sur les produits appropriés. Cette composante de l étude principale examinera spécifiquement le rôle de réseaux dans la promotion des services du transfert d argent et d alphabétisation financière pour aider le pauvre rural. Le prochain atelier a ainsi deux sous thèmes qui seront soumis aux débats dont : 1. L article principal, se penchera sur l environnement de la provision de la microassurance dans la région de l Afrique de l Est. Cette étude examine les politiques et la structure de régulation de la micro-assurance. Elle identifie les principaux acteurs dans le secteur de la micro-assurance avec le but d établir l ampleur avec laquelle ils adressent les besoins des pauvres à travers la micro-assurance. L étude identifie aussi les écarts existants et les opportunités pour augmenter l accessibilité aux services de la micro-assurance aux pauvres du milieu rural. Comme suivi, ce sous-thème essayera d examiner les problèmes liés à la micro-assurance et initiera une discussion sur ce sujet. Les observations et commentaires constitueront ainsi une plateforme pour les discussions pour établir quelles approches seraient importantes dans le developpement des produits appropriés de la micro-assurance pour le marché rurale. 2. L autre sous thème examinera les cas des organisations d appui et leur contribution dans la promotion de transferts/rémission d argent, et l alphabétisation financière comme produits approprié pour le rural pauvre. Le rôle d envoi de l argent pour protéger les ruraux contre la pauvreté sera discuté aussi bien que l importance/impact d alphabétisation financière pour aider le pauvre de la zone rurale à s approprier les produits financiers adéquats. Les défis auxquels les réseaux et les organismes font face pour améliorer la provision des services financiers pour le pauvre de la zone rurale en mettant un accent sur le développement des produits appropriés formeront les thèmes clés des discussions. 10
11 Une question centrale sera d établir ; si les réseaux ou les organismes d appui ont un rôle dans la mise en place des produits appropriés conçus par rapport aux besoins des pauvres ruraux? Dans ce sous-thème, les discussions auront pour but d établir si dans chaque pays quels sont les réseaux et les organismes d appui qui existent et leurs rôles et mandats en rapport au secteur de finance rural. Qui sont-ils? Pourquoi est-ce qu ils existent? (Est-ce qu ils jouent vraiment un rôle?), Comment est-ce qu ils soutiennent en particulier le développement des produits innovateurs, en particulier par rapport aux deux produits mentionnés ci-dessus? Qui sont leurs clients? Quels mécanismes est-ce qu ils ont qui a un impact sur la finance rurale? Atelier thematique regional de Finance rurale 11
12 Experience and Knowledge Sharing minimum capital and liquidity requirements, and restrictions on how e-money proceeds may be held or, for payment service providers, restrictions on permitted investment of funds held pending transfer. Experience and Knowledge Sharing Notes on regulating branchless banking in Kenya Given the various legislative initiatives pending, Kenya has an excellent opportunity to establish a regulatory environment that will support the development of a variety of branchless banking models. The Government of Kenya and the Central Bank have shown strong interest in branchless banking and are committed to instituting legal and regulatory changes that will support new technology-based products and services, and enable increased outreach. Branchless banking in Kenya is in its early stages, with a limited number of providers that are operational and at least one additional provider expected to enter the market in the near future. These initial forays into branchless banking have been undertaken with the approval of the government and financial regulators. The pioneer of branchless banking in Kenya mobile phone operator Safaricom and its M-PESA service, a nonbank-based model appears to be free of any financial regulations as long as services provided do not fall within the definition of banking business under the Banking Act. This is due partly to the language of the banking law as well as the lack of a legal framework for nonbank e-money issuers and payment service providers. Although Safaricom may avoid taking undue risks for reasons of self-interest, given the company s well-established reputation and its important backers the general lack of regulatory guidance and oversight over such activities presents the possibility of increased risk to customers of branchless banking as well as to the financial sector, generally, if less responsible actors enter the field. Appropriate regulation of e-money issuers and payment service providers would include reporting regulations, In contrast, the primary hindrance to the use and growth of the bank-based model is the Central Bank s ad hoc approach to outsourcing: the Central Bank approves a bank s use of agents on a case-by-case basis without clear guidance on which activities may be outsourced and without articulated standards or criteria for agents or their oversight. And, although the law and regulations applicable to microfinance institutions (MFIs) are not yet in force, MFIs will face a similar situation. Finally, although the current regime for anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism is thin meaning? and generally not problematic for branchless banking, a draft antimoney laudnering/combating financing of terrorism bill would impose burdensome requirements on small-value transactions and remote account openings. Ideally, these requirements will be revised to provide a risk-based approach that will permit both the bankbased and nonbank-based models to thrive. The following notes offer further detail on CGAP s [pls spell out] findings of its diagnostic assessment of branchless banking in Kenya. Similar notes will be released on Brazil, India, the Philippines, Russia, and South Africa. 12
13 Background: CGAP, Branchless Banking And Policy Diagnostics CGAP is a global resource center for microfinance standards, operational tools, training and advisory services. Its members bilateral, multilateral, and private donors are committed to building more inclusive financial systems for the poor. The CGAP Technology Programme is a multi-year learning initiative cofunded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to find and test promising technology solutions that improve access to finance. CGAP defines branchless banking as the delivery of financial services outside conventional banking using information and communications technology and nonbank retail agents. Because of the potential to radically reduce the cost of delivery and to increase convenience for customers, branchless banking can expand coverage to previously unserved segments of the population. Technology can help a range of market actors push the boundaries of access to finance, including not only banks but also microfinance institutions (MFIs), mobile phone operators, and technology companies. Defining branchless banking There are two models of branchless banking. Both use nonbank retail agents, such as merchants, supermarkets or post offices, to deliver financial services outside of traditional bank branches. In the bankbased model, a licensed financial institution delivers financial services through a retail agent who is equipped to communicate directly with the bank, typically using either a mobile phone or a point-of-sale (POS) device. The customer account is maintained with the bank but is operated through the agent. In the nonbank-based model, a firm, such as a mobile operator or prepaid card issuer, uses retail agents to offer customers e-money accounts. Clients exchange cash for e-money stored in a virtual account on the nonbank s server. The balance in the account can be used to make payments, store funds for future use, transfer funds, or convert back to cash at agents. Nonbanks may use commercial banks to hold the net proceeds of e-money issued by the nonbank. CGAP mission in Kenya From 22 February to 2 March 2007, CGAP conducted a mission in Kenya to analyze the policy, legal, and regulatory environment for branchless banking. This article summarizes CGAP s observations. The CGAP team conducted 25 interviews with 56 representatives of a wide range of stakeholders in Kenya the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC), commercial banks, MFIs, the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank (Postbank), mobile network operators, technology firms, donor agencies, and other knowledgeable parties. Kenya was the second in a sevencountry survey, because it is in the forefront of nonbank-based branchless banking. Safaricom, a mobile operator jointly owned by Vodafone and the Kenyan government, operates M-PESA, a mobile phone-based payment service that has 500,000 registered users. Banks and MFIs are also exploring business models that use technology channels to reach unbanked clients. Kenyan regulators and policymakers are interested in branchless banking and have examined other countries legal and regulatory regimes for these approaches. Highlights Safaricom launched its M-PESA service in March It is the first e-money product offered by a nonbank in Kenya. Banking laws and regulations do not set clear standards regarding the use of agents to Experience and Knowledge Sharing 13
14 Experience and Knowledge Sharing perform banking functions. In contrast, nonbanks are permitted to perform various payment functions virtually unregulated. There are good chances for positive change through pending legislative initiatives in banking, microfinance, payment systems, and AML/CFT regulation, and with government and Central Bank s commitment to create an enabling environment for branchless banking. 2. State of play: government authorities The Government of Kenya is aware that the existing legal and regulatory framework (including banking, payment systems, and telecommunications) does not offer an optimal situation for the development and use of branchless banking models. In the run-up to the M-PESA launch, Ministry of Information and Telecomunnications, the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Kenya met to discuss the legal and policy implications of the M-PESA model. Varied reactions from different government authorities to M-PESA illustrated the need for coordination among policymakers and regulators to ensure that (i) the regulatory environment is open and clear to foster innovation and growth and (ii) regulators are able to engage in adequate oversight to ensure the safe and healthy development of branchless banking. The government is now working on a Comprehensive Financial Sector Reform and Development Strategy. Improving access to finance will be one of the strategy s three main pillars; the other two are safety and efficiency. The Central Bank of Kenya s involvement Two CBK departments have been involved in this effort. The Financial Institutions Supervision Department is responsible for the prudential regulation of banks and deposit-taking MFIs. Its primary concern regarding nonbank-based models (such as Safaricom s M-PESA service) has been whether the operator (Safaricom) is stretching or even breaking the banking rules. The National Payment System (NPS) Division of the Banking and NPS Department, focuses on the integrity, effectiveness, efficiency and security of the payment system and views M-PESA as a payment service provider. The NPS Division appears more willing than the Financial Institutions Supervision Department to permit experimentation with the nonbank-based model of branchless banking. However, it is important to note that because of the lack of a law on the payments system, the NPS Division does not currently have the necessary tools (including specific regulations) to supervise the payment system. With regard to bank-based models, CBK is approving agents on an ad hoc basis. It exercises its approval right in its sole discretion without any clear standards. There is a strong willingness within CBK (as well as within MoF) to implement necessary legal and regulatory changes to facilitate branchless banking. CBK has invited and taken into account comments on all ongoing legislative changes relevant to branchless banking (including 14
15 ATM network. Some banks are connected to both ATM switches. revisions to the Banking Act, regulations that will apply to depositary MFIs, the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, and the new National Payment System Bill). The Communications Commission of Kenya and the Ministry of Information and Communication The telecommunications regulator, CCK, and the National Communications Secretariat (housed in MoIC) agree that the Central Bank should oversee financial services offered by mobile network operators. CCK has minimal requirements regarding mobile phone operators involvement in financial services (that is, listing the specific services in the license). Under the draft Kenya Communications Amendment Bill, 2007, MoIC (a strong supporter of M-PESA from the beginning) would have a regulatory role touching on branchless banking. However, CBK is understood to be primarily responsible for regulating and supervising the payments system. 3. State of Play: Industry As in most developing countries, access to finance is limited in Kenya. An estimated 19 percent of the adult population has access to formal financial services through banks, with an additional 8 percent served by MFIs and savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs). Mobile phone penetration is much higher; 55 percent of Kenyans either own a phone or have access via family or friends. Kenyan banks have limited infrastructure for reaching out to customers. The number of bank branches (542) has only recently started to increase after years of decline. The number of ATMs has doubled in the past two years to more than 700, but the figure of two ATMs per 100,000 people reflects the limited outreach of the Kenyan banking sector. Many banks have their own ATM switch. In addition, there are two larger ATM switches: Kenswitch, which was set up by a consortium of smaller banks, and PesaPoint, an Banking is relatively expensive in Kenya. A recent survey of barriers to banking, using data from 62 countries, indicates that minimum balances required by Kenyan banks are quite high. The average minimum balance in Kenya equaled 44 percent of GDP per capita, versus the 62- country average of 8 percent. Annual fees in Kenya are also high, at 2 percent of GDP per capita versus 0.38 percent. Some banks, especially those targeting the lower end of the market, have started exploring branchless banking models but most are still at the planning stage. Payment services The main payment service providers in Kenya today are banks and other licensed financial institutions, notwithstanding the limited number of bank branches. Foreign exchange bureaus licensed by CBK also provide payment services, such as foreign exchange spot transactions, telegraphic transfers, bank drafts and third-party cheques. A few new branchless banking services offering money transfers have recently sprung up. K-Rep Bank, in partnership with mobile service provider Celtel and software provider Packetstream, has launched a money transfer service facilitated by POS terminals and with mobile phones facilitating data transfers. Both the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank (Postbank) and the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) are rolling out POS terminals in post offices, which will allow for easy money transfers. Every active Postbank customer will be converted to a card-based system. PCK offers PostaPay, a domestic and international money transfer service. Experience and Knowledge Sharing 15
16 Experience and Knowledge Sharing Safaricom, one of two mobile network operators in Kenya, launched its M-PESA mobile financial services product earlier this year. M-PESA is a separate e- wallet on the mobile that can be used (i) to deposit and withdraw money at an M-PESA agent, and (ii) to send money and buy prepaid airtime via SMS. Agents include Safaricom dealers and other retailers with distribution networks, such as petrol stations. M-PESA agents are not agents in the legal sense because they are not authorized to act on behalf of Safaricom; rather, they are independent providers of a Safaricom service. Safaricom s standard agreement specifies that Safaricom is not liable for any loss to the agent or for any claim made against the agent by a third party. PesaPoint, an independent ATM network that may be used by customers of partner financial institutions and VISA card holders, has recently developed a deferred payments service called WagePoint for companies that pay their employees in cash. The employer provides its employees with magstripe cards, which can be used by the??????? M-PESA neither a bank nor payment service provider Before M-PESA s launch in March 2007, Safaricom received a letter from CBK that stopped short of officially approving the product. Based on reports from parties involved (but without having had access to the letter itself), the letter refers to CBK s broad authority to regulate the payment system under the CBK Act and states that Safaricom s M-PESA activities will be subject to the National Payment Systems Bill once it becomes law. The letter reportedly also states that Safaricom should establish a full audit trail for all transactions and abide by the draft Anti-Money Laundering Bill. Although M-PESA involves accepting repayable funds from the public, Safaricom structured the product in such a way that it falls outside the definition of banking business. This gives the impression SAFARICOM did this deliberately Specifically, the proceeds from issuing e- money are held by M-PESA Trust Co. Ltd. in trust for the clients in a pooled account with the Commercial Bank of Africa. Any interest earned on this pooled account cannot benefit Safaricom (without triggering the definition of banking business ); use of interest proceeds is currently under consideration. Customer claims against M-PESA Trust Co. Ltd. arising from negligence or intentional wrongdoing by the trust company or by Safaricom shall be covered by Safaricom. In addition, caps on the maximum account balance (about US$ 750) and maximum transaction size (about US$ 530) provide CBK with additional comfort because they limit the risks of money laundering and the amount any individual customer could lose in case of insolvency, or employees who withdraw their salaries either at an ATM on the company s premises or, for a fee, at other PesaPoint ATMs. The employer keeps the aggregate salary amounts in a pooled account with a commercial bank. The portion of any employee s salary that has not been withdrawn is considered an asset of the employer, meaning the employee faces a risk of loss in the case of financial failure of the employer. It is not clear how this risk is being addressed. Banking activities Equity Bank, Kenya s largest bank by number of clients (1.4 million), is offering cash-out services at supermarkets but only in combination with the purchase of goods and subject to limitations on how much may be withdrawn in any one transaction. None of the Kenyan banks is currently using agents to conduct both cash-in and cashout services. Typical alternative delivery channels include ATMs (for those customers able to reach an ATM), SMS banking, and internet banking. The latter two generally allow for limited services (as opposed to payments to third parties). 16
17 Jamii Bora A few MFIs that are preparing to apply for a license to be a deposit-taking MFIs under the new Microfinance Act. They see branchless banking as an integral part of their growth strategy. One MFI, Jamii Bora, has already equipped all of its branches and field staff with POS terminals and its 150,000 members with magstripe cards. This technology allows for real-time settlement of all transactions through Jamii Bora s own POS switch, although there is no interoperability with other institutions. mtranzact mtranzact, a technology firm, offers a package of services that will allow a bank to offer its customers transactions via any mobile phone network and Visaand MasterCard-certified POS terminals. The system will allow for the switching of transactions between mobile networks and banks. 4. State of play: clients According to a recent survey, 29 percent of Kenyans send text messages from their mobile phone, 21 percent use sambaza (the transfer of prepaid airtime from one phone to another), and 25 percent have heard of doing banking on mobile phones. These figures are much higher in the capital, Nairobi (61 percent, 55 percent, and 51 percent, respectively). 5. The current legal and regulatory framework for branchless banking In Kenya, branchless banking has the potential to increase poor people s access to financial services if, among other important preconditions, regulation (i) sets objective and transparent standards regarding the permitted use of agents, thereby increasing the number of service points; (ii) eases account opening (both on site and remotely) while maintaining adequate know your customer standards, and (iii) permits a range of players (subject to appropriate supervision) to provide payment services and to issue e-money, thereby enabling innovation from multiple sources. (See Regulation of Branchless Banking in Kenya) 5.1 Use of agents The Banking Act does not specifically address the issue of banks using agents to carry out banking activities, nor are there any regulations explicitly governing the outsourcing of functions by banks. Instead, outsourcing is approved by CBK on a case-by-case basis. The regulations applicable to depositary MFIs also would require CBK approval of all agents. In contrast, nonbank institutions are not under such restrictions. 5.1.a. Definition of banking business and banks use of agents The Banking Act requires that banking business be conducted only by an institution that holds a valid license as a bank. Banking business is defined as having two main elements: the acceptance of money from the public on deposit or on current account and the use of this money by lending, investment or in any other manner for the account and at the risk of the person so employing the money. Further, a bank may transact banking business only at its head office or any branch or place of business, neither of which may be opened, closed, or moved without the prior approval of CBK. It is unlikely that an agent would be considered a branch given the common interpretation of the term and the application requirements for branches (which include payment of a licensing fee). It is not clear whether the term place of business includes agents. Notwithstanding the possible legal limitation on an agent conducting banking business, this limitation would not appear to apply to outsourcing deposits taken alone as long as the agent does not loan, invest, or otherwise put the money at risk as part of its agency functions. There always will be operational risk, such as fraud or theft; however, this risk of loss would not recharacterize the agent s activities. 5.1.b. Use of agents by MFIs and other non-banks The Microfinance Act governs all persons or institutions conducting deposit-taking microfinance business other than that specifically exempted under the Act, such as banks. A deposit-taking MFI must obtain CBK approval before opening or closing any place of business (defined in the Microfinance Act to include agencies ). The Microfinance Act leaves it to the Ministry of Finance to prescribe regulations for nondepositary MFIs. Given that such institutions are not subject to any restrictions under the Microfinance Act itself, the ability of a credit-only MFI to use an agent depends on the common law of agency. Regarding other nonbanks use of agents, there are no specific restrictions applicable in Kenyan law. Experience and Knowledge Sharing 17
18 5.2 Payment systems regulation Experience and Knowledge Sharing There is no law in Kenya expressly governing payment systems. Under the Central Bank of Kenya Act, CBK has a broad mandate to formulate and implement such policies as best to promote the establishment, regulation and supervision of efficient and effective payment, clearing and settlement systems. In 2004, CBK published a framework and Page 7 of 19 Notes on Regulation of Branchless Banking in Kenya strategy document on the payment system but has not yet issued any policies. The draft National Payment System Bill is expected to be finalized soon and forwarded to Parliament. Currently, in the absence of a payment system law, CBK s Payment Systems Division has the authority to ask for information from nonbank payment service providers, but it does not have the power to inspect them. Nonbanks may provide local currency payment services if doing so does not ultimately fall under the definition of banking business (see section 5.1.a above). There are no specific customer due diligence or know-your-customer rules for nonbanks that provide payment services although this is expected to change when the new AML/CFT law is passed. 5.3 Regulating e-money Kenya has no laws, regulations or policies dealing directly with e-money. The draft Kenya Communications Amendment Bill, 2007, will likely affect e- money issuers. Recently, there have been discussions about drafting an e-transactions law that would replace the provisions governing e-money and other forms of e-commerce currently contained in the draft Communications Bill. Notwithstanding these possible new laws, the primary regulator of e-money issuers and transferors will be a financial regulator (which, according to the National Payment System Bill, will be the CBK). In the absence of a legal framework, issuing of e-money by a licensed financial institution does not appear to raise any issues with CBK. With regard to nonbanks, CBK s current approach seems to depend on whether the activities involved in e-money issuance fall under the definition of banking business in the Banking Act or deposit-taking microfinance business in the Microfinance Act. As mentioned, a nonbank can avoid falling under the definition of banking business by not lending, investing or otherwise placing at the risk of such nonbank institution the funds mobilized (in this case the e-money proceeds). It is likely that the same conclusion will apply to the definition of deposit-taking microfinance business, although the definition is less easy to interpret. 5.4 Foreign remittances Foreign remittances can be provided only by authorized banks. In addition, PostBank is licensed to receive only inbound foreign remittances. Western Union and Moneygram use commercial banks and PostBank as agents to receive and send remittances. The requirements applicable to an institution sending or receiving foreign remittances are few reporting to CBK and being subject to CBK inspection. 5.5 AML/CFT Requirements under CBK Guidelines The current AML/CFT regime covers only financial institutions licensed and regulated by CBK under the Banking Act. Specifically, CBK has issued guidelines on AML/CFT under the Banking Act. CBK drafted similar guidelines for deposit-taking MFIs under the Microfinance Act. (CBK issued regulations under the Microfinance Act in mid-october 2007; however, CGAP has not yet received or reviewed them.) However, this will change if the Proceeds of Crime and Anti- Money Laundering Bill, 2007, becomes law because it would apply to a variety of nonfinancial institutions and Page 8 of 19 Notes on Regulation of Branchless Banking in Kenya would, in its 18
19 current form, present problems for branchless banking. The existing guidelines for banks make explicit reference to the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, the principal international standard setting body for AML/CFT. The guidelines main elements of customer due diligence essentially the same concept as know your customer for AML/CFT purposes are photo identification (not restricted to the national identity document), proof of residence verified by a referee or a utility bill, and verified employment and/or sources of income. Verifying the address by a utility bill (which only few people have and often does not accurately describe the physical address because of the lack of street numbers) or a referee (who is also likely to require similar proof of residence) and verifying employment and/or sources of income pose the risk of restricting access for poorer customers. In practice, CBK has allowed for some flexibility, for example, permitting introductions by existing customers to serve as a substitute for provision of a utility bill and not requiring evidence of source of income. There has been only limited discussion of introducing more relaxed customer identification requirements for small value transactions. Customer due diliegence/know your customer (CDD/KYC) issues have been raised with regard to branchless banking models operating pooled accounts like M-PESA. As of now, however, only bank customers have been subject to CDD/KYC rules. (Nonbanks operating pooled accounts are not covered under AML/CFT rules applicable to banks.) Individuals are not subject to any CDD/KYC by the bank notwithstanding that they have funds in a pooled account deposited with the bank. AML/CFT guidelines for banks permit the possibility of non faceto-face customer verification, which is of considerable interest from the point of view of extending access to finance beyond those customers and locations served by bank branches. The guidelines seem to allow for some flexibility by not providing a definitive list of identity checks for remote customer identification, and instead simply listing some examples (and also allowing for alternative means of verifying identity). However, the guidelines do require at least two checks with regard to the address and the identity of the customer. Customers conducting domestic and international transfers of funds are not subject to specific CDD/KYC rules. The CBK Guidelines on Foreign Exchange state that the maxim of know your customer must be observed at all times. The main interest of CBK here is to monitor the flows of foreign exchange through the banking system. Foreign exchange bureaus must identify all their customers by keeping a record of their passport or national identification. For foreign exchange transactions of US$10,000 or more, CDD/KYC rules also require the verification of employment or other sources of income. 5.6 Other issues relevant to branchless banking Level playing field: Because of the lack of a law to guide national payment system, banks and nonbanks engaged in similar activities (for example, payment services, issuance of payment cards) are subject to widely divergent regulatory regimes. Although banks are subject to the requirements of the Banking Act and CBK regulations issued thereunder, CBK does not have the authority to regulate or supervise nonbank payment service providers. Consequently, a nonbank offering an e- money product or engaged in payment services may be subject to regulation by nonfinancial regulators (such as MoIC) but will not be regulated with respect to its financial activities (provided that it avoids falling under the definition of banking business under the Banking Act and deposit-taking microfinance business under the Microfinance Act). Nonbanks also are not subject to restrictions on the use of agents. This differential treatment leads to significant risk of regulatory arbitrage. Although the following two points of further disparate treatment between banks and nonbanks would not likely lead to a risk of regulatory arbitrage, they are important to note. First, the Banking Act requires approval by the Minister of Finance (who has delegated this power to the CBK Governor) to increase interest rates and other charges. This can be a burden to branchless banking models that charge various fees for services offered. Secondly, nonbanks are currently not subject to CDD/KYC requirements (although Safaricom has reportedly been instructed by CBK by letter to comply with provisions of the AML Bill). E-security and data security in the telecommunication sector will be covered in the Kenya Communications Amendment Bill. If enacted in its current form, the bill will recognize electronic signatures as legally binding and will give the Minister of Information the power to approve the manner and format of affixing an electronic signature. Experience and Knowledge Sharing 19
20 Experience and Knowledge Sharing The Minister will also control the processes for ensuring adequate integrity, security, and confidentiality of electronic records or payments. However, because CBK is responsible for the integrity of the payments system, the actions of MoIC will have to be in sync with and subject to the actions of CBK, which will be the primary regulator of the payments system. Telecommunications regulations require that a mobile network operator offer only the telecommunication services listed in its license. M-banking falls under the definition of telecommunication service in the law and should therefore be listed in the license agreement.27 However, the primary regulator with respect to a mobile network operator s m-banking activities will be the banking regulator (i.e., CBK). Consumer Protection is dealt with under several laws in one way or another. A comprehensive consumer protection law is currently being drafted. 6. Areas of Opportunity Use of Agents The lack of standards regarding a bank s permitted use of agents may discourage some banks from pursuing branchless banking. Fortunately, the Banking Act is currently being revised, which provides the government with an opportunity to clarify the language regarding agents. Because branchless banking through agents is new to the Kenyan banking sector, a prudent approach would be to revise the Banking Act to specify the activities that may be conducted by agents (and eliminate the current regulatory requirement of CBK approval of each agent) and to give CBK authority to specify in regulations criteria for agents engaged in branchless banking. A similar approach should be adopted with respect to the use of agents by deposit-taking MFIs. Payment Systems Regulation In most countries, the central bank is responsible for (i) formulating and implementing monetary policy (in Kenya, CBK s policies are subject to MoF review) and (ii) maintaining stability of the currency and the financial system generally. Typically, all responsibilities of the central bank including overseeing and ensuring the safety and efficiency of payment systems emanate from these two objectives. Until recently, the focus of central banks worldwide has been large value payment systems (as opposed to small value/retail payment systems). Central banks are beginning to see advanced technology and increased access at the small value/retail level, resulting in a new and significant flow of funds (small value, large volume) that is changing the center of gravity regarding risk analysis and risk assessment and impacting the two objectives noted above. Central banks worldwide are starting to focus on those who are involved in this new flow of funds. Kenya is in a position to shape its payments system and the regulation and supervision thereof 20