How Microfinance Institutions Overcome Challenges Finance Essay

Remittances – the part of money migrators send back place to their relations and households – ch?°nge liv?µs ??f milli??ns of pe??ple in developing state, supplying indispensable fiscal support. F??r many y?µ?°rs, migr?°nt workers w??rk?µd in th?µ sh?°d??ws ??f gl??b?°liz?°ti??n whil?µ th?µir r?µmitt?°nc?µs w?µnt unc??unt?µd bN? g??v?µrnm?µnts ?°nd ?°id ?°g?µnci?µs. Ov?µr th?µ p?°st t?µn y?µ?°rs, how?µv?µr, th?µ tru?µ siz?µ of th?µir N???ntributi??n – over US $ 300 billi??n ?° y?µ?°r – has been revealed. Furthermore, some remittals research workers and experts conjecture that unofficial flows of remittals could be even larger than the formal transportations.[ 1 ]

Remittances have the potency to go a vehicle for local development, every bit good as they are linked to poverty decrease for people who receive them. International Fund for Agricultural Development ( IFAD ) states that “ from 30 to 40 per cent of remittals are sent to rural countries, where fiscal services are frequently missing ” .[ 2 ]Due to the close propinquity of microfinance establishments ( MFIs ) to these households, client groups, who probably to have remittals, every bit good as the experience working with low-income people, microentrepreneurs, there is a p??t?µnti?°l ?°nd ??NˆNˆ??rtunitN? f??r ??FIs t?? ?µnt?µr this gr??wing market and Nˆr??vid?µ r?µmitt?°nc?µ services for potentially lower cost complementing MFIs ‘ focal point on the lower income populations.

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The intent of this paper is to supply justification for execution of the remittal service at microfinance establishments, every bit good as to put out execution options and scheme and place possible hurdlings and challenges MFIs may face.

Overview of Remittance Service

Remittances service is related to presenting money from one location to another through a specific channel, which is extensively used by labour migrators remitting financess to their households in their place states. Unusually, migrators tend to remit more during periods of economic downswing in their place states, so the remittals merchandise is both comparatively stable and countercyclical in nature.[ 3 ]

Remittance service must be subdivided into two types: domestic and international, sing the specific characteristics of execution, cost and fee construction and the mark market. The basic characteristics of both types of remittals are provided in the tabular array below:

International remittals:

In foreign currency

Higher client fees

Higher net income border

Third-party MTO[ 4 ]partnership is needed

Annual volume is measured and is rather high

Domestic remittals:

In local currency

Lower client fees

Lower net income border

Third-party MTO partnership is non needed

Annual volume is non accurately measured, but estimated to be lower than for international remittals


The money transportation market is extremely complicated, including a huge spectrum of formal and informal participants that use quickly altering engineerings and institutional substructure to present minutess for assorted clients. International money transportations organisations ( MTOs ) , such as Western Union and MoneyGram, are the most dominant participants in the remittance-sending market. The remainder of the formal remittal market is split among commercial Bankss, station offices, recognition brotherhoods, foreign exchange agency, and niche money-transfer companies.[ 5 ]

The factors that influence the pick of supplier by client are: velocity, cost ( MTOs charge comparatively high committees for their services ) , safety, client service and convenience.

The competitory advantages of the MFIs are: the bing client base and repute among the clients, the subdivision web, and entree to pro-poor clients, convenience.

Insofar these competitory advantages can play critical function in determination devising procedure whether to implement remittal merchandise, nevertheless, there are still some comparative disadvantages:

ordinance model that may curtail some MFI ‘s activities ;

preparedness and capacity of the MFI ‘s direction, staff, information systems, selling ;

MFIs are typically non involved in any transactional service webs, neither domestically nor internationally ;

MFIs are typically provide limited fiscal services, like microcredit and some ( compulsory ) economy, and merely few MFIs provide now more extended fiscal services, for case, nest eggs or microinsurance.[ 6 ]

Thereby the MFI should clearly indentify these advantages and disadvantages, in order to be better positioned in the dialogue procedure of reciprocally good partnership with MTOs if needed.

Strategic Options

There are several non-mutually-exclusive strategic options to be carefully examined before get downing the execution procedure of remittal merchandise:[ 7 ]

Option 1: Implement merely domestic remittals within MFI ‘s web, without affecting any 3rd party MTOs.

Option 2: Implement merely domestic remittals within MFI ‘s and spouse bank ‘s subdivision webs.

Option 3: Implement merely international remittals in partnership with MFI ‘s other affiliates outside state, without affecting any 3rd party MTOs.

Option 4: Implement merely international remittals in partnership with a individual MTO, or multiple MTOs.

Option 5: Any combination of the above options.

These options are evaluated sing possible grosss, fees and costs, proficient feasibleness and cost of execution, selling disbursals, possible hazards, need for staff preparation, and other relevant factors[ 8 ]. In instance an option is chosen, which entails MTO partnership, an appropriate MTO ( individual or multiple ) should be selected for the partnership. Such choice might be done based on the factors like, figure of agent locations, volume of minutess, fee construction, colony footings, preparation and system support, demonstrated fiscal public presentation, and other relevant factors.

Analysis of Strategic Options

In order to simplify the decision-making procedure the strategic options can be aligned in two dimensions as follows:



Without third-party partnership

Option 1

Option 3

With third-party partnership

Option 2

Option 4

The 5th option can be placed anyplace depending on the peculiar combination of options incorporated into it.

In general, MFI can hold both, domestic and international remittals in the merchandise scope, since normally there is demand for the both. Establishing merely domestic remittals without third-party-bank or MTO engagement will show a challenge from the selling point of view, since MFI ‘s bing clients every bit good as new clients must be attracted through an extended selling run. The same would be valid in instance of partnership with a local bank or MTO, as domestic remittals are considered as a trade good merchandise and seldom advertised. Therefore, in footings of attractive force of new clients, it will be of import to establish partnership with a widely recognized MTO, in order to leverage the selling attempts already set about[ 9 ].

The option 3 – execution of the international remittals within MFI ‘s affiliate web, could be supplying the highest net income border in comparing to other options, nevertheless the volume would be well lower due to much smaller figure of mercantile establishments in comparing to the well-established MTOs, besides investing in the selling run would be necessary. Therefore, option 3 might be considered by MFI for the hereafter, but non for the initial execution. Based on this concluding the 4th option will be most suited for implementing international remittals. In footings of establishing individual MTO partnership versus multiple partnerships, by and large more MTO partnerships would bring forth larger watercourse of grosss, nevertheless excessively many partnerships might make administrative load, and make a demand for an extended staff preparation. From strategic point of position, in order to happen via media between these conflicting conditions, at the initial phase partnership with two major MTOs would be most good. This would assist comparatively rapidly get the market portion, but besides maintain the administrative load at a moderate degree.

It could be assumed, the proficient execution of the domestic remittals requires rather low upfront investing in simple package, which besides might be developed in-house. In contrast with the international remittals it besides does non necessitate any 3rd party engagement ( such as Western Union, Money Gram, or any other MTO ) . Particularly, if remittals are planned to be done merely within MFI ‘s subdivision web within the state no extra infrastructural investing would be needed. Despite the comparatively low cost of domestic remittals ( on the most portion cost of hard currency, and human resources involved ) , the fees for this service are besides really low and rather unified across the state, which makes it a comparatively low border service. Therefore the first option might be most suited for the execution of domestic remittals.

The strategic pick of the MFI could be done in favour of option 5, which is combination of options, for case option 1 and 4, which is the execution of domestic remittals independently, without come ining third-party partnership relationships, and international remittals with MTO partnerships. The concrete cost estimations for the both types of remittals should be evaluated before the execution. In pattern, remittal services are provided frequently through partnerships with MTOs. MFIs can spread out their operations, receive proficient aid from MTOs and increase grosss.[ 10 ]

Choice of the Relationship Type

While implementing the remittals merchandise it is of import to make up one’s mind what type of relationships will be established with the MTOs. These might be either direct agent relationships or sub-agent relationships[ 11 ].

The agents normally get higher portion of committees paid by the clients, but besides might be capable to fixed one-year rank fees. Agents dictate the contractual conditions to the sub-agents, such as frequence of colony, and minimal balance on the colony histories. Agents are besides responsible for carry oning due diligence while undertaking sub-agents, every bit good as forming colony with sub-agents. In bulk of instances, going an agent is much more hard than a sub-agent, since the fiscal establishment must follow with certain fiscal compacts, possess anterior experience with remittals. Some MTOs select merely the accredited commercial Bankss as agents. Besides, some MTOs might hold limitations on figure of agents in the certain geographical location.

In contrast, a sub-agent normally gets smaller portion of client committee, but besides pays no fixed rank fees, and has much lower making demands, neither the commercial banking licence is required.

MFI ‘s scheme towards remittals merchandise is market incursion scheme, since both the merchandise and market exist. Whereas each MTO has its ain interface, hence staff preparation will be required. Thus it is of import to choose a individual MTO for the initial launch, and bit by bit add others.

Potential Hazards

The execution of remittals merchandise besides carries possible hazards. First, this is operational hazard related to employee, client or electronic fraud. The equal protection against such hazards should be ensured by the constitution of appropriate internal control processs.

Second, there is a certain hazard of non-compliance with AML ordinances, which is normally capable to important fiscal punishments. Such hazards can be reduced by turn toing the establishing of equal control mechanisms and high degree of mechanization.

Servicing the remittal merchandise requires advanced liquidness and hard currency direction capablenesss[ 12 ]. The inaccessibility of internal statistical information sing remittal flows, will ensue in the higher degrees of liquidness to be maintained in order to run into the possible demand for hard currency, which might increase cost of financess. The associated hazards will be reduced every bit shortly as sufficient internal statistical informations will be accumulated in order to back up decision-making.

There is besides a hazard that MFI will non be able to take its market portion, which might go on due to weak local demand, or other competitory factors. In any instance, this hazard will be rather moderate, since the remittal merchandise requires minimum upfront investing, which could be quantified as cost of labour involved into the execution during the execution period[ 13 ].

Main Organizational Hurdles towards Implementation

The execution of remittals undertaking is associated with following organisational hurdlings: Changing corporate civilization and staff inducements ; Improvement of hard currency direction capablenesss ; Strengthening of the anti-money laundering model ; Improving internal control ; Necessity to develop other fiscal merchandises ( such as foreign currency exchange ) .

Changing Culture and Staff Incentives

For the strictly recognition organisation, the execution of remittals is an of import development in footings of altering whole corporate civilization as the Cashiers who were antecedently involved merely in loan expenses and refunds, now will go parts of the net income centre roll uping committees for remittals. Besides, the degree of professional competence of these employees will go much higher, besides doing their services much more of import and valuable for the MFI.

Improvement of Cash Management Capabilities

Remittances add a constituent of some uncertainness to the hereafter hard currency flows, since it is impossible to foretell precisely what sum will be transferred to/from any peculiar subdivision, finish. This makes it necessary to keep certain shock absorber in footings of excess hard currency at MFI.

Strengthening of the Anti-Money Laundering Framework

Some remittals might fall under the anti-money laundering standards, which must be decently detected and reported on timely footing. The debut of remittals might necessitate engaging extra staff, which will be routinely testing all remittals against the statutory standards.

Regulation model could be another obstruction[ 14 ]. Government ‘s ordinance and control of illicit income imposes the important pecuniary punishments for each instance of non-reporting and/or late coverage of the dubious minutess. Therefore remittals merchandise presents a serious legal hazard in instance the system of anti-money laundering fails to observe a dubious dealing.

Bettering Internal Control

Execution of remittals requires beef uping and seting internal control model in order to capture possible mistakes and employee fraud instances.

Necessity to Develop Other Financial Products

Adding remittals to the merchandise offering creates a demand for developing besides foreign currency exchange service as a following measure, since clients having foreign currency might necessitate to change over it into local currency. Besides, clients who hold local currency but need to reassign foreign currency might necessitate to first exchange local currency and so reassign. This topic can besides happen some obstructions in the regulative environment[ 15 ].

The execution of foreign currency exchange service would expose MFI to currency hazards.

The Non-Financial Impact of Remittance Product

The execution of remittals positively affects MFI ‘s bing client satisfaction, besides helps in pulling new clients, professional development of staff, making operational synergisms and development of combined loan merchandises[ 16 ].

Bettering Existing Customer Satisfaction

Due to the fact that if the MFI is offering merely loan merchandises, the clients have nil else as to utilize other services at the other fiscal establishments, frequently, which have been inconvenient for them. Therefore decrease the degree of clients ‘ satisfaction. This is particularly true in the distant rural countries, where transit is expensive and clip consuming, and clients are forced to incur extra travel in order to utilize fiscal services other so loans at the other establishments[ 17 ].

Attracting New Clients

Execution of remittals might be non merely utile for MFI ‘s bing clients but besides for the new 1s who ab initio used merely remittals and who might besides go interested in using for the microloans at MFI in the hereafter. This could be achieved through particular cross-selling agreements.

In pattern, there are some illustrations of MFIs, turn outing their growing as a consequence of cross-selling microfinance merchandises: “ ( 1 ) ACLEDA, which reports that most remittal receiving systems hold an history in the bank and utilize their other services ; ( 2 ) Kasabank in Kosovo, which offers free incoming transportation services because the other concern generated from these clients far outweigh the costs incurred ; ( 3 ) Nuevo Siglo recognition brotherhood in El Salvador, which reports that they have succeeded in promoting some receiving systems to open 60-day fixed term sedimentations with parts of their remittals ; and ( 4 ) Fonkoze, which reports a important income watercourse merely from remittal clients who decide to alter their US dollar transportations into calabashs ” .[ 18 ]19

Professional Development of Staff

Inalienable portion of the execution of remittals is investing in skilled human capital[ 20 ]. For some employees of the MFI ( largely tellers ) it will be needed to go through preparations in serving money transportations through several MTOs. This will increase the degree of their professional competence and most likely, besides their degree of occupation satisfaction.

Development of Combined Loan Products

After execution of remittal merchandise, it will be possible to plan particular loan merchandises for MFI ‘s clients who on a regular basis cod remittals. The watercourse of financess transferred on a regular basis could be used as a type of secondary collateral to endorse up a loan, or remittals could be linked to microloans or lodging loans. The same clip, such clients might be obliged to roll up remittals at MFI under the footings of such loan merchandise, which will assist MFI in gaining remittal committees.[ 21 ]

Consequence on the Long-Term Profitability

In the long-run the above steps might assist in increasing outreach and client trueness, which will finally take to higher client keeping. If sing that MFI ne’er implemented any important selling attempts, such development must significantly increase its client base without incurring any extra selling disbursals by pulling more clients to the subdivisions and extra word of oral cavity.

The remittals merchandise besides may bring forth ample net incomes by itself, together with the addition in outreach[ 22 ], which will besides excite the loan portfolio growing, and finally translates into addition in profitableness for the MFI.

Implementation Methodology

In order to implement remittals merchandise based on the strategic picks that have been made, the execution methodological analysis might be following:

The first measure is to obtain the MFI ‘s Board of Director ‘s blessing of the execution of remittal merchandise. After blessing is obtained, the Finance Department should get down finishing the due diligence questionnaire, which should be submitted to the agent, which will be used in the blessing procedure.

Equally shortly as the blessing is received, the working group of MFI should be formed to get down existent execution. The group normally includes representatives of Information Technologies, Credit, Finance, Legal, Marketing, Training, and Internal Control Departments. The working group prepares the elaborate action program subject to the Executive Board blessing.

In pattern, the execution procedure of remittal merchandise starts from a individual pilot subdivision, where operational, regulative and liquidness hazards are evaluated. The concrete result of the pilot is a set of operating processs to to the full back up the remittals merchandise.

After completion of the pilot the consequent rollout takes topographic point in the other subdivisions[ 23 ]. Efficiently the subdivisions should be selected based on the demand, which can be measured through client studies and analysis of rivals ‘ informations in each location[ 24 ].

As it was said earlier, the execution of remittal merchandise might necessitate the installing of the particular package and staff preparation.

The Marketing Department representative should develop a program for selling.

In analogue, if the MFI decides to implement domestic remittals, the representative of IT Department might develop several alternate proposals on the domestic remittals package, such as acquisition of the readymade system, in-house development, or development by a 3rd party company.

In order to successfully implement the remittals undertaking, it is of import to better the hard currency managing capablenesss of each subdivision where the service will be functional, which implies bettering physical security, guaranting dependable hard currency supply, and equal liquidness direction[ 25 ].

Sing that financess transportations are capable to Anti-Money-Laundering ( AML ) showing, it will be necessary to increase MFI ‘s Anti-Money-Laundering Department ‘s capacity by engaging extra work force and supplying preparation ( to put up new section if none exists ) .


Adding remittals to the MFI ‘s merchandise portfolio should be, foremost of all, lawfully allowed. Money transportation services are demanded by the clients worldwide. In long-run facet remittal services are profitable and aid in diversifying the MFI ‘s grosss. It besides creates a positive non-financial impact. Finally, remittal services respond to the kineticss of the multinational households and have the possible to do important development impact in footings of bettering the quality of life for households on both terminals of the remittal transportation, cut down poorness. Hence, it is a vitally of import undertaking for establishments with a fiscal and societal bottom-line to see.

Based on the above, the undertaking of implementing remittal merchandise must be extremely good for the MFI. However, at this point, the figure of the MFIs who have implemented these services is comparatively little and the extent to which they have succeeded is non yet to the full recorded.



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