UKaid-Nepal Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme (Sakchyam)
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The UKaid-Nepal Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme (Sakchyam) is a 5-year funded by the UKaid Department for International Development (DFID). The program works with both the public and private sectors in Nepal to increase access to finance and to facilitate financial sector development to better serve micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the poor, women, and other marginalized groups.
For Financial Inclusion Week, Sakchyam gathered three partner commercial bank staff and their branchless banking (BLB) agents to discuss how we can keep clients at the center of technological initiatives. Over 453 BLB points are being established with Sakchyam’s support in Nepal, across 34 of Nepal’s remotest districts. As a result, agents are becoming the face of banks in many of these communities, directly interacting with clients. To help increase agents’ capacity, Sakchyam has trained over 88 BLB agents in partnership with our financial institutions.
During the session, participants shared their challenges with one another and proposed solutions. Among those discussed included verifying and keeping clients’ data safe. Participants shared how sometimes biometric thump print scanning does not work, as clients fingerprints may be worn from working in the fields, and how they overcome this challenge by applying a bit of glycerin. Agents expressed the need to be able to offer several products and services demanded by their clients, including Government to Person (G2P) payments on behalf of the bank. Additionally, they shared the logistical challenge of handling the volume of cash transactions and how to keep agents and clients’ financial resources safe. Finally, the group discussed what additional training was needed for both bank agents and clients to better understand the role of the BLB and product and offerings of the bank. The feedback gathered was informative for bank staff leading BLB programs and will be used to improve Sakchyam’s BLB training course moving forward.