Harnessing technology to transform financial services for the poor
Microfinance institutions with the potential to grow and to attract commercial investment are likely to be those with sound information systems. This article starts by identifying some technology options that are being adopted by banks to reach low-income customers. Criteria are listed that will make innovations attractive to such customers. A survey conducted by CGAP of 153 MFIs worldwide revealed that many MFIs still do not use computer-based management information systems, and it is this lack of a core information system that needs to be addressed before other technology options are explored. The article finishes with ten questions for managers to guide the process of choosing new technologies.