Enabling financial inclusion in a regional market

With lowering barriers for acquiring an electronic money license (EMI) across the globe, challengers and incumbents are striving to get a share of regional markets in providing financial inclusion services.

What are the key enabling functional elements of a competitive payment solution, be it an eWallet or a full-fledged regional payment ecosystem? Here are our top picks.

Onboarding and KYC

Lightweight digital onboarding of a payment user is one of the key differentiators of a payment service. KYC (Know Your Customer) data, such as phone number, national id are typically captured via OCR (On Screen Recognition) and further exposed to an AML (Anti Money Laundering) or a Regtech service for clearing.

KYC levels enable early access of users to payment functions or promote advanced services. The provider (back office) may further block/unblock users and perform other lifecycle operations.

Financial core

Financial core lies at the heart of a stored value payment system represented by a hierarchical accounting scheme and flexible pricing engine to support financial products (tariffs, fees, commissions) as well as reconciliation and settlement processes for payment participants.


Multi-role instantiation is important to provide tailored functions according to the targeted business model rolled out in the market. Example of roles:

  • Individual consumer
  • Merchant
  • Agent, with a delegated authority for specific operations, such as KYC onboarding (document validation), cash-in, cash-out, e-money
  • SME (Small or Medium Enterprise), with differentiating functions such as payroll or bulk payments
  • Financial or a government insitution
  • Partner, providing a particular VAS (Value Added Service) to users, such us installments or microfinancing, utility payments
  • Payment provider, such as an IPS (International Payment Scheme) or a cross-border remittance scheme (Western Union, TransferWise)
  • Service operator.

Support of hierarchies with entity relationships and rules is important to support organizational structures for entities beyond sole proprietors.


Channels enabling inclusion of various consumer segments

  • Mobile app (Android, iOS) is the key enabler and a primary channel for consumers and merchants. Must support merchant- and consumer-generated QRs for instant payments 
  • USSD-based payment menu for geographies where mobile connectivity is unavailable or unstable üWeb portals for Merchants and SME for payment and QR management
  • e-Commerce: eWallet as a APM (Alternative Payment Method)
  • Lightweight REST APIs for user enrollment, service provisioning and payment initiation allowing providers to create their own user experience layers.
  • POS and mPOS terminals, with instant payment initiation via QR
  • ATMs for cash dispersal and cash-in
  • Back office interfaces for service operations application, client and transaction management.

Payments and remittance

  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments across consumers, including invoicing (request for payment), split bill
  • Peer-to-merchant (P2M) payments via dynamic and static QR codes, unique merchant identifiers (”till codes”) and supporting merchant refunds
  • Enterprise payments: payroll, bulk payments and disbursements by NGOs and non-profit organizations
  • Utility payments: electricity, gas, water and to/from Partner services •Airtime minutes or acquisition of MNO bundles, including DCB (Direct Carrier Billing) option
  • Cash-by-code and cash-by-QR at Agents or ATMs
  • Cross-border remittance
  • Card-based remittance via IPS (International Payment Schemes): MasterCard, VISA, CUP, JCB and other applicable in the region
  • Transfers to core banking accounts (IBAN)
  • Repayments for installments and loans
  • Pay-ins (cash-in) and pay-outs (cash-out) by merchants and tenants, reconciliation and settlement.

Fraud prevention

Risk management and fraud prevention can be represented by in-house engines and the capability to integrate to market-available fraud prevention solutions.

  • Static risk rules modifiable by risk officers
  • Dynamic risk rules and an evaluation engine adaptable through internal runtime evaluation of rule efficiency against reported fraud or predefined risk levels
  • Applied machine learning to identify risk-prone patterns in the static (KYC) and behavioral (transaction) data
  • Realtime alerts to risk officers for post-processing
  • Interfaces for rule configuration and monitoring dashboards
  • Flexible user authentication is provided onboard to provide strong (SCA) yet frictionless authentication to not negatively affect user’s payment experience — ensured via risk-based authentication engines (RBA) supporting latest regulations, e.g., by EMVCo and PSD2 RTS in the European Union.

Partner services

Monetization through 3rd party services may not only provide extra monetization capabilities but also help to sustain e-money liquidity in the system. Examples of 3rd party services include microfinancing, installment plans, utility services (electricity, water, etc.), taxi services (Uber, Careem).


Card issuing may become a powerful enabler of extended financial inclusion:

  • Instant issuing of virtual cards directly in eWallet
  • Credit, debit, prepaid card issuing
  • Loyalty and gift cards

Dispute management

On-us dispute management can be introduced to facilitate interaction across parties for a disputed transaction.


Reresented by a simplified transaction volume-based cashback scenario or a sophisticated bonus club setup, a smartly introduced loyalty scheme can become an extra means for customer retention or even a segregated revenue stream.

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