What Makes Pro-Poor Service Delivery Sustainable for WSBI Partner Banks
This paper develops a conceptual framework for judging sustainability of the various projects supported under the WSBI program to double savings accounts in the hands of the poor.The paper uses data from three banks to draw out key issues relating to sustainability at different levels, including project level, whole institution, and individual outlet. Two conceptual templates were then created on affordability and sustainability to test the findings from these three banks against the experience of a wider range of banks. Significant observations include:
- Amount that can be spent at the margin on servicing extra small balance in rural deposits is very low, probably only about 10 US cents annually per dollar mobilized. Higher amounts (about 15 US cents annually per dollar mobilized) look possible in the middle ground (larger rural, peri-urban, and urban areas);
- Bank-agency model is a very finely balanced business model that probably cannot be made to work in a rural context. However, it should be workable in the middle ground;
- Areas where banks active customers slip into dormancy can still be captured with bold moves in pricing by increasing affordability for the middle ground.