Daily Archives: August 1, 2008

Gates Foundation gets into Microsavings

The Gates Foundation has made some major investments in the area of finance over the past few years. Now, based on their findings and experiments, they are making a big push into the area of micro-savings. Traditionally rural finance has focused on providing micro-credit services to the poor. Only recently have some of the micro-finance organizations started extending their services to include savings and insurance. In most cases the issue has been local regulations and banking controls.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal – Giving a Lot for Saving a Little – the author points out several issues why savings schemes for the rural poor have not taken off. Among the issues identified:

  • Strict regulations on entities that hold deposits
  • Lack of remote branches that allow easy access to money
  • Too costly for traditional banks to provide services for the size of accounts Continue reading