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Smart Note: Designing Products based on Customer Requirements: Unique Approaches of SEWA Bank and IFMR (KGFS model), India

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This tool documents and presents two distinct, but successful approaches of SEWA Bank and IFMR in understanding client (member) requirements and designing products that meet their requirements. 

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Smart Note: Supporting Members to Adopt Client Protection at Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA)

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AMFA shared with the Smart Campaign why client protection is a priority for the association, and how they encourage strong client protection practices in the Azerbaijani microfinance industry. Their client protection initiatives can serve as a good practice example to other networks and associations.

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Smart Note: Appropriate Product Design and Delivery at Musoni

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Musoni_logoMusoni is a microfinance institution using mobile technology to deliver convenient, flexible, and reliable loans to low-income people in Kenya (and other East African countries in the future). Musoni’s products are designed based on the needs and preferences of their clients.

The Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principle Appropriate Product Design and Delivery, states that institutions should design products and delivery channels in such a way that they do not cause clients harm, and with client characteristics taken into account.

Musoni’s approach to product design can serve as an “excellent practice” example to other institutions. Musoni staff discussed the institution’s product design and delivery with the Smart Campaign, revealing five primary lessons from the field, presented in this Smart Note.

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Smart Note: Treating Clients with Respect at Fundación Mundo Mujer Popayán

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This Smart Note describes how Fundación Mundo Mujer Popayán developed a stronger pro-client attitude. They developed a set of complementary policies, that, unlike previous material, use specific problem situations to address potential weaknesses in client protection practices.

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Smart Note: Responding to a Crisis at FUNDESER

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The Smart Note, “Responding to a Crisis at Fundeser” describes how the MFI dealt with the aftermath of both the worldwide credit crisis and the internal No Pay Movement (Movimiento No Pago). It explains how the institution overhauled its Human Resource department in an effort to steer the institution to recovery.

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Smart Note: Hiring Staff with Disabilities at AccessBank, Azerbaijan

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This Smart Note focuses on the efforts of AccessBank Azerbaijan to practice non-discrimination among employees through deliberate efforts to hire people with disabilities. Additionally, the Smart Note provides a testimonial from one of AccessBank’s employees about his experience as a person with disabilities working as a cashier at the MFI.

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Smart Note: Client Protection Good Practices in Europe and Central Asia

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This Smart Note examines the client protection practices of AccessBank (Azerbaijan), Adie (France), EKI Micro-credit Foundation (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and KazMicroFinance (Kazakhstan), demonstrating how the institutions are preventing client over-indebtedness; transparently disclosing loan prices, terms, and conditions; and treating clients fairly and with respect.

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Smart Note: Responding to Client Complaints at Tameer Bank, Pakistan

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Tameer staff member Murium Hadi discussed the institution’s complaint mechanism with Zahra Khalid of the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), revealing several valuable lessons from the field.

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Smart Note: Ethical Staff Behavior at Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI)

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ASKI implements their written “Code of Conduct and Discipline” through staff training, staff performance reviews, client satisfaction surveys, and the ASKI Values Protocol—an established process for addressing staff violations of the code. In addition, clients can provide instant feedback on staff behavior.

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Smart Note: Transparent and Responsible Pricing at Mi-Bospo

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The Bosnian MFI Mi-Bospo focuses on client protection to safeguard both the institution and clients. For Mi-Bospo, transparency and responsible prices are key elements of ensuring client satisfaction. The MFI ensures transparency by screening potential hires, adhering to strict marketing guidelines, and taking time during the loan process to be sure that clients understand their rights and responsibilities.

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Smart Note: Customized IT at Caja Morelia safeguards client data

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Upon transforming to a regulated financial services provider, Caja Morelia needed to meet federal data management and reporting requirements. Faced with these new technology needs, Caja invested in a data management system and supporting processes to provide superior data security.

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Smart Note: Facing Over-indebtedness at Partner Microcredit Foundation

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Partner Microcredit Foundation avoids client over-indebtedness by recognizing that a risk for the client is a risk for the institution. Partner performs rigorous credit analysis of its clients before issuing a loan and follows up with audits to verify proper staff behavior and discover why clients are not able to meet their obligations.

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Smart Note: Implementing an Industry Code of Conduct at PMN

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PMN formally launched its Consumer Protection Initiative in January 2009. The initiative centers on improving consumer protection practices through a voluntary Code of Conduct for Consumer Protection and a call center for receiving and responding to client grievances.

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Smart Note: Building Institutional Culture Around a Code of Ethics at Compartamos

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Compartamos trains all new recruits on the Code of Ethics. The Smart Campaign encourages institutions to download and review this documents as an example of a well-organized, concise overview of a detailed Code of Ethics document.

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Smart Note: Collections with Dignity at FinComún

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In 2008, FinComún, a regulated MFI in Mexico, took action to combat rising default rates through the implementation of a new collections philosophy. The institution’s new Collections with Dignity philosophy was designed to support clients facing the global financial crisis and improve both collections rates and portfolio quality.

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