At the meso level, strengthening industry infrastructure is essential to facilitating the effective delivery of services by retail providers. This includes building service providers’ capacity in areas such as credit reference, audit, training, and research. At the micro level, FSD works with formal and informal organizations such as commercial banks and community-based associations to develop practical know-how and provide market systems that benefit the poor.
Among FSD’s key activities in this area is a project in partnership with the Kenya Bankers’ Association, which aims to create an open robust payments platform. Integrating all major retail payment channels in Kenya will lower transaction costs and thus directly expand access, increase competition, improve efficiency and increase the usefulness of industry infrastructure to customers.
FSD partnered with CARE Kenya and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to mobilize and promote savings groups in eleven counties across Kenya. The project is also promoting the use of an e-recording mobile application to digitize financial transaction record keeping. Currently, over 600 savings groups are using the app.
FSD’s GrowthCap project is working to increase customer focus in the Kenyan finance market for small and growing businesses. Through action research methods, GrowthCap is partnering with selected financial institutions to overcome institutional and systemic constraints in the provision of SME centric finance.