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PRODEM's automated teller machine and point of sale network in Bolivia (Английский)

In 2003 International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided a grant to the Bolivian private financial fund of the nonprofit microfinance institution PRODEM (FFP PRODEM) to have automated teller machines (ATMs) built and customized for illiterate populations speaking three native languages and to launch a point-of-sale (POS) network. The goal was to increase the number of clients by offering greater access and convenience, particularly to the rural population in Bolivia. This issue of monitor summarizes the successes and lessons learned from this information technology project. In general, the collective benefits of the ATM network demonstrated its value and the need to extend the infrastructure by linking to other systems and adding products. The ATM network attracted a significant number of clients, including previously "unbanked" populations. The ATMs also saved PRODEM money, while allowing nationwide access to remittances. If lessons on marketing, technology down-time, product offerings, and pricing were applied, this delivery channel could succeed even more. PRODEM's POS network, in contrast, proved unsuccessful due to: (a) technology challenges, (b) lack of a user-friendly interface and properly aligned agent incentives, and (c) insufficient product features and transaction limits. The POS network required an entirely different technology and more deliberate planning and services, which the project failed to achieve.

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