Request for Application #2019-020

Digital Financial Services on Health Outcomes and Health Systems

ACCESS Health International

Executive summary: 

ACCESS Health International, with support from MetLife Foundation is the lead implementer of a newly established Fintech for Health Innovation Platform. With the aim of overcoming persistent financial barriers to healthcare access, ACCESS Health is convening partners from the health, technology, startup and financial sectors to build knowledge and co-create solutions and partnerships so that people no longer have to choose between catastrophic costs and catastrophic illness. While this initiative is currently focused on six markets in Asia, we believe that fintech for health has global relevance in efforts to improve health care access through digital financial inclusion, especially in low-resource settings. With support from Digital Square, ACCESS Health and Microsave will translate the partnerships made and knowledge learned for scale up and replicability in markets globally. Our proposed activities include desktop research combined with extensive interviews and analysis on how digital financial service models in healthcare were created, launched, and scaled, including barriers and success factors. We will pay special attention to the enabling factors and cases for how two disparate industries – financial services and healthcare – are able to work together. ACCESS Health has extensive experience in health financing, primary health care, and digital health technology in China, Southeast Asia, and India. Microsave contributes the expertise in financial services and fintech to ensure that appropriate solutions are created for health financing challenges. Upon completion of the project, USAID and the global health community will have an analytics tool to help project leads decide on the most appropriate digital financial services model for a given healthcare market, target population, regulatory environment, or given partners’ capabilities.

Consortium Team: 

Prime Organization: ACCESS Health International

ACCESS Health International is a nonprofit think tank and advisory organization with the vision that all people have access to high quality, affordable healthcare, and a right to lead healthy, productive lives. We work toward that vision by conducting practical research, creating knowledge sharing and partnership engagement networks, and supporting project implementation. With offices in the US, China, India, Philippines, and Singapore (Southeast Asia), we work with governments, industry partners, startups, and nonprofits to develop knowledge and tools for health systems strengthening, focusing on health financing, digital technology, and service delivery innovation for community-based care.

Partner organization: Microsave

MSC (formerly known as MicroSave) is a leading international development consulting firm that offers practical, market-led solutions focused on enhancing access to financial services to the low and middle-income segments. Our inspiration is to live in a world in which all people have access to high-quality, affordable, market-led financial services and other support they need. We offer consulting services in multiple domains including, Digital Financial Services, Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Finance and Private Sector Development. Across all the domains, we provide services in Market Assessments, Monitoring and Evaluations, Organizational Strengthening, Strategic Business Planning, and Product strategy for service providers. We have worked with a range of donor agencies, central banks, policymakers and national governments in various countries of Asia and Africa. We understand the financial needs, behavior and money management practices of the mass market and have worked extensively with digital financial services providers including FinTechs to incorporate our market insights in the design of their solutions. We have set up an incubation/solution lab for FinTechs to cater to the mass market in India.

Final Technical Application: 
Application Status: 
Not Approved



The deliverable of a tool to help select DFS models for each context, need etc. is an interesting way to synthesize and apply research findings. Using China as a case study may not be recommended given challenges of working with China for USAID. The weighting of key factors in the IR analysis could be useful – we suggest keeping that component.

Let me know if you'd be at all interested in the possibility of joining forces! Tomorrow Global's analytical approach is closely aligned with ACCESS Health International (and in fact greatly informed by my prior experience with the latter), and my colleague Michelle Kirby would bring a complementary cross-sectoral perspective while also diversifying geographic expertise.

Hi there - a piece of feedback from my end.  Can you address how will you ensure your findings are relevant for the African context?