Microfinance is a category of financial services focussed at individuals and small businesses who are not able to access conventional banking and related services. It includes microcredit, the provision of small loans to poor clients; savings and checking accounts, microinsurance, and payment systems. Its services are designed to be more affordable to poor and socially marginalized customers and to help them become self-sufficient.
Initially, microfinance had a limited definition. It generally meant the provision of microloans to poor entrepreneurs and small businesses lacking access to credit. The two main methods for the delivery of financial services to such clients were:
1. Relationship-based banking focusing on individual entrepreneurs and small businesses.
2. Group-based models in which several entrepreneurs come together to apply for loans and other services as a group.
But now microfinance has emerged as a larger movement in which a world where everyone, especially the poor and socially marginalized people and households have access to a wide range of affordable, high-quality financial products and services and not just credit but also savings, insurance, payment services, and fund transfers