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Using Broadband to Enhance Financial Inclusion

The progress of financial inclusion in the Latin American and Caribbean region is constrained by the high cost of providing and accessing financial services. On the client side, micro- and small-sized firms, as well as low-income households, face high transaction costs as a result of the challenges of getting to points of service and meeting documentation requirements. On the provider side, the lack of economies of scale for financial service transactions and the difficulty to obtain reliable information on these kinds of clients generate high operational costs. These elevated costs can undermine the profitability of serving these market segments that, in turn, weaken competition. This paper by Ignacio Mas provides basic information relating to the prospects and constraints of using broadband channels and applications to increase financial inclusion in the region. It is a useful resource for policymakers, financial institutions, and the broader development community in the LAC region.

Ignacio Mas
Ignacio Mas is a Senior Fellow at CEME at the Fletcher School. He has been deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has held senior telecoms jobs at Vodafone and Intel, and has been adjunct professor at the Business School at the University of Chicago. He holds a SB degree from MIT and a PhD from Harvard.

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