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Pathways to Smarter Digital Financial Inclusion

We can now easily imagine a situation within the next ten years where most people will have a smart phone.  This paper by Ignacio Mas explores new pathways this will open up for extending financial services to the mass of the population who currently are distrustful of financial institutions and dubious of the value that their services can bring to them. The pathways are based on the assumption that smart phones can be used to deliver engaging customer experiences that gives less privileged customers more voice and lets providers form an increasingly granular understanding of these customers. But the pathways reflect a diversity of ways in which they might be included: as individuals about whom providers go out of their way to collect data; as employees and customers of local businesses through or with the support of whom they are able to pluck some relevant financial services; and as active managers of a web of socio-financial relationships that allows them to leverage those that are fortunate enough to have access to formal financial services.

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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