Inclusive Digital Finance in a Digital Age

Categories : Blog


Author: Digital Frontiers Institute

What do you bring to the table?

This simple question has often times been misconstrued to assume disrespect when in reality it is basically a chance to present our value, our contribution, highlight our uniqueness, our true authentic self, our passions which can simply be summed up in one word as individuality.

When we want to feel included, the first thing we are actually seeking is to be understood.

Technology has over the years provided transparent and efficient processes, created opportunities and most importantly made it possible to have a more inclusive environment bringing like-minded individuals from different worlds together.

Traditional financial systems such as traditional banking has over the last decade been overtaken by digital banking services, with the introduction of innovative solutions.

While this has brought on more efficient ways of doing business, due to widespread access to products and services across different segments and geographies, there is still a huge gap surrounding financial inclusion, thereby excluding most marginalised community’s world over.

Inclusive Digital Finance (IDF) aims to bring solutions home, closer to the poor, lower the cost of doing business across various sectors, close the gender divide, bridge the financial literacy gap and ensure the cycle of poverty is managed through the creation of better systems, better financial education tools, accessibility to credit facilities, ease of savings and to promote entrepreneurship as an objective of a nation’s economic growth.

Digital Finance through its use of automation, has proven its capability to reach the rural population as it continues to grow annually and we have also come to the realisation that it has the ability to eliminate the costs associated with running a business, amongst other things, experienced mostly by Small to Medium Businesses. While automation is being seen as a threat to humanity, with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, (or AI) the increase in mobile money transactions is a typical example of how tailor-made systems and automated process have the potential to improve lives.

Take for instance in Zambia, a recent report published by the Central Bank of Zambia shows the growth of mobile money transactions in 2023, by 52.8% to K452.billion from K295.8 billion in 2022. This not only means there is significant increase in the number of Digital Financial Services on the market or increased access to digital financial services, but this also means that there is room for more players in the market.

Inclusive Digital Finance aims to build economic growth and encourages citizens to re-enforce collaboration with the regulators to increase the economy.

Furthermore, IDF has proven to us that business continuity is very crucial in times of crisis, given the COVID 19 pandemic that took a toll on the world’s economy. This experience also made way for ‘outside the box’ thinking, a learning by doing approach that revolutionised the meaning of digital payments. We also learned the power of face to face or human interaction during the isolation that the pandemic brought on. Which is why inclusivity is the key to driving the technology no matter the economy or one’s social status.

Inclusion cannot exist without factoring in diversity. While most businesses are built on products and services, the ones that survive are built on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) which is a by-product of good customer experience. We live in a world where empathy is considered as a weakness, but successful businesses will teach you that people are the key to their growth, their survival.

Now more than ever, there is need to build systems from a gender lens perspective, this is the real game changer, with more investments focused on progressive solutions that foster not only diversification but empowerment. The unbanked population has now got access to more formal financial systems that make it possible for more transactions, which stimulate cross border economic activity. The lack of digital infrastructure which was once a huge contributing factor towards the slump of or lack of acceptance of digital financial services, especially in the rural areas, is now outdated as more organisations are investing in better technologies and innovative ways to serve their customers.

It is very crucial that the private and public sector work together to create policies that not only protect the consumer, but further provide a platform for the consumer to freely feedback into what kinds of products they need and what type of service they desire.

Remembering that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” Simon Sinek


ZED GOSSIP, (2024, February 2) ‘Mobile money transactions hit K452bn’.

CEO Magazine (2020, October, 23)’ Simon Sinek says: 20 of the unshakable optimist’s most inspiring leadership quotes.,


By Chilekwa Banda

Chairperson Association for Digital Finance Practitioners Zambia (ADFP Zambia)

DFI Alumni and Community Member


Established in 2015, Digital Frontiers Institute is a proud brand of Digital Frontiers. Learn more about the Certified Digital Finance Practitioner (CDFP) programme and find out how to enrol: