Digital Frontiers

Press Releases

ARTICLES

Blockchain Solutions for Central Bank Digital Currency

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDCs) is a digital form of central bank money, which is legal tender created and backed by a central bank that represents a claim against the central bank and not against a commercial bank or a Payment Service Provider (PSP). This site offers basic definitions for understanding CBDCs.

How Regulation Influences Innovation of Digital Financial Services: Evaluating the Different Approaches in Our Countries of Operation

Financial sector digital evolution has seen increasing changes with a move towards technology driven delivery channels, and the explosion of mobile into the financial sector aided to scaling online banking through digital apps and enabled innovation of new DFS products and services, further driven by the entry non-banks including the telecom or mobile money operators…

How to Empower Small Businesses to go Digital and Rebuild

As the recovery from COVID-19 begins, financial inclusion has never been more urgent. Low-income people around the world have lost their jobs or businesses, and the World Bank projects that the pandemic will push 100 million people into extreme poverty. Vulnerable populations direly need financial tools like savings, credit, and insurance to rebuild their livelihoods and…

Utilising Mobile Big Data and AI to Benefit Society

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the health and livelihoods of much of the global population. As of March 2021, there were nearly 125 million confirmed cases of the virus around the world and over 2.7 million deaths. With social and travel restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the…

Upcoming May Webinars

We always make sure that you get a variety of webinars that cater to your preference: Sign up here for the following webinars: 12 May– Human-Centred Design and Humanitarian Cash Programming 19 May– Building Faster, Better: Instant Payment System Interoperability in Financial Services 27 May– Managing Cyber Risk for Financial Inclusion of the Last Mile…

Financial Inclusion for Development: Better Access to Financial Services for Women, the Poor, and Migrant Workers

Access to financial services is central for development and is mentioned in several goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The importance of reducing the transaction costs of remittances is also acknowledged in the agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Financial inclusion has become a key policy agenda of many countries, since it…

Risk Sharing Facilities: Mobilizing Finance for Women-led MSMEs

Women-led MSMEs may be perceived as too small or too risky to attract finance. Risk sharing facilities (RSF) can reduce the perceived and real risks of lending to women entrepreneurs, who are underserved by the formal financial sector. The purpose of this toolkit is to assist AFI members to conceptualize and design risk-sharing facilities to…

Evidence Review of Women’s Groups and Covid-19

It has been more than a year since COVID-19 lockdowns began, and economic recovery is a top priority for governments, donors, and international financial institutions (IFIs) worldwide, including in sub-Saharan Africa. Targeted investments that increase community resilience and spur economic growth will mitigate some of the negative economic consequences of this crisis. Investment in women’s…

LISTEN NOW: Designing for Empowerment: How can we inclusively serve micro-entrepreneurs to facilitate growth?

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries. There are 160 000 million in developing and emerging markets and of this number, 87% are micro enterprises. In this webinar Elizabeth Friend, Ethel Mupambwa and Jackie O’Neil explore the key issues they face and how we can design…

Towards Making Gender Equality a Reality in Organisations Across Africa. Register your interest for DFI’s latest programme offering today!

Today more than ever, organisations across the world recognise that empowering women as employees, suppliers, distributors, and customers is not only a human rights obligation; it is also economically beneficial. Many organisations are implementing initiatives to increase gender diversity and inclusion in their workplace and marketplace. But these efforts often only lead to modest change…

Managing Cyber Risk for Financial Inclusion of the Last Mile

This webinar will look at the cyber risks faced by organisations driving financial inclusion to serve the last mile. Covid-19 has escalated the digital transformation journey of many financial service providers and fintechs, and managing risks is key for success, reputation and stability. Practical examples of the challenges faced and solutions used to manage risks…

Building Faster, Better: Instant Payment Systems and Interoperability in Financial Services

Interoperability makes digital payments more convenient for customers and can encourage competition in financial services, but achieving interoperability can be very difficult. In this webinar, Dylan Lennox, William Cook, and Souraya Sbeih from CGAP cover the key steps to achieving interoperability and highlights examples of how countries around the world have approached this challenge. Sign…

Human-Centred Design and Humanitarian Cash Programming

    In this interactive webinar we will share highlights from the recent GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation report Mobile money enabled cash assistance: User journeys in Burundi. Additionally, in conversation with representatives from Concern Burundi, Cassava Fintech Burundi and Ground Truth Solutions, we will discuss human-centred design methodology, how user perspectives can be used…

Five Years of Impact and Building an Inclusive Digital Finance Profession

Over the last five years DFI has been working hard to build an Inclusive Digital Finance Profession distinct from banking. We have established a robust portfolio of 22 courses for the professionals who wants to distinguish themselves as a Certified Digital Finance Practitioners. This course portfolio has been complemented by communities of practices that have…

Listen Now: Exploring the relationship between mobile money regulation and usage

    In this webinar, Kalvin Bahia, Mariana Lopez, and Kennedy Kipkemboi Sawe explore the main findings of new GSMA research on the relationship between mobile money regulation and usage. By the end of 2020, there were 1.2 billion registered mobile money accounts, of which a third are used monthly. The number and value of…

Écoutez maintenant: Le Mobile Money en Afrique : un accélérateur au service de l’inclusion financière

  Ce webinaire organisé par Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) faisait suite à la publication en mars 2021 du rapport de la GSMA sur l’état de l’industrie du Mobile Money – State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2021. Ce rapport a confirmé la dynamique positive qui s’observe dans le secteur financier africain grâce à…

PODCAST: Financial Regulation and Supervision – are they the same or different?

We use the terms financial regulation and supervision sometimes interchangeably but in this podcast Nolwazi Hlophe and Sarah Corley unpick what their differences are, how they contribute to the central bank’s mandate of price and financial stability, who they oversee and what powers they have. It explores some of the key challenges that regulators and…

African Remittance Market Insights

RemitSCOPE Africa compiles and analyses data on all 54 African countries providing multi-layered information on diaspora, remittances, regulation, access, market players and financial inclusion. Click here for more market insights.

A Digital Financial Services Revolution in Kenya: The M-Pesa Case Study

This case study aims to contribute to the discussion around appropriate regulatory and policy issues of mobile money by focusing on actions that the Central Bank of Kenya took to help M-Pesa grow in a sustainable way.

Women Entrepreneurs: Surviving the Pandemic and Beyond

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women has released its 2020 annual audit of research on women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries for International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021. The comprehensive report draws on responses from 125 women across 32 countries. It illustrates the stark impacts of COVID-19 on women entrepreneurs and other…

Winning the Low-Income Market: Assessing the State of Product Development in the Nigerian Financial Service Industry

The report addresses the third ecosystem pillar – the institutional/regulatory component, with specific focus on the legislation, policies, and regulations. The policy analysis unearthed critical policy constraints and guided by the doctrinal interpretations of existing laws, market-enabling policy solutions evolved. Our presentation focuses on material financial inclusion issues, the guiding laws, and solution proposals. This…

UPCOMING APRIL WEBINARS

Three webinars are happening in April – these are a great and free opportunity to keep your knowledge up to date, and we encourage you and your colleagues to sign up: 17 April-French webinar – Mobile Money and financial inclusion in Africa Valentin MBOZO’O and Sebastien VETTER 22 April-Exploring the relationship between mobile money regulation…

Engaging with Evidence in Impact Measurement

This case study was conducted by GAWA Capital- an impact investing company that promotes social and economic development by leveraging private capital markets to support social entrepreneurs

Idepro Case Study

Idepro believes that providing working capital loans to small-scale producers will enable them to invest in their businesses. This will result in enterprise growth while technical assistance can help producers eliminate other obstacles to success, such as a lack of business training. In the grape value chain, the focus of this case study, Idepro manages…

The Stories Algorithms Tell: Bias and Financial Inclusion at the Data Margins

This paper explores the stories algorithms can tell about who is creditworthy in emerging markets, the risks of that narrative for those it leaves out, and what it all might mean for inclusive finance.

Scale2Save Case Study: Mobile Financial Services

This study provides an overview of mobile retail financial services in Africa. It identifies some key considerations for FSPs considering either introducing mobile services or expanding their mobile offerings. It focuses on the use of mobile money, but mobile banking and mobile wallets are also covered.

Data, Diversify, Distribute: Emerging Optimization Models

2020 brought with it a 12.7 percent increase in the number of registered mobile money accounts, bringing the final count to 1.21 billion accounts. Transaction values also grew as customers began using their accounts more often and for more advanced use cases. However, many mobile money operators have struggled with the long-term viability of thin margins while managing…

Le Mobile Money en Afrique:un accélérateur au service de l’inclusion financière

Promouvoir l’inclusion financière est de plus en plus un axe majeur des politiques économiques en Afrique subsaharienne afin de réduire la pauvreté. En pratique il s’agit de généraliser l’accès aux services financiers de qualité, à des coûts abordables et en toute commodité. L’accès au compte se généralise et la valeur des transactions via le mobile…

Le pouvoir de la digitalisation des paiements des travailleurs

Une statististique de l’Organisation Internationale du Travail indique qu’à l’échelle mondiale six travailleurs sur dix sont exclus de toute forme de couverture maladie pour la simple raison que le paiement de leurs salaires est effectué en espèces. Il s’agit de travailleurs journaliers, saisonniers, artisans ou micro-entrepreneurs fournissant des services ou des biens à de grandes…

Instant and Inclusive Payments are becoming the new normal/Les paiements instantanés et inclusifs deviennent la nouvelle norme

In recent years, instant payments systems have been planned and launched in many countries, some with a commitment to expand financial inclusion (known by the acronym “IIPS” – instant and inclusive payment systems). Brazil, which launched PIX last year, is one of the latest countries to launch systems that offer transactions within seconds for anyone…

Introducing the upcoming Digital Financial Inclusion Supervision (DFIS) Program/ Présentation du prochain programme de supervision de l’inclusion financière numérique (DFIS)

Digital Frontiers, Toronto Centre, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) are developing a two-course program: Digital Financial Inclusion Supervision (DFIS) program, which will address the destabilizing effect of COVID-19 on the financial systems of emerging markets and developing economies, created with the support of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This DFIS…

In the Spotlight / Sous les projecteurs …. Kenneth Ugwuanyi

Kenneth has extensive career experience in Digital Payments and Retail Banking where he has handled Regional, Multi-Country and now Group-wide responsibilities in United Bank for Africa which is a Pan African Bank with Operations in Africa, Europe, and the USA. He has almost always been at the distribution end of things pushing for Financial Access…

Regulating for Innovation: A Supervisory Toolkit

This toolkit provides a step-by-step guide on encouraging and facilitating innovation in respective markets whilst upholding the safety of insurance consumers. The supervisory toolkit will help regulators navigate their role and guide decisions in regulating for innovation.

Central Bank Digital Currencies Tracker

Central Bank Digital Currencies are an interesting topic right now. If you are interested in seeing what is happening with CBDCs, click on this link, which tracks developments across the globe.

Listen Now! Central Bank Digital Currencies in Asia: analysis of the Digital Yuan, the Project Inthanon-LionRock, the pilot tests in Korea and Japan and Project Aber

  In this webinar, Dr Oriol Caudevilla discusses digital currencies in Asia. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are a new form of Central Bank money accessible to the general public, accepted as a means of payment, legal tender, safe store of value by all citizens, businesses, and government agencies. CBDCs must meet two criteria: They…

Digital Extension Services Improve Farmer Productivity in Uganda

In the West Nile region in Uganda, one agriculture extension worker serves 2,000 farmers, demonstrating the key role of technology in enabling access to the much needed extension and agronomic services. An inception study undertaken by UNCDF showed that the lack of access to quality extension services, is one of the main constraints in the…

Digitalization of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) in Uganda

Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) are savings groups that are self-managed by the members. The core objectives of these groups are to provide a safe environment for members to save money through purchase of shares, and access small loans. This case study is presented by UNCDF partner Ensibuuko Tech Limited, a Ugandan Financial Technologies…

Digital Identity: Accelerating Financial Inclusion During a Crisis

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world have been unable to conduct their affairs in person due to restrictions on movement. In response, governments and the mobile industry have come together to implement policy changes that facilitate wider access to digital financial services. To better understand these ID-linked policy changes and…

Digital Financial Inclusion in Emerging and Developing Economies: A New Index

Adoption of technology in the financial services industry (i.e. fintech) has been accelerating in recent years. To systematically and comprehensively assess the extent and progress over time in financial inclusion enabled by technology, the IMF has developed a novel digital financial inclusion index. This index is based on payments data covering 52 developing countries for…

Listen now: The power of digitizing workers payments for driving economy recovery/ le pouvoir de la digitalisation des paiements des travailleurs pour stimuler la reprise économique

In this webinar, Jean Pascal Mvondo, Marjolaine Chaintreau,  Sonia Annoussamy and Laurent Gonnet discuss to what extent digitalisation of payments for cash-paid workers can be an opportunity for economic development and growth. Currently, over 230 million adults globally (mostly women), still receive their wages in cash which excludes them from having access to formal financial services (World Bank Findex data). According…

Digital Sub-Wallets for Increased Financial Empowerment of Women

There are few, if any, mobile platforms designed around women’s financial habits and needs. However, financial inclusion of women cannot be fully achieved by focusing on financial products; gender norms must also be addressed. In this article, CARE  elaborates on how they recognized the need to design a savings group approach that would simultaneously address…

Humanitarian Cash and Voucher Assistance Programmes in Ethiopia

This report, in partnership with the Collaborative Cash Delivery (CCD) Network, explores the context and capability of the mobile money ecosystem in Ethiopia. With a focus on humanitarian cash and voucher assistance (CVA) programming, it aims to help humanitarian and development actors assess the feasibility of deploying mobile money for CVA programming in the country

Evaluation of Banking and Non-Banking Agent Networks

This report presents the results of the evaluation study on bank and non-bank agents and the users of their services in Maputo City and Province in Mozambique.

Empowering Women on a Journey Towards Digital Financial Capability

Financial inclusion is becoming more and more digital. To accelerate this journey to digitization, and not let women customers be left even further behind, we need to ensure policymakers and financial service providers focus on effectively supporting women customers build their digital financial capabilities, so they can use digital financial services with ease and confidence.  This report focuses on building the knowledge, skills, and attitudes…

LISTEN NOW: AI and start-ups in low and middle income countries – progress, promises and perils

In this webinar, Susanna Acland, Kate Kallot, Sam Ajadi and Segun Adeyemi  led the conversation on the current landscape of AI start-ups in low- and middle-income countries, along with recent trends, challenges and the potential impact of AI in a post-COVID world. Research conducted by the GSMA examined the current use of AI in low-…

What Drives the Financial Inclusion Gender Gap for Young Women?

There are stubborn differences in the rates at which men and women access, use and benefit from formal financial services. As an initial step toward understanding what drives these differences, in this paper , CGAP worked with the Global Findex team to analyze how the account ownership gender gap varies across regions and age groups.

A 10-point action plan for governments and businesses to rebuild stronger after COVID-19 by prioritizing women’s digital financial inclusion

Drawing on decades of experience, research and in-field activity, the following 10-point action plan to end financial inequality for women aims to help end the continued economic exclusion of half the world’s population and to build more resilient economies. As governments and companies take steps to repair economies, the 10 actions described in this report…

New research by Caribou Digital and the DFS Lab predicts implementation of the Level One Principles will benefit women and help close the gender gap

This new body of research—funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—explores this phenomenon from a different angle. Can better digital payment system design create the conditions for more women to use digital financial tools? Generally, the analysis predicts that adoption of an L1P system will have positive benefits for women relative to the typical…

Regulatory Flexibility During the Pandemic: Emerging Lessons

When financial sectors are buffeted by sudden and dramatic external shocks, regulators strive to implement targeted regulatory responses to mitigate negative impacts — and the shocks made by the pandemic were no exception. The aim of this policy report is to examine the types of regulatory flexibility adopted in response to the pandemic and provide…

Integrating Forcibly Displaced Persons Into a National Financial Inclusion Strategy

Sustainable development and inclusive economic growth can only be achieved if those who are forcibly displaced are not left behind in pursuit of broader national financial inclusion goals. Accessing formal financial services can enable forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) to overcome difficult situations, apply their skills and competencies, and realize their future potential. This helps them…

2021 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money

2020 was a year like no other. In every region of the world, COVID-19 triggered a mix of responses, from school and workplace closures to restrictions on movement to complete lockdown. All at once, handling cash, paying for daily essentials, and conducting business in person became risky, and more people than ever turned to mobile…

Elevating the Collective Consumer Voice in Financial Regulation

Elevating the collective voice of digital financial services (DFS) consumers can give them more say and more power in the financial sector. Through a stronger consumer voice, regulators will gain a better understanding of the risks facing consumers and adapt regulations accordingly, thus making financial services more responsible. Through its research, CGAP identified three opportunities…

Minding the DFS Gender Gap: Battling Social Norms to Level the Playing Field

While the DFS gender gap has slowly narrowed over the past few years, much work needs to be done in order to completely close it, with the COVID pandemic only exacerbating barriers to financial access for women globally. This post by Mondato talks about how social norms could level the playing field in the gender…

Report: Algorithmic Bias, Financial Inclusion, and Gender: A primer on opening up new credit to women in emerging economies

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing financial services offerings to customers across the globe. Historically, women have been the victims of unconscious bias in lending decisions. Algorithm-enabled credit decisions have the potential to create a level playing field for female customers worldwide—but only if we find and mitigate biases emerging through technology inputs and…

Blockchain: A Technology That is Changing the World for the Better

Considered for long a new technology, blockchain is developing fast, and is quickly becoming a key player in many industries. If there was no doubt of the importance of blockchain technology a few years ago, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has certainly confronted the whole world with an unprecedented challenge, has turbocharged a financial technology…

The Digital Rupee: An Important Tool to Promote Financial Inclusion

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly confronted the whole world with an unprecedented challenge, but, at the same time, it has turbocharged a financial technology (Fintech) revolution worldwide. COVID-19 is changing consumer behavior, quite likely forever, and the banking and financial services industry urgently needs to adapt. Digital transformation has quickly become the top priority…

Can Free Phones Close the Digital Gender Divide?

The gender gap in mobile phone ownership is well-documented. For years now, the financial inclusion community has been trying to get phones into the hands of more women at the last mile. While these efforts have undeniably increased women’s access to phones, it’s less clear to what extent the beneficiaries of these programs are using…

Le programme Ambassadeur DFI

Cette année, nous sommes ravis de lancer notre programme Ambassadeur DFI, qui facilitera la mise en relation avec notre représentant dans votre région et vous donnera ainsi un meilleur accès aux informations sur nos cours.   Nous continuerons de produire l’impact que nous avons eu au cours des cinq dernières années et les ambassadeurs DFI sont quelques-uns des professionnels de la finance digitale choisis…

Ready, Steady, Go? – Results of the Third BIS Survey on Central Bank Digital Currency

Most central banks are exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and their work continues apace amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As a whole, central banks are moving into more advanced stages of CBDC engagement, progressing from conceptual research to practical experimentation. This BIS paper updates earlier surveys that asked central banks how their plans in this…

In the Spotlight / Sous les projecteurs …. Kombe Kaponda

Kombe Kaponda is a very familiar name at DFI! He is an integral part of our digital finance community and it’s no wonder he is featuring in our spotlight this month. He was the first African to become a Certified Digital Finance Practitioner (CDFP) and was the first to complete all the Instant and Inclusive…

LISTEN NOW: Rapid Innovation: How Fintechs in Africa and Asia are Adapting to COVID-19

The Centre for Financial Inclusion at Accion host the Inclusive Fintech 50 initiative, a yearly competition by an independent judging panel of experts to identify 50 early-stage fintech driving financial inclusion and resilience. This webinar features two of the winners, Tomilola Adejana of BANKLY from Nigeria and Puneet Gupta of Kaleidofin from India, and is moderated…

National Financial Inclusion Strategy Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit

How do you measure if a national financial inclusion strategy (NFIS) is delivering what it sets out to accomplish and if it’s being implemented as envisioned? These questions can be answered through monitoring and evaluation (M&E). In the context of NFIS, M&E plays a crucial role to improve the management of outputs and outcomes while…

Consumer Protection for Digital Financial Services: A Survey of the Policy Landscape

Digital financial services have contributed to the expansion of financial inclusion in the last decade, but there are certain consumer protection risks that may threaten to erode the important gains achieved. These risks have compelled regulators to rethink their approach to supervising consumer protection for digital financial services (CP4DFS). Through examples and case studies, this…

Introducing the DFI Ambassadors

This year, we’re thrilled to roll out our Ambassador Programme, making it easier to get in touch with a DFI representative in your region, giving you greater access to information about our courses. We will continue to make the impact we have in the last five years and the DFI Ambassadors are a few of the…

A Tough Call: Understanding Barriers to and Impacts of Women’s Mobile Phone Adoption in India

Today in India, 67% percent of men own mobile phones, but only 33% percent of women do. South Asian countries in general are clear outliers among countries of similar levels of development, with India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh exhibiting some of the world’s highest gender gaps in access to technology. While the mobile gender gap matters…

The Economic Impact of Mobile Phones on Low-Income Households

One of the most important technological advances over the last quarter-century has been the global diffusion of mobile phones. While the economic benefits from the mobile phone revolution are far-reaching, the greatest potential impact holds for the poorest—those who traditionally face steep barriers to long-distance communication, acquiring market information, and utilizing financial institutions. This research…

Crisis Roadmap for Microfinance Institutions: COVID-19 and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest in a series of crises that microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world have faced in recent decades. This crisis response roadmap is designed to help MFIs navigate the COVID-19 health pandemic and its economic impact, and to provide guidance on recommended practices that are relevant today and for future crises.

The Digital Yuan, Where Are We Now? Latest Developments.

The Digital Yuan or DCEP is having and will have tremendous importance, not only for China but globally. For China, because, if successful, the Digital Yuan will become an effective domestic tool not only for facilitating consumers’ retail payments, but also to enhance the yuan as a payments currency in the global financial system. In…

The Future of Financial Inclusion in China

According to the World Bank’s Global Findex database, globally, 1.7 billion people do not have a bank account, and policymakers struggle to provide affordable, safe and accessible financial services to the unbanked population. Home to 225 million adults without an account, China has the world’s largest unbanked population, followed by India (190 million), Pakistan (100…

A Pan-Asian Digital Currency Would Bring Many Opportunities to China

Many authors and scholars have advocated the introduction of an Asian digital common currency covering the whole of the East Asia region as a multilateral synthetic currency comparable to the Euro. Even though this is just a suggestion, it is unclear whether Asia will put in practice or not. In this article,  Dr Oriol Caudevilla…

The RCEP, A Boost for Trade and Central Bank Digital Currencies in Asia

One of the world’s largest free-trade deals in history, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP),was signed last November 15, after eight years of negotiations. It is composed of fifteen countries (all ten members of ASEAN -Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam-, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand),…

Making Digital Finance Work for Women in the MENA Region

Despite progress over the past few years, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region still has the largest gender gap in terms of women’s economic participation in the world. This economic divide also holds true for financial inclusion.  Innovative Digital Financial Services (DFS) have strong potential to accelerate women’s financial empowerment. The opportunities and…

Coping with COVID-19 and Responding to COVID-19

The first 10 months of 2020 were extremely difficult for almost everyone around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed thousands of lives across the globe and crippled the economies of numerous countries. Microsave Consulting tracked the impact of the pandemic on low- and – middle income households which have uncertain and irregular incomes. The…

Global COVID-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment Study

Covid-19 has profoundly impacted financial systems across the world, including the provision of digital financial services and the functioning of FinTech markets. Recent anecdotal evidence suggests that the socio economic shocks associated with the global pandemic have severely disrupted some FinTech sectors, created opportunities to others and introduced a state of flux for many. As…

What is the Value of Pay-As-You-Go Solar for Mobile Operators?

The rapid growth of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar has been enabled by mobile money and mobile connectivity that allows customers to pay by instalments, and companies to remotely control and monitor the solar home systems (SHS). And in turn, the PAYG solar industry has helped to drive the adoption and use of mobile money, by giving…

Are the Effects of Mobile Money Regulation Gender Neutral?

According to the latest Global Findex data (2017), there are 1.7 billion ‘unbanked’ people in the world, the majority of whom are women. With 290 live deployments in 95 countries, mobile money has laid a firm footprint in many low- and middle-income countries and is an available option for many unbanked individuals to access financial…

What Makes Customers Choose One Transaction Product Over Another?

There has been tremendous progress when it comes to improving access to financial services, with 515 million more adults globally reporting account ownership at a financial institution or a mobile money provider in 2017 than in 2014, for a total of 69% of the world population. However, to improve the overall financial well-being of customers,…

Fintech Regulation: How to Achieve a Level Playing Field

How regulation should evolve to encourage fair competition between traditional banks and new fintech and big tech players is now being debated. Some advocate moving from an entity-based to an activity based regulatory approach under the principle “same activity, same regulation”. However, there is only limited scope for further harmonising the requirements for different players…

LISTEN NOW: A penny today goes a long way: micro pensions as a solution against old age poverty

Aging comes with substantial, additional risk of becoming or remaining poor. The UN estimates that 1.2 billion people will be living in old age poverty by 2050 unless things change. In this webinar, Beryl Van Andel, addresses the need for long-term saving with a special focus on pension schemes. In some countries less than 20%…

Regulatory Sandboxes: A Practical Guide for Policy Makers

What is a regulatory sandbox? A formal regulatory initiative: ➢ to test innovation ➢ in the live marketplace ➢ on a time- and scope-limited basis ➢ to determine the appropriate regulatory treatment/status ➢ before the innovation can fully operate in the marketplace …where other options fall short This visual guide from CGAP walks you through…

Permissioned Distributed Ledgers and the Governance of Money

Since the late 1990s, monetary theorists have regarded money in general and cash in particular as a substitute for a publicly available and freely accessible record-keeping device. Theoretically, cash could be replaced by a public ledger recording all past and present transactions. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is such a record-keeping device that can ensure trade…

Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment in Financial Inclusion

As a growing number of researchers and practitioners have started using women’s economic empowerment (WEE) measurements to better understand the impact of financial inclusion, there is widespread recognition that financial inclusion can help low-income women improve their livelihoods and resilience while contributing to their economic empowerment. Although measuring the more tangible aspects of economic empowerment,…

Building Faster Better: A Guide to Inclusive Instant Payment Systems

Today, digital technologies provide the on the on-ramp for many people in emerging markets to access and use financial services. However, many of the payment services available to low-income customers have evolved as closed-loop systems, meaning they are not interoperable with the services of other providers. This guide from CGAP is intended to be a…

L’Afrique en marche vers la «cashless society»

Pourquoi les agriculteurs en Afrique devraient ils payer leurs intrants par des moyens électroniques ? Pourquoi les gouvernements devraient ils payer les pensions de retraite via des plateformes digitales ? Pourquoi les micro-entrepreneurs africains devraient ils renoncer à régler leurs factures d’électricité en espèces ? Bref pourquoi les économies africaines devraient elles faire la transition vers ce…

The Case for a Gender-Intelligent Approach: An Opportunity for Inclusive Fintechs

For low-income women, digital financial inclusion offers an opportunity to upend entrenched gender inequalities by entering spheres from which they have been otherwise excluded. Financial services delivered via mobile phone can bridge the last-mile gap, bringing financial tools and services directly to women where they work and live. CFI has shared this brief which examines…

Virtual Workshop: Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on Low- and Moderate-Income Populations, and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises

MSC (MicroSave Consulting), with support from the Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF), conducted a workshop, “Assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs in Asia and Africa” through a webinar on 28th January, 2021. In this webinar, panelists discussed the impact of the pandemic on financial health, especially of the MSME sector and low- and moderate-income…

Social Norms and Financial Decision-Making in Zambia

To generate insights into the normative environment within which spouses in Eastern Province, Zambia, make decisions about money holding and saving, FSD Zambia with University of Nottingham undertook a two-staged research project over 2019-2020. The following findings were identified:  Husbands and wives often sacrifice household-level income in order to maintain individual control over income Handing…

Community and Activities for 2021 – Communauté et activités pour 2021

We ended three years of funding in 2020 on a high, achieving all of our community targets and in the majority of cases achieving way more than was expected! We now have a community size of around 15,000 professionals and 17 digital finance professional country-based associations  forming. Our blogs, cultivated knowledge bank and webinars  have…

A Policy Framework for Women-led MSME Access to Finance

Access to finance for women-led-MSMEs can lead to an increase in productive assets, productivity, and stronger economic growth, but access to finance is arguably the most binding constraint to their growth. This Policy Framework proposes six pillars that regulators can adopt to facilitate access to finance for women-led MSMEs. You can download the report here.…

Rapid Response for Social Payments During COVID-19

As countries around the world grapple with the devastating economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic, governments have turned to supplemental cash transfers as a key policy instrument to offset the loss of income. These measures include a range of approaches, from wage subsidies to extended unemployment support and a variety of social welfare payments. There’s…

How Social Norms for Men Restrict Women’s Financial Inclusion

The financial inclusion community has learned a lot in recent years about the role that social norms play in women’s financial inclusion. This article from CGAP takes a step further to explain how social norms affect men and their ability and willingness to support women’s access to financial services.

Agent Network Journeys Toward the Last Mile: A Cross-Country Perspective

Agent  Networks are a critical interface between poor customers and digital financial services (DFS) providers. These networks enable cash-in and cash-out (CICO) transactions that allow customers to convert e-money into cash and cash into e-money—enabling the use of DFS. Therefore, the broader the reach of CICO agent networks, the broader the customer base for DFS…

Financial Inclusion, Regulation and Financially Empowering Africa with Nolwazi Hlophe

Nolwazi Hlophe from the Digital Frontiers Institute talks about financial inclusion, connecting Africa to the world through FinTech and education in rural communities. A great chat about innovation, education, and everything financial in between. Have a listen here!

Blended Finance in the Least Developed Countries 2020

COVID-19 threatens to undo progress achieved towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) over the past five years. Financing the recovery will require a coordinated multilateral response and the use of innovative tools and risk mitigation instruments. Blended finance can help to catalyse much needed additional resources for SDG-aligned…

Revisiting the Measurement of Financial Inclusion of Rural Smallholder Farmers in Nigeria

This study aims to develop and apply a multidimensional measure of financial inclusion to address measurement issues and determine the level of financial inclusion of rural smallholder farmers and the contribution of domain indicators to the level of financial inclusion in Nigeria.

Mobile Money-Enabled Remittances are a Lifeline for Families of Migrant Workers

In 2019, migrants across the globe sent over US$548 billion in remittances to their families in low and middle-income countries. Surpassing aid, and in almost all cases, Foreign Direct Investment, one half of these annual flows reach rural areas where they provide important support to household livelihoods. In this case study, mobile money provider Valyou…

Digitalizing Rural Financial Ecosystems- Journey and Learnings from Digitalization of Dairy Value Chain in Nepal

With more than 66 per cent of Nepalese dependent on agriculture, the introduction of digital financial services (DFS) offerings in the agriculture sector became essential for not only expanding the ecosystem of DFS but also to ensure progressive growth of access to finance in rural areas. The UNCDF partnership with Prabhu Management on dairy digitalization…

Managing Agricultural Risk Through Remittances: the Case of Senegal

This feasibility study explains the role of remittances in agricultural risk management, the challenges facing remittance flows, and the opportunities to enhance the productive use of remittances for agricultural risk management investments.

Debt Relief in the Pandemic: Lessons from India, Peru, and Uganda

The widespread use of debt moratoria in response to the COVID-19 health and economic emergencies has succeeded in stabilizing financial systems and given borrowers all over the world immediate, if temporary, relief. Financial regulators in at least 115 countries in March and April 2020 issued special permission for financial services providers (FSPs) to provide moratoria…

Survey Report on Alternative Finance for MSMEs

MSMEs constitute 90 percent of all businesses and more than 50 percent of the employment globally. In emerging markets, formal MSMEs contribute up to 40 percent of national income. This report by AFI reflects on the economic and social importance of the MSME sector in emerging economies. It explores the significance of available research on…

Exploring the Relationship between Mobile Money Regulation and Usage

Mobile money has helped reduce the financial exclusion gap in low- and middle-income countries, with more than 1 billion registered accounts at the end of 2019. In Sub-Saharan Africa, almost half of mobile money users are reliant solely on mobile money to access financial services. The link between an enabling regulatory framework and a successful…

Bridging the Gap: Emerging Private Sector Response and Recovery Measures for Gender Equality amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened existing gender inequalities, exposed fundamental flaws in economic and social systems, and posed a serious threat to the gains made on gender equality. As COVID-19 widens global gender gaps, IFC and UN Women have partnered to showcase a growing number of companies and organizations around the world that are taking…

Climate Risk Insurance: Economic Impacts of Natural Hazards on Vulnerable Populations

The South Pacific region is extremely vulnerable to natural hazards like cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. The accelerated frequency and severity of the disasters due to climate change have disrupted economic and social progress as well as development gains. With no adequate insurance protection and coverage in the region, the economic impacts…

FATF Update-COVID-19-Related-Money-Laundering-and-Terrorist-Financing-Risks

On 16 December 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published this paper providing entities with additional information on COVID-19 related to money laundering and terrorist financing risks. The paper covers both changes in predicate offenses and changes in money laundering and terrorist financing activity. It provides selected case studies, displaying criminal activity that has…

2020 Community Activities: forming a Digital Finance Profession – Activités de la Communauté DFI en 2020: création d’une Profession de Spécialistes de la Finance Digitale

As part of its capacity building program, DFI established Communities of Practice (COPs) across cities in Africa and Asia beginning in 2015. These COPs have had amazing impact, with practitioners coming together to influence strategy, services and policy in their countries, and you can read some of their stories in our previous blog post. Commitment to…

Beyond Financial Inclusion: Measuring and Improving Financial Health Outcomes in México

Measuring financial health is a challenge. To date, there is no consensus among experts about the right way to measure it. However, in Mexico, there is now an opportunity to leverage shared understanding of financial health to create a measurement tool that can make financial health more concrete and operational. In this article, FinnSalud explains…

Le Défi de la Protection des Consommateurs des Crédits Numériques en Afrique

Le succès du crédit numérique Avec la pénétration rapide du Mobile Money et des smartphones, les offres de crédits numériques se multiplient sur le continent. Après leur succès en Afrique de l’Est et australe les prestataires de crédits numériques ont désormais dans leur viseur l’Afrique de l’Ouest. En effet certains pays de la sous-région sont déjà les…

2020 DFI Community Activities – Les activités de la Communauté DFI en 2020

As 2020 draws to a close we can reflect on the community activities we have held at DFI over the year and also the progress our in-country associations and alumni are making. This part one features some of DFI’s achievements and our favourite webinars, blog posts and students of the month. Part two features the…

Digital Survey Benchmarks on Digitalisation

Since the inception of microcredit in the 1970s, its business model has seen a number of shifts: in the nineties, the concept of microcredit evolved into a more commercially sustainable microfinance, which included savings. Early 21st century, the financial inclusion paradigm led to further commercialisation and a wider understanding of the industry, which now included…

Mobile Money Enabled Cash Assistance: User Journeys in Burundi

Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) has been gaining traction as an increasing number of humanitarian aid providers step up efforts to make it the default method of aid provision. Mobile money for CVA delivery can have wide-ranging benefits for recipients, humanitarian organisations and private sector organisations alike, but it may not be appropriate in all…

An Unlevel Playing Field: Why Small Businesses Face Disadvantages in Digital Commerce – and How Inclusive Tech Innovations Could Help

COVID-19 has been catastrophic for many sectors and surprisingly beneficial for some – but it’s been especially damaging for micro and small enterprises (MSEs), which are losing business and shuttering at rates faster than large businesses. Whereas large businesses have the market share to withstand this disruption and the cash to make adjustments, corner stores…

Bridging the Financing Gap for Agriculture Cooperatives Through Data-driven Decision-making in Senegal

In 2019, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) wanted to explore how data driven decision-making and new dimensions of information could reduce the risk of lending to the youth segment – in particular those working in agriculture – providing alternatives for those who do not have traditional credit records. UNCDF has partnered with Dimagi and…

Digital Financial Services in Nigeria – State of the Market Report 2020

This 2020 State of the Market Report explores the state of digital financial services and financial inclusion, providing insights about consumers, providers and regulatory issues in Nigeria. This year’s report focuses on product-market fit across three highly underserved and largely under-represented customer segments – rural dwellers, women and youth. The 2018 National Financial Inclusion Strategy…

Project Helvetia – Settling tokenised assets in central bank money

The Swiss National Bank, The Bank for International Settlements’ Innovation Hub (BISIH) Swiss Centre, and SIX Digital Exchange have published the Helvetia report, a two proofs-of-concepts experiment using “near-live” systems to settle digital assets on a distributed ledger with central bank money.   The initiative demonstrated the feasibility and legal robustness of issuing a wholesale CBDC onto a distributed digital asset…

Inclusive AML-CFT Models in Africa: Lessons from Six Financial Service Providers

An inclusive compliance model is a compliance approach that minimises the cost of compliance while still adequately managing risks of money laundering and financing of terrorism (ML-FT). Therefore, inclusive compliance models enable financial institutions to proportionately allocate resources in a way that advances financial inclusion and drives implementation of risk-based approaches. Developing an inclusive compliance…

LISTEN NOW: The new digital banking models & what they mean for financial inclusion & MSME financing

Mobile technology has greatly expanded access to financial services over the last decade, but the range and quality of services available to low-income customers still remains limited. Despite new opportunities, incumbent financial service providers as well as new providers like mobile money operators have shown themselves to be constrained in different ways by legacy business…

Écoutez maintenant: Comment développer l’accès au financement des MPME en Afrique avec des sources alternatives de financement telles que le crédit digital, le Pay As You Go et le crowdfunding ?

Digital Frontiers Institute a placé le mois de Novembre 2020 sous le thème de la mésofinance avec l’organisation de trois webinaires (deux en anglais et un en français) focalisés sur le financement des MPME. Le webinaire en français a entre autres pour objectifs de Faire découvrir trois sources alternatives de financement (crédit digital, Pay As You…

Handbook on Merchant Payments and Digital Financial Services

This handbook is designed for digital financial service providers wishing to build and manage merchant acceptance networks. Such providers typically include financial institutions, mobile network operators, fintechs, payment service firms, and the like. For these providers, expanding into merchant payments enables them to offer a wider ecosystem of products and services for existing and new…

Open Banking: How to Design for Financial Inclusion (Paper)

Open banking regimes allow a wide range of users, including fintechs, to access the customer data locked inside banks and other financial institutions to develop innovative financial products and services that are lower cost and better suited to the needs of consumers. While many policy makers and regulators in emerging and developing markets recognize the…

The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2020

This report suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the digital landscape around the world. The mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa has largely risen to the challenge of keeping individuals and businesses connected during the pandemic, despite changes in data consumption patterns. However, with nearly 800 million people in the region…

What Value do Open APIs bring to the Mobile Money Landscape?

GSMA hosted a four-day industry convening, looking at Open APIs in the mobile money industry. Following growing industry interest in API strategies, providers can drive ecosystem development, enable third-parties to innovate on valuable services, and generate new revenue streams. The interactive event was attended by key business and technical industry stakeholders from mobile money providers,…

Non-Financial Services – The Key to Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women-led SMEs for Banks

This study examines the benefits to banks of integrating NFS into lending. These services can help mitigate the barriers, giving banks a women-focused market. This analysis of five SME banking models, in addition to previously published case studies and other resources, found that well-integrated NFS offers for WSMEs yield positive returns on investment (ROI) within…

How Fintechs can Profit from the Multi-Trillion-Dollar Female Economy

The female economy is large, fast-growing and underserved—and fintechs are well-positioned to tap into it. To help them embrace this win-win opportunity, the Financial Alliance for Women surveyed 168 fintechs and 30 investors and other ecosystem players from around the world. This report explores how fintechs have been approaching and serving the multi-trillion-dollar women’s market…

But How Do You Change Behavior?

Women are not a single market segment – they are heterogenous and approach financial products and services with diverse skills sets and needs. This webinar discusses enabling women’s financial capability through different entry points, optimal approaches to different livelihood segments, and behavior change strategies that may work differently for women and men.

Hey Sister! Show Me the Mobile Money!

Women’s-Global Development and Prosperity Initiative’s digital financial literacy campaign in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda.

Challenging the Myths around Women’s Financial Inclusion

A webinar looking at some of the most common myths around women’s digital financial inclusion and the often-changing reality behind them.

The Role of Gender in Agent Banking : Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo

This paper uses a unique data set with 1.1 million customer transactions from a microfinance institution in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2017 to 2018. The paper provides evidence of assortative gender matching in agent banking transactions, as clients prefer to transact with agents of their own gender. Female clients show a robust preference…

Win From Within: How Fintech Startups Can Grow by Building Value for Existing Users

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the realities for inclusive fintech startups and the financially underserved customers they serve. Coping with lockdowns and social distancing, low-income people around the world are now turning to fintechs to save money, purchase insurance, or transact remotely. But fintechs are facing their own challenges, including unpredictable funding, a volatile investment…

Western Union: Permanent Leader of Money Transfers

This blog post by SaveOnSend provides an analysis of Western Union’s chances of preserving its position in the money transfers market.

Money Transfer Startups: Race Against Time?

This blog post by SaveOnSend provides a comprehensive overview of money transfer startups.

Session d’information sur le Cycle d’Expertise en Finance Digitale – Certified Digital Finance Practitioner (CDFP)

Ce webinaire a pour objectifs de permettre à la communauté francophone de Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) de mieux connaitre son offre de formations, ses communautés et de faire découvrir son cycle d’expertise en finance digitale – le Certified Digital Finance Practitioner (CDFP), un parcours de trois années conçu pour soutenir l’ambition de DFI de créer…

Digital Identity Week 2020 Summary

We held our first Digital Identity Week in November 2020. Led by David Porteous, Nolwazi Hlophe, and Sarah Corley, we discussed industry updates and the implementation of digital identity systems, also with the help industry experts: Professor Rajagopalan from MOSIP, Robert Karanja from Omidyar Network and Yiannis Theodorou, from GSMA’s Digital Identity programme. We also…

Encouraging Effective and Inclusive Savings: Lessons and Best Practices from the European Microfinance Award 2020

2020 was a unique year with so many challenges for everyone within the financial inclusion sector. With businesses shuttered, economies shuddering and a lethal virus showing no signs of going away any time soon,  the households and businesses of the financially excluded are still under incredible pressures. In the past, the European Microfinance Award 2020 on…

LISTEN NOW: Alternative Data for MSME Credit Scoring

This webinar explored the promise and potential of alternative credit scoring for MSMEs, looking at the gaps in the market, examples of products and the opportunities and challenges. It also raises some of the ethical issues, including bias, privacy and managing risk. Panelists for the webinar were: Islam Zekry, Chief Data Officer at Commercial International…

Digital Credit Regulation in Tanzania

This case study highlights some key factors that can contribute to the development of responsible digital credit guidelines for regulators and DFS providers, based primarily on the Tanzanian digital credit experience.

Artificial Intelligence and Start-Ups in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Progress, Promises and Perils

This study examines the current use of AI in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The report maps a sample of 450 AI start-ups in LMICs in Africa and South and Southeast Asia, most of which are early-stage, home-grown solutions with a focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also explores trends and challenges…

What Does It Take To Nudge Low- and Moderate-Income Population Segments to Adopt DFS?

Digital Financial Services (DFS) offer a wide variety of benefits, especially for the low- and middle-income (LMI) segment. DFS specifically helps women use financial services, given the unique challenges that they face. These include their restricted mobility and socio-cultural constraints that limit their usage of brickand-mortar banks. However, the adoption of DFS among the LMI…

A Phone Can Only Do So Much: Why Mobile Access isn’t Leading to Digital Financial Service Usage Among Women in India

India has made significant progress in financial inclusion in recent years. However low-income working women are not benefiting from this progress, even when they receive their wages digitally. To better understand why, MSC and HERproject have researched the financial behaviors of female garment workers in India, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Managing Risks (More) Effectively: Rethinking Insurance for MSMEs

MSMEs form the backbone of many economies globally and give rise to economic growth, employment and innovation. Whilst COVID-19 has especially exposed the vulnerable MSMEs to a high level of risk, the pandemic is just one infrequent and specific risk. Across the world there is a lack of adequate MSME insurance. This report by CENFRI  on…

The Potential of Digital Platforms as Distributors and Enablers of Financial Services in Africa

The past decade has seen the emergence of digital platforms, which connect buyers and sellers of goods and services and allow them to seamlessly transact with one another online. The platform economy is expected to grow to USD405 billion by 2030, with most of this growth coming from emerging markets. In this series, CENFRI is…

AI Experiments

AI Experiments is a showcase for simple experiments that make it easier for anyone to start exploring machine learning, through pictures, drawings, language, music, and more.

Inside the Regulatory Sandbox: Effects on Fintech Funding

The rise of fintechs promises to spur competition in the financial sector. This could lead to sizeable efficiency gains, more choice for consumers, and enhanced financial inclusion. However, the potentially disruptive growth of firms offering novel products and services poses new challenges for financial stability and consumer protection. In response, policymakers around the world are…

Policy Model on Consumer Protection for Digital Financial Services

The Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG) and the Consumer Empowerment and Market Conduct Working Groups (CEMCWG) codified key policy guidance from relevant AFI knowledge products developed over the decade, coupled with best practices within the AFI network, in a policy model on Consumer Protection for DFS (CP4DFS).

Consumer Protection and COVID-19: Borrower Risks as Economies Reopen

Credit, if managed responsibly, can help financial services providers (FSPs) and their lower income customers resume economic activity and rebuild livelihoods damaged by lockdowns and other measures brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. However, lockdowns have put consumers in financial need and providers under stress, setting the stage for consumer protection challenges to emerge around…

Regional Policy Framework for Enhancing MSME Financing Ecosystem in Africa

The regional policy framework is intended to identify the best practices of MSME financing policy, explore pathways and enabling factors of implementable action plans, and provide policy recommendations to financial sector regulators with regard to access to finance for MSMEs in Africa.

Scoping and Assessment Report – MSME Access to Finance Ecosystem in Africa

The objective of this document is to provide a scope of what has to be addressed in a framework to enhance the MSME financing ecosystem in Africa, and to assess what the most important elements are. This document and the Policy Framework are best read together for a better understanding.

Collecting and Applying Data on Smallholder Agriculture During COVID-19

Collecting data and understanding rural and agricultural livelihoods have always been challenging. Now, facing COVID-19 and related restrictions, understanding customers and developing financial solutions that meet their needs is even harder. To learn more, CGAP and AgriFin, the center of excellence on agriculture finance in the World Bank Group, hosted two video chats in early October with…

Migration and Development Brief 33 Phase II: COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens

The economic crisis induced by COVID-19 could be long, deep, and pervasive when viewed through a migration lens. In October 2020, COVID19 case numbers rose again to surpass 44 million. The number of fatalities surpassed 1.1 million. A recurrence of COVID19 phases accompanied by lockdowns, travel bans, and social distancing cannot be ruled out well…

A COVID Microfinance Liquidity Tour of Asia

This synthesis document brings together selected aspects of the COVID-19 Microfinance Liquidity Tour of Asia undertaken by M-CRIL over the past few months. In this document, the authors have compiled cross country data emerging from the M-CRIL Advisory Notes covering different types of microfinance service providers (MFSPs) listed below and provided some reflections on the analysis.

Inclusive Digital Banking: Emerging Markets Case Studies

This Working Paper tells the stories of three of these banks: TymeBank in South Africa, Kotak 811 in India, and UnionBank in the Philippines. It takes a detailed look into how the selected businesses operate in their markets, what they do differently from traditional players, and how they are contributing to financial inclusion.

From Financial Inclusion To Inclusive Finance: The Power of Frameworks To Catalyse Change

This article discusses the power of frameworks in shaping research and providing insights for financial inclusion policy and investment.

Alternative Credit Scoring of Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

MSMEs account for more than 98% of the business establishments in Hong Kong and employ about 46% of the workforce in the private sector. Yet many face significant challenges in securing a bank loan due to their lack of financial information and the significant burden faced by banks in conducting credit assessments and monitoring related…

Dirty Money: Does the Risk of Infectious Disease Lower Demand for Cash?

The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis like no other in modern times, and there is a growing apprehension about handling potentially contaminated cash. The IMF has produced this paper as the first empirical attempt in the literature to investigate whether the risk of infectious diseases affects demand for physical cash. That being said, it…

Regional Policy Framework To Strengthen Agent Networks For Digital Financial Services (DFS)

A proper functioning agent network is critical for the overall growth, performance, and sustainability of any Digital Financial Services (DFS) ecosystem. It is critical to ensure that agent networks are properly set up, well-managed, effectively regulated, and supervised in a prudent manner to ensure that the customers they serve, receive suitable high-quality products and services,…

Les sources alternatives de financement qui révolutionnent le secteur financier en Afrique : crédit digital, Pay As You Go et crowdfunding

Sur la plateforme de crowdfunding (financement participatif) KIVA, un éleveur originaire du Burkina Faso fait appel au public pour un financement de  $ 2.700 soit environ F Cfa 1.500.000. Voici le descriptif de la demande de financement présentée sur le site web de KIVA. « S. S est un père de 06 enfants dont 3 vont…

Association Digital Frontiers Senegal – L’Association Digital Frontiers Sénégal

  The Association Digital Frontiers Senegal (ADF-SN) developed from DFI’s Senegal Community of Practice (COP) and is the first Francophone digital finance association to be established. The vision of ADF-SN is to be the benchmark association in the field of digital transformation in the next 3 years. An association working with all stakeholders and participating…

Rapid Innovation: How Fintechs are Adapting Under COVID-19

To understand more about the impact on and the role of these providers, CFI, in partnership with the Swiss Capacity Building Facility, conducted research to understand fintechs’ early adaptation and coping models under COVID-19. This brief draws findings from the Inclusive Fintech 50 applicant data coupled with key informant interviews with investors and fintechs conducted in March…

Guide to Remote Due Diligence

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, founders and investors alike wondered what effects it would have on the startup market. How would companies adapt? What effects would the crisis have on operations? And would investors continue to evaluate potential opportunities? Accion has been working to find answers to these questions —and many more — over the…

Ghana’s Identification Ecosystem

This report provides an overview and analysis of Ghana’s identification ecosystem (IE). It discusses seven major identification (ID) systems: Birth Certificates, Voter ID cards, National Health Insurance cards, Driver’s Licences, Passports, National Identification cards (Ghanacard), and SIM cards. The authors focus on how these ID systems — especially the Ghanacard and Sim cards — shape…

Sustaining Savings Groups Linked to Financial Institutions Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

This blog looks at some of the recommendations put across by MSC on how savings groups can cope with the “new normal life” that has been brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, overcome the economic shocks, and build resilience against similar future pandemics.

LISTEN NOW: The Journey Towards Open APIs: Insights from work with five DFS providers

In this webinar, Senior CGAP Open API Consultants, Lesley-Ann Vaughan, Paul Reynolds and Aiaze Mitha and Michel Hanouch, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, share their experiences from working with five DFS providers to open APIs over the last three years. The discussions includes insights on the nature of the opportunity, how to get started on this…

Open Banking: How to Design for Financial Inclusion (Webinar)

Opening banking regimes free up the troves of customer data locked inside banks, allowing competitors to access the information and develop innovative financial products and services that have potential to better meet the needs of poor people. In this webinar, CGAP’s Ariadne Plaitakis presented what types of open banking-enabled products and business models CGAP believes…

Gender: The Blind Spot of the COVID-19 Response in Low- and Middle-income Countries

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges for governments and citizens around the world, straining health systems, economies, and the very social fabric of nations. This blog explores four potential fallouts of COVID-19 that will create lasting socio-economic impact on women in India and other LMI countries.

From Insights to Action: Gender Equality in the Wake of COVID-19

This publication summarizes data, research, and policy work by UN Women’s Policy and Programme Division on the pandemic’s impact on women and girls, including the impact on extreme poverty, employment, health, unpaid care, and violence against women and girls. The publication also brings into focus the paucity of gender data and calls for greater investment…

Optimizing Awareness, Communication, and Outreach for Government Payments in Times of Crisis

This paper outlines the essential components of communication and outreach programs for both the supply and demand side. It quotes examples from PMKGY, the relief package launched by the Government of India amid the COVID-19 outbreak, to highlight the challenges around communication that recipients and frontline workers faced.

Addressing the Weak Link in COVID-19 Relief: How Improving Strategic Communications can Boost the Impact of Social Protection Programs

Nations worldwide have responded to COVID-19 through 1,100 social protection programs to help 1.8 billion-plus people. Yet recipients are largely in the dark about the programs and do not know how to access funds. This blog examines the importance of better communication around social protection programs, particularly for the vulnerable population.

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report 2020

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity report is the annual flagship publication of the Connected Society programme. This report is in its third year and provides the mobile industry and other stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of the trends in global connectivity to inform progress towards closing the coverage and usage gaps and the key challenges.

Écoutez maintenant: Intelligence Artificielle, Biométrie, Big Data : quels apports dans le développement des services financiers en Afrique ?

Ce webinaire s’inscrit dans le cadre d’une initiative visant à permettre à Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) d’interagir plus régulièrement avec sa communauté francophone. Ce fut l’occasion pour les trois panélistes invités d’éclairer l’audience sur l’intelligence artificielle, la biométrie, le big data et les défis que ces technologies permettent d’adresser dans l’offre des services financiers en…

The Impact of COVID-19 on Disruptive Technology Adoption in Emerging Markets

Disruptive technologies—like AI, blockchain, robotics, and 3D printing—are playing a key role in supporting the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts in emerging markets. Despite uncertainties surrounding the economic outlook post–COVID-19, emerging markets are expected to experience an acceleration in the adoption of disruptive technologies and a proliferation of online business models and platforms. This note…

Leveraging Islamic Fintech to Improve Financial Inclusion

Islamic finance is a fast-booming segment of global finance. Serving a core population of 1.8 billion Muslims world-wide and a wider global ethical finance audience, its role is growing in global significance especially as it relates to global social financing needs. The global fintech revolution is having a similar impact for Islamic finance through the…

Introduction to Open APIs for Digital Finance

CGAP’s collection of tools and resources on open APIs. Digital financial services providers will find here information to help them decide whether open APIs make sense for their business and, if so, how to implement an open API strategy. Open APIs can unlock new revenue streams and customer bases for providers while catalyzing a robust,…

COVID-19 and SME Failures

This paper estimates the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on business failures among small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in seventeen countries using a large representative firm-level database. Done so by using a simple model of firm cost-minimization and measure each firm’s liquidity shortfall during and after COVID-19. The framework allows for a rich combination…

LISTEN NOW: People’s Money: Presentation of The Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs final report

This webinar explores the new report, “People’s Money: Harnessing Digitalization to Finance a Sustainable Future”, by the UN Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Finance. The report sets out an ambitious, practical Action Agenda. Centrally, it spells out how digital finance can be harnessed in ways that empower citizens as tax-payers and investors in envisaging a…

Debt Restructuring in Microfinance

In July 2020, nearly 300 participants from 30 countries joined CGAP workshops to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting MFPs and their funders, microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), in terms of renegotiating and restructuring debt claims on distressed MFPs. This Briefing touches on the key insights and recommendations that emerged from the workshops. The views…

South Korea’s and Japan’s Central Banks Will Start Testing their CBDCs in 2021

In April 2020, after several years of work, the Chinese Government announced the starting of the tests of the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment), in four major cities. However, many other Asian countries have shown their interest in developing and potentially deploying their own CBDCs. This list includes countries…

Women’s Economic Empowerment and Digital Finance (WEE-DiFine)

The White Paper focuses on developing a conceptual framework to explore the pathways linking WEE and DFS in great detail, reviews the current empirical evidence for each of these pathways, identifies challenges observed in interpreting the evidence, and highlights a set of priority questions that cut across the different research areas to be explored in…

Tracking Mobile Money Regulatory Responses to COVID-19 – Part 2

This blog, provides an update of the COVID-19 Response Tracker and examines the impact of the regulatory measures on mobile money operators.

LISTEN NOW: Kenya’s Huduma Namba: Risks, Responses, and the Fight for Genuine Inclusion

This webinar looks at the response to Kenya’s transition to “Huduma Namba” and establishes the need to address exclusion in digital transitions, highlight policy recommendations, and inspire greater use of legal empowerment strategies towards inclusive digital identity in practice. Our two expert panelists leading the webinar are Laura Goodwin,  Director of the Citizenship Program at…

Achieving Development and Acceptance of an Open and Inclusive Digital Payments Infrastructure

This report was developed for financial inclusion policymakers and payment service regulators, this note proposes policy options and practical actions that can help moving toward developing open and inclusive digital payment infrastructures, while also incentivizing the acceptance and use of digital payments.

Bank of England Settlement Accounts

This paper states the Bank’s policy for providing settlement services to payment systems, for providing settlement accounts in sterling in the Bank’s Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system and for granting access to intraday liquidity.

Promoting Digital and Innovative SME Financing

Access to finance is a critical barrier for SMEs to start, sustain and grow their businesses.  About half of formal SMEs do not have access to formal credit, and instead rely on internal funds, or cash from friends and family, to launch and initially run their business.  An extensive survey of SMEs in 135 countries…

G-20: Data Enhancement and Coordination in SME Finance Report

Annual aggregate data is captured annually for only a minority of the world’s countries by the IMF, OECD and others.  Little if any data is available at country level on financing for women entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs or other key segments of interest to GPFI’s Financial Inclusion Action Plan.  Data collected by the IFIs and DFIs…

G20/OECD INFE Policy Guidance on Digitalisation and Financial Literacy

The digitalisation of financial products and services, and the consequent need to strengthen digital financial literacy has become an important component of the global policy-making agenda. This guidance aims to identify and promote effective initiatives that enhance digital and financial literacy in light of the unique characteristics, advantages, and risks of digital financial services and…

G20 Fukuoka Policy Priorities on Aging and Financial Inclusion

Aging is a global phenomenon. The number, and the proportion as a share of the population, of older people are both growing rapidly in many developed and developing countries. Other countries will experience such growth in years to come.  The United Nations predicts that, by 2050, there will be over two billion people aged 60 and…

G20 High-Level Policy Guidelines on Digital Financial Inclusion for Youth, Women and SMEs

The G20 High-Level Policy Guidelines on Digital Financial Inclusion for Youth, Women and SMEs (HLPGs) provides sets of featured policy options targeting financial inclusion gaps for youth (subject to child protection frameworks where relevant), women and SMEs through digital financial services in order to reach conditions in which all people can live, work and thrive;…

Advancing Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion

Digital financial services have expanded opportunities for millions of women across the globe. More than 240 million more women now have an account with a financial institution or mobile money service, compared to 2014. Through this increased engagement in the formal economy, women’s resilience to financial, economic and health shocks is improving.  However, there remains…

Mobile Money Saving Accounts: Helping the Bottom of the Pyramid to Save in Zimbabwe

 This paper on Academia discusses a serious problem confronting Zimbabwe, the savings gap, which essentially means that Zimbabwe as an economy cannot fund economic growth from domestic saving. There is a directly relationship between savings and income. Since savings largely depend on income, the low levels of income in the country translate into low levels of…

Policy Model for National Financial Inclusion Strategy

The AFI Member network’s knowledge and experience in developing, implementing, and revising National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) have had a significant impact on advancing financial inclusion. In general, NFIS have created enabling environments and the awareness for the deployment of strategic measures driving financial inclusion initiatives with the aim of achieving the specific financial inclusion goals as…

Digitizing Savings Groups: Evidence from Tanzania

Digital financial services reach men and women where they live, work and play—bringing banking services to customers and leaping over the last mile problem, the challenges in delivery of goods and services to the end of the supply. However, for many low-income people, particularly women, these services remain out of reach for a variety of…

Four Guiding Principles for User Research with Low-Income Women in Emerging Markets

Women’s World Banking have developed four principles to frame their user research with women in low- and middle-income countries, plus tips for putting each principle into practice during research design, implementation, and interpretation.

Data Protection and Privacy for Alternative Data

The objective of this paper is to provide guidance for countries to use in considering key options to mitigate risks associated with data protection and privacy, especially related to alternative data, but not to direct adoption of unduly prescriptive legislative provisions.

Cybersecurity and Financial Inclusion: Protecting Customers, Building Trust

Cyber-threats have become a growing concern in emerging financial markets and are weakening consumer trust and confidence in digital financial services. Industry players and governments in emerging markets are becoming aware of the need to develop regulatory frameworks, industry guidance and supervisory processes. However, cybersecurity requires expertise and resources that are often scarce in developing…

How Gender Impacts Insurance Perceptions

Pula, which provides accessible, scalable insurance solutions for smallholder farmers by bundling insurance with the inputs farmers already use including seeds and fertiliser, has produced a new learning report exploring how gender plays a role in registration decisions in East and Southern Africa. The report, co-funded by Shell Foundation and the UK government, uses Pula’s data on…

Ces technologies qui transforment le paysage des services financiers : IA, big data, biométrie…

Le dynamisme du marché de la téléphonie mobile et l’essor d’Internet en Afrique ont ouvert la voie au développement des services de mobile money et à l’émergence des banques digitales et néo-banques dont nous parlons dans notre blog du mois de Septembre . Si ces évolutions attirent l’attention et suscitent l’intérêt de beaucoup d’acteurs en…

Communities of Practice and Digital Finance Associations – Les Communautés de Praticiens (COP) et Associations Professionnelles de la Finance Digitale

As part of its capacity building program, DFI established Communities of Practice (COPs) across cities in Africa and Asia beginning in 2015. These COPs provided space for people to network and share knowledge, experiences and best practice. It brought together a diverse set of individuals from across different parts of the digital finance ecosystem, from commercial…

The Hidden Pitfalls of Digitalisation

This chapter of BIO’s digital survey looks at risks digital innovation could pose for financial inclusion.

Who are the Innovators, MFIs or Commercial Banks?

This chapter of BIO’s digital survey looks at digital products and services in relation to MFIs and commercial banks.

An Imperitive Need for a New Social Order in Microfinance Community – Towards Ushering in a Resilient Ecosystem in the Battle Against Corona Pandemic

The paper presented by Research Gate tries to understand the challenges that the Microfinance industry is facing during the pandemic, on the supply side, and the dynamics of social relations of the poor in the said bio war on the demand side, and suggest a new social order towards ushering in a resilient ecosystem in…

Digital Initiatives by Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women: A Lesson for Progressive MFIs in Bangladesh

MicroSave Consulting has issued two case studies concerning Shakti Foundation’s digital initiatives for women. The first case study charts the journey of women clients of Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women toward the adoption of voluntary savings products that ride on digital channels. While the second case study charts how Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women utilized…

A Case Study in Interoperable Payments in Myanmar’s Microfinance Industry Part 1, 2 & 3

Modusbox collaborated with UNCDF Myanmar on a six-month-long interoperability project in Myanmar’s microfinance industry to demonstrate the benefits of interoperable, real-time payments for microfinance customers in Myanmar. Part 1: The Challenges Part 2: Standardizing Digital Loan Repayments Part 3: 5 Takeaways for Banks and Regulators

Why the Economic Response to COVID-19 Needs to be Financially Inclusive and Gender Sensitive

The Special Report highlights key gender-related issues facing society during the COVID-19 pandemic and some of the specific gender-sensitive financial inclusion responses that policymakers can undertake to ensure their mitigation and recovery activities are fully inclusive and work towards the network’s commitments in the Denarau Action Plan Gender is a cross-cutting theme in all aspects…

Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion: Application Tools

This report by BIS  follows the publication of Payment aspects of financial inclusion (PAFI) in 2016 and Payment aspects of financial inclusion in the fintech era in April 2020. The 2016 report outlined seven guiding principles for public and private sector stakeholders and recommended key actions for countries seeking to implement these principles, while the April 2020 report…

G20/OECD Policy Guidance on Financial Consumer Protection Approaches in the Digital Age

In an increasingly digital environment for financial products and services with the potential to support greater financial inclusion and inclusive growth, the need for effective financial consumer protection is more important than ever. At the same time, the policies and approaches developed and adopted by financial consumer protection authorities need to evolve and adapt in…

In the Spotlight…. Ethel Mupambwa and Gerald M. Nyakwawa

This month we are featuring a recent CDFP graduate and an award-winning entrepreneur, both of whom are founders of Digital Finance Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe (DPAZ)  – Gerald M. Nyakwawa and Ethel Mupambwa. They are both motivated to impacting lives and bringing greater financial inclusion to Zimbabwe, particularly for women and youth.   Ethel is…

Client Perspectives on Consumer Protection: Analysis of a Client Survey in Cambodia

This report shares findings from a client survey in Cambodia on the consumer protection practices of financial service providers. A guidance note is also provided for organizations seeking to conduct similar surveys by IVR.

LISTEN NOW: State of Aadhaar – A People’s Perspective

A decade after the launch of Aadhaar, this webinar looks at a resident’s perspective on India’s national digital ID – in what ways has Aadhaar empowered or excluded them? To what extent do they trust and use the identification system? In which aspects is it serving them well or poorly—or not at all? These are…

How to Build a Regulatory Sandbox: A Practical Guide for Policy Makers

Regulatory sandboxes have attracted significant attention for their potential to empower financial regulators struggling with fast-paced innovation. Through a sandbox, regulators can carefully monitor digital products, services and business models in a live testing environment, enabling firms to bring innovations to market more quickly and readily. But when and under what circumstance sandboxes are the…

Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Podcast Series

Tune in to hear the Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) team discuss key issues with their mobile network operator and humanitarian partners in this podcast series.

Igniting SDG Progress Through Digital Financial Inclusion

How can this digital revolution help us reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals more quickly? One important answer is through digital financial inclusion. Inclusive digital financial services refer to mobile money, online accounts, electronic payments, insurance and credit, combinations of them and newer fintech apps, that reach people who were formerly excluded. Digital financial inclusion,…

Écoutez maintenant: Les banques digitales et les néo-banques en Afrique : quels enjeux pour l’amélioration des offres de services financiers?

Ce webinaire s’inscrit dans le cadre du lancement d’une initiative visant à permettre à Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) d’interagir plus régulièrement avec sa communauté francophone. Ce fut l’occasion pour les trois panélistes invités d’éclairer l’audience sur les différences entre banques digitales et néo banques ainsi que de mieux comprendre les spécificités de leurs approches commerciales.…

Financial Literacy Training Toolkit for Refugees

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and PHB have developed a financial literacy training toolkit customized to meet the needs and realities of refugees and refugee hosting communities in Uganda.

Instant Payments and Guidelines for the Brazilian Instant Payments Ecosystem

Here the Central Bank of Brazil discusses instant payments, highlighting implementation, ecosystem and benefits. Where this paper builds on the discussion, offering guidelines for Brazilian instant payments.

Identity Proofing for COVID-19 Recovery

In order to address the systemic as well as the immediate challenges associated with COVID-19, Cenfri and FSD Africa have developed a guidance note, targeted at regulators, financial service providers and market facilitators, that provides clear steps and actions to take in transitioning toward remote identity proofing. The guidance highlights how traditional modalities for customer due diligence…

Digital Agriculture Maps

The GSMA AgriTech’s Digital Agriculture Maps report (DAMs), produced in collaboration with IDH Farmfit, offers a snapshot into the digital agriculture landscape in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). DAMs helps industry practitioners and potential investors understand key trends and emerging opportunities in the sector. It encourages innovation and adoption of best practices to support scalable…

Connected Society Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit

The Connected Society programme works with the mobile industry, tech companies, the development community and governments to increase access to and adoption of the mobile internet, focusing on underserved population groups in developing markets. One of their key activities is to generate and disseminate insights and learnings on the mobile internet coverage and usage gap.

Global State of Small Business

The Global State of Small Business Report, based on the Future of Business Survey, is an ongoing research collaboration by Facebook, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank to survey small and medium-sized businesses around the world over a six-month period in the context of COVID-19. The aim of these…

Beyond Credit: 3 Emerging Opportunities for Fintech Startups in the Gig Economy

According to BFA Global’s Catalyst Fund, experts from India and East Africa suggest that fintech startups and digital platforms should consider three additional opportunities: offering additional financial services; supporting skill-building and structured paths to career formalization; and expanding to serve adjacent populations.

LISTEN NOW: Digital Upskilling for Financial Health and Meaningful Engagement

By driving significant gains in financial inclusion in recent years we have opened up access, but access alone isn’t enough. Emerging new evidence shines a spotlight on the potential benefits from accessible upskilling to drive more meaningful engagement of financial services and digital platforms across the underserved segments that fuel the economic engines of less-developed…

Measuring Microfinance Impact: A Practitioner Perspective and Working Methodology

This paper results from a research project by the EIF on “Measuring Microfinance Impact in the EU. Policy recommendations for Financial and Social Inclusion” (MeMI). The aim of the project is to contribute to the debate whether microfinance is able to deliver the expected impact in terms of financial and social inclusion.

A Framework for Understanding the Financial Health of MSME Entrepreneurs

This paper presents CFI’s conceptual framework for understanding MSME financial health along with a survey instrument that measures indicators for each factor in the framework.

GSMA Mobile Money API

The GSMA Mobile Money API is an initiative developed through collaboration between the mobile money industry and the GSMA, aimed at helping the mobile money industry speak the same technical language by providing a modern harmonised API for mobile money transactions and management that is both easy to use and secure.

Green Delta, Bangladesh – The Case for Insuring Women for a Better Tomorrow

Green Delta Insurance Company (GDIC), a private non-life insurer in Bangladesh, was founded as a public limited company in December 1985. In 2013, GDIC became the first South Asian insurance company to receive equity investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. GDIC differs from most of Bangladesh’s non-life…

De-risking in Africa: Illicit Financial Flows and Regional Economic Hubs

This two-note series from The Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion, highlights the relationship between de-risking, IFFs and capital flows in the context of regional economic hubs. Detailing the concept of a regional economic hub, and exploring the methodologies for determining which countries are hubs within their respective regions.

(Un)stacking Financial Market Infrastructure

The biggest challenges in scaling effective financial infrastructures that work for poor people often are not about technology. Instead, they often revolve around questions of ownership, governance, economics, regulation, and political economy. These challenges are not small, but when addressed effectively, a system can emerge that improves the value of financial services for poor people.…

Digital Cash Transfers in Times of COVID-19: Opportunities and Considerations for Women’s Inclusion and Empowerment

Women’s economic empowerment will be essential for a global economic recovery. Given pre-existing gender gaps, there are concerns about exclusion for many of the social assistance programs already being rolled out around the world. Social protection systems that ignore gender inequality will likely fail to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 for women, and, at worst,…

Global Microscope 2019: The Enabling Environment for Financial Inclusion

The Global Microscope for Financial Inclusion, now in its 12th year, is a benchmarking index that assesses the enabling environment for financial access in 55 countries. The 2019 Microscope features 11 new indicators to better assess what governments are doing to address the gender gap in financial inclusion.

Case Study: Modernizing the Customer Experience Through Communications Technology

FINCA Forward implemented a four-month proof-of-concept (POC) of the Salutat solution in Guatemala to explore if their features could deliver a rich, modernized, and personalized customer experience in which individual needs are known and satisfied. The POC proved that Salutat’s solution had the potential to strengthen engagement with customers.

We Need to Support Growth of Digital Assistive Tech Innovation in Africa and Asia

The GSMA Assistive Tech team, together with Urban Emerge, conducted a landscape study to identify digital solutions emerging from Africa and Asia that are addressing the needs of people with disabilities.

Remittances and Financial Inclusion: “Sending Money Home” in the COVID Era

CFI spoke with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) about the explosive growth of digital remittances in recent months, the drive to lower transaction fees, support for scaling digital innovation, and more. This is the second in an occasional series of interviews with professionals from development finance institutions, international financial institutions, and donor agencies…

SDGs & Socially Responsible Finance (SRF) – Case Studies from Selected AFI Members

This case study examines the role of financial institutions in achieving the UN SDGs through socially responsible finance (SRF), a broad range of political and commercial adjustments aimed at ensuring financial systems protect society and the environment.

Impact of Covid-19 on Fintechs

Like other businesses, FinTechs too have been struggling to cope with the Pandemic. The reports compiled by MicroSave Consulting, highlight the impact of the pandemic on FinTechs in Indonesia and India.  

Preserving Liquidity: Policymaker Responses to COVID-19 and the Impact on Low-Income Customers

This paper examines how COVID-era economic policy measures – specifically those addressing liquidity – are directly affecting low-income segments and the financial institutions that serve them. In particular, the paper reviews the liquidity needs of financial institutions serving low-income customers in light of COVID-19, provides examples of policy measures being taken around the world to…

QR Code Merchant Payments: A Growth Opportunity for Mobile Money Providers

The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) compiled a report on QR code merchant payments and their relationship with mobile money providers (MMPs). Describing MMPs as key players in the provision of financial services in emerging markets, and why MMPs see QR code merchant payments as a potential adjacent opportunity to expand their products and…

Banques digitales et néo-banques : de quoi parlons-nous?

Il ne faut pas opposer les mots ‘banque digitale’ et ‘néo-banque’ car dans le fond, la frontière est assez mince par endroits. Les néo-banques, en effet, se définissent très souvent comme des banques 100% digitales. Il suffit de visiter les sites web de Revolut (Royaume-Uni), N26 (Allemagne) (1), Orange Bank Africa (Côte d’Ivoire) (2) ou…

Decoupling Fintech Regulations from Mainstream Banks: A Catalyst for Innovation

This webinar organised by Digital Finance Professionals Ghana, discussed global trends in the DFS space and highlight strides that Ghana has chalked in growing its DFS market. Panelists for the webinar were: Derek B. Layrea – Head, Research and Communications, of Telecoms Chamber David Porteous – Chairman of Digital Frontiers and CEO of BFA Global…

DFI se rapproche davantage de sa communauté francophone

Bonne nouvelle pour les francophones passionnés de finance digitale ! DFI lance une série d’activités qui lui permettront d’interagir plus régulièrement avec sa communauté francophone. Partage de connaissances, discussions, retours d’expériences sont au programme à travers des activités telles que : des webinaires mensuels en français sur des thèmes d’actualité ; des publications d’articles sur des thèmes…

Financial Inclusion Compass

The Financial Inclusion Compass was launched by European Microfinance Platform in 2018. The publication is based on a sector-wide mixed-methodology survey of various stakeholders, giving the chance for practitioners, investors, donors, academics and support service providers, among others to present their thoughts on the trends, future areas of focus, challenges and opportunities for inclusive finance…

In the Spotlight….. Ophelia Ama Oni

In the spotlight this month is CDFP gradutate, COP Facilitator and President of the Digital Finance Practitioners Ghana – Ophelia Ama Oni. In our interview we share with you Ophelia’s CDFP journey, how it impacted her career and also about her role in leading the formation of an association for digital finance professionals in Ghana.…

Women, Work and ID

Digital identity — or identification in a digital age — is often pursued from the supply side, in terms of increasing access to legal identification. Caribou Digital, supported by the Australian Government, through the Commonwealth Digital Identity Initiative, conducted qualitative research on women, work and ID in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2019. This report, shares…

Eswatini Central Bank Digital Currency Diagnostic Study

The Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion in partnership with The Central Bank of Eswatini conducted a diagnostic study which investigated the potential for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and the possible use cases for the implementation of a CBDC in Eswatini. This report provides a summary of the study findings.  

Financial Inclusion for Fishing Communities through Digital Identity – Mobitel Sri Lanka

The Mobile for Development Digital Identity programme has been supporting digital identity innovations to improve lives across Asia and Africa. Here is a mobile digital identity use case, of enabling financial inclusion for informal fishing communities in Sri Lanka, developed in partnership with Mobitel Sri Lanka.

Lending Volumes to Agricultural SMEs Falling Short

The 2020 CSAF State of the Sector Report reflects on the present and future impacts of COVID-19 across the agriculture sector. CSAF’s data partner  analyzed 2019 data from CSAF’s alliance of 15 lenders, which shows that lending volumes to agricultural small and medium enterprises are nowhere near what’s needed to achieve the sector’s impact potential.

Technology Building Blocks for an Open API Strategy

For financial services providers looking to open APIs, the right combination of people, processes, and technology is essential. Too often, however, business leaders do not engage on key technology considerations, and business strategy is kept separate from technology strategy. This can lead to technically unreliable solutions that require intensive, ongoing technical support and create financial…

How to Engage Third Parties with Your Open APIs

This highlights deck from CGAP aims to drive awareness and use of APIs. It seeks to help DFS providers understand the differing needs of third parties across different segments, identify engagement activities that can address those needs, and start to think about an engagement strategy that is aligned with internal priorities and capacity. It will…

Delivering on the Potential of Digitized G2P: Driving Women’s Financial Inclusion and Empowerment Through Indonesia’s Program Keluarga Harapan

Financial institutions and governments have been working for years to leverage digitized G2P for women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment. COVID-19 has increased the stakes, as governments look to use G2P programs to strengthen women’s resilience. New research from Women’s World Banking offers insights on Indonesia’s PKH program, the country’s largest conditional cash transfer.

Living on Little – Kenya Financial Diaries

Living on Little, by Julie Zollmann, illuminates the many deep and overlooked ways that scarcity shapes the lives of ordinary Kenyans. Drawing on four years of systematic research with nearly 300 low-income families, this book offers readers a new and intimate perspective on poverty. Living on very little money doesn’t just mean that you worry…

Making Mobile Phones Affordable in Malawi

Mobile technology plays a huge role in financial inclusion and accessibility. This article talks about the affordability of mobile phones and the impacts of that in Malawi.

Good ID in Latin America

Digital identity is essential for the sustainable digital transformation of society, the public sector and the economy. One question arises: Under what circumstances can digital identification be a tool for inclusion or pose a risk to the rights of individuals? Amid this dilemma comes the global Good ID movement, which seeks to recognize and promote the…

The Global State of Small Business Report

The Global State of Small Business Report, based on the Future of Business Survey, is an ongoing research collaboration by Facebook, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank to survey small and medium-sized businesses around the world over a six-month period in the context of COVID-19. The aim of these…

Garment Worker Diary Reports

The Garment Worker Diaries collect regular, credible data on the work hours, income, expenses, and financial tool use of workers in the global apparel and textile supply chain in producing countries. The objective of the project is to have the data inform: government policy decisions, collective bargaining, and factory and brand initiatives related to improving…

Inclusive Tech: Overcoming Barriers to Scale in Emerging Markets

Technology undoubtedly has the potential to improve the access, quality and relevance of financial services for underserved customers around the world. Dynamic tech startups lie at the forefront of innovation in this space, harnessing technology, data and lean operating models to design more affordable, accessible and appropriate products that meet the unique needs of underserved…

Du chou-fleur aux licornes : Cinq leçons des cinq années d’existence d’une startup

Le mois de juillet marque le cinquième anniversaire de Digital Frontiers Institute. Notre mission reste la même : développer le capital humain dans les pays à revenu faible et intermédiaire dans des secteurs en ligne avec les objectifs de développement durable. Mais bien que nous nous nous soyons lancés dans la finance inclusive pour tous,…

The Journeys Project

This site features the long-distance journeys of dispossessed people — refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who have traveled far to escape persecution and grinding poverty. We examine their stories though a financial lens to better understand the costs and strategies involved in their journeys as well as the economic approaches they use when putting down roots…

AXA Mansard, Nigeria – The Case for Insuring Women for a Better Tomorrow

In 2016, AXA Mansard—one of Nigeria’s largest insurance companies—began differentiating itself in an increasingly competitive retail market by focusing on women. With support from International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Women’s Insurance Program, the company sought to become the preferred insurer and the employer of choice for Nigerian women. This led the company to conduct market research…

General Information on Client Protection Law and Regulation

This list is the result of desk research on law and regulation regarding client protection in microfinance.

Case Study: Women’s Empowerment through Financial Inclusion Technology

This case study from FINCA speaks directly to the promotion of financial inclusion for women and equal access to capital, markets, digital technology and business development services. The initiative is a true testament to how access to credit, mobile technology and digital literacy are jointly contributing toward women’s economic empowerment.

1st For Women South Africa, The Case for Insuring Women for a Better Tomorrow

IFC has generated a case study on 1st for Women Insurance (1st for Women), which was launched in 2004 to provide insurance solutions specifically designed for South African women—a first in the country. The case study examines 1st for Women’s approach, the South African women’s market and developing women-centric insurance products.

LISTEN NOW: Agricultural Insurance: How can Digitisation Lead to Scale?

Bundling and partnership-based approaches have enabled agricultural insurance services to grow. This has improved smallholder farmers’ climate resilience and provided them with a safety net against crop losses. However, poor weather data availability, inadequate government support and distribution difficulties remain barriers to scale. This webinar, run in partnership with GSMA, explored how mobile technology and…

The Scale and Usage of Digital Platform Ecosystems in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa

Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa are leading digital app markets in Africa. The relatively high levels of app usage across these markets are driven by expanded smartphone penetration, as well as higher levels of access to digital financial services, including mobile money. This series of infographics showcases the data on the size and scale of…

How the Development Sector is Channeling Money to Digital Financial Services

Development funders are increasingly embracing the potential of digital financial services (DFS) to promote financial inclusion. As these funders – bilaterals, multilaterals, development finance institutions and private foundations – continue to look for ways to respond to emerging crises and opportunities, the support for digital finance and the ecosystem around it is increasing in prominence.…

How to Measure the Gender Impact of Investments

Within the field of impact investing, the emergence of Gender-Smart Investing (GSI) carries major significance. The growth of this investment lens has been rapid and the amounts invested are noteworthy. In 2018, 496 institutional asset owners reported that they applied gender lens criteria to $868 billion in assets; more than double the $397 billion identified…

Finance for Smallholders

The NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance (NpM), Rural Finance working group undertook a collaborative study of smallholder finance through or with farmers’ organisations that included 14 projects of partners in Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda and Uganda.

Policy Options in a Post-COVID-19 Africa

A COVID-19 policy response framework to recover and adapt. COVID-19 is leaving no country unaffected. The global scale of the pandemic is affecting trade, capital flows, tourism and remittances, while lockdown or other measures to contain the spread of the virus are affecting domestic output and livelihoods. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where most economies were in a…

Growing Digital Financial Inclusion in Senegal

In 2014, Mastercard Foundation and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) formed a partnership to try to replicate and scale a model that had found success in the Pacific region – taking a market development approach to increasing digital financial inclusion. Through the partnership, UNCDF was able to expand the Mobile Money for the Poor programme…

Growing Digital Financial Inclusion in Zambia

In 2014, Mastercard Foundation and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) formed a partnership to try to replicate and scale a model that had found success in the Pacific region – taking a market development approach to increasing digital financial inclusion. Through the partnership, UNCDF was able to expand the Mobile Money for the Poor programme…

Could the Poor Bank on Stablecoins?

Emerging technology is driving optimism about building a more inclusive digital economy. Will one innovation—a digital asset known as stablecoins—expand access to financial services among the poor and unbanked? Success may depend on innovators’ answers to five questions—and how regulators and consumers respond. This note by F. Christopher Calabia encourages further study of these questions…

Innovative Agri-Finance Challenge Fund Playbook

The Innovative Agri-Finance Challenge Fund Playbook is a collaborative effort to assist challenge fund managers, implementers, technical assistance providers, donors and other stakeholders in managing challenge funds effectively and improving the design and implementation of future challenge fund mechanisms.

Webinar on Demand: Top 10 Recommendations for Reaching Women with Mobile Across Low- and Middle-income Countries

This GSMA hosted webinar, considers real-life examples of what mobile operators are doing to reach female customers and discusses their top 10 recommendations for reaching women with mobile.

Inclusive FinTechs in Francophone Africa: Benin report

Although in early stages, the upcoming National Financial Inclusion Strategy of Benin will help increase opportunities for FinTechs in Benin, especially if they spend time to understand the market and understand how they can add value to it by working with incumbents. The key success factors for FinTechs to stimulate financial inclusion in Benin are…

India’s New Approach to Personal Data-Sharing

Over the past decade, India’s investments in its digital financial infrastructure—known as “India Stack”—have sped up the large-scale digitization of people’s financial lives. As more and more people begin to conduct transactions online, questions have emerged about how to provide millions of customers adequate data protection and privacy while allowing their data to flow throughout…

Advancing Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion

Digital financial services have expanded opportunities for millions of women across the globe. More than 240 million more women now have an account with a financial institution or mobile money service, compared to 2014. Through this increased engagement in the formal economy, women’s resilience to financial, economic and health shocks is improving. However, there remains…

Enhancing Cross-border Payments: Building Blocks of a Global Roadmap

The G20 has made enhancing cross-border payments a priority during the 2020 Saudi Arabian Presidency. Faster, cheaper, more transparent and more inclusive cross-border payment services would deliver widespread benefits for citizens and economies worldwide, supporting economic growth, international trade, global development and financial inclusion. This CPMI report, and its accompanying technical background report, represent the output…

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on CICO agents in Kenya

Microsave’s latest research on the impact of the COVID 19 on CICO agents in Kenya provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges that CICO agents currently face and their coping strategies. The report provides recommendations for policymakers and financial service providers to support them. The report highlights that the CICO agents face severe health risks…

KYC Innovations, Financial Inclusion and Integrity in Selected AFI Member Countries

It is estimated that approximately one billion people across the world do not have access to an officially recognizable identity. The accurate verification of identity is integral to the Know Your Customer (KYC) processes necessary for compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regulation. The inability of financial institutions to properly verify…

Advancing the Digital Financial Inclusion of Youth

The focus on youth reflects the fact that almost half of the world’s 1.2bn young people aged between 15-24 remain unbanked. This report examines the factors that contribute to youth financial inclusion and the role of digital financial services in meeting young people’s financial needs. It then explores opportunities and challenges relating to advancing youth…

Governing Artificial Intelligence in Banking

AI is changing the face of the banking industry. How can banks meet the governance challenges and take advantage of this game-changing technology? To answer this crucial question, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Temenos have produced this new report, Overseeing AI: Governing Artificial Intelligence in Banking Key findings in the report include: 77% of banking…

Payment aspects of Financial Inclusion

The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the World Bank Group have issued the final report on Payment aspects of financial inclusion. This builds on an earlier version of the report that underwent public consultation in late 2015 and seeks to tackle barriers to the adoption and usage of transaction accounts, which sit at the…

FinTech Start-ups in Côte d’Ivoire amid COVID-19: Expectations from the Government and the Regulator

This overview from Microsave gives a unique glimpse of the FinTech ecosystem of Côte d’Ivoire, how it has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and what measures and guidelines are being proposed and implemented by the government and regulators of the country. It can also be accessed in French here.

Review and Analysis of Identification and Registration Systems in Protracted and Recurrent Crisis

Data systems to register and identify recipients of transfers underpin everything in a targeted distribution system in terms of who is eligible, who is not, why, for what and for how long. Data collection for these systems is often the first contact point between crisis-affected populations and responders. This research on this topic explores the…

Policy Framework for Leveraging Digital Financial Services to Respond to Global Emergencies – Case of COVID-19

The global pandemic COVID-19 and the ensuing emergencies have reinforced the urgency of using Digital Financial Services (DFS) to preserve the functioning of financial systems and the security of people during the period of declining demand, reduced supplies, and tightening credit terms. Digital payments, particularly when accompanied by digital financial Infrastructure and enabling regulations, help…

Central Banks and Payments in the Digital Era

This report from BIS, highlights the role central banks play in maintaining the safety and integrity of the payment system and reviews how central banks are embracing innovation.

Covid-19: Boon and bane for digital payments and financial inclusion

This brief compares the approaches taken by authorities in different countries, examining the different drivers for supporting the fintech industry during the pandemic. Section 2 looks at measures to facilitate use of digital payments during lockdowns. Section 3 explores measures to safeguard the fintech sector and promote innovation in payments, as countries tentatively move towards…

The Global Fintech Index

The Global Fintech Index launched the world’s first real-time ranking of fintech ecosystems and fintech companies globally. It ranks over 60 countries and 230 cities according to the strength of their Fintech ecosystem.

MSME Finance Gap Data

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are one of the strongest drivers of economic development, innovation and employment. Access to finance is frequently identified as a critical barrier to growth for MSMEs. Creating opportunities for MSMEs in emerging markets is a key way to advance economic development and reduce poverty. The private and public sector…

Inclusive Integrity Toolkit

Countries in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region have been on a development curve in setting up effective Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulatory responses that meet the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. This toolkit is the first of its kind and benefits from extensive comments and reviews from FATF as…

Market Scoping Study for the Digitization of the Fish Value Chain in Uganda

Over the past five years, UNCDF has been working to stimulate private sector engagement in rural areas of Uganda through digital bulk payment projects across the following five agricultural value chains; coffee, dairy, maize, seed oil and tea. The digitization of these value chains brought about significant benefits and opportunities to agribusinesses in the developing…

Biometric Recognition and Authentication Systems

This guidance outlines the security profiles of biometric recognition technologies, and how to build secure authentication systems which incorporate them. This document is concerned with biometric systems for the verification of individuals, and will cover only those modalities which are commercially available, and appropriate to the field of cyber security. These are: fingerprint, face, iris, vein pattern, and speaker recognition.

Payment facilities and Africa’s platform ecosystem: What does the data tell us?

Digital platforms, also known as multi-sided marketplaces, are seamlessly matching customers to suppliers of goods and services in e-commerce and other emerging industries, thereby creating new pathways for individuals to participate in the digital economy. At the heart of the rapid rise of Africa’s digital platforms are the payment methods and channels that facilitate and…

The Hidden Costs of Cash to Ghana’s Cocoa Sector

In Ghana, cash is the primary payment method used to purchase cocoa, with over 90% of farmer-level transactions (more than GHS 7 billion, or USD 1.26 billion) conducted using cash every year. As the cocoa sector considers its transition to digital payments, this report seeks to determine the overall costs and risks of using cash,…

Campus goes Mobile – Le Campus devient Mobile     

Did you know that you can now access your DFI courses on your smartphone? You need to download the Moodle Mobile app which is available from the iOS App Store or Android Google Play Store.  Once you have downloaded the Moodle Mobile app simply following these steps to connect to DFI’s campus:    Select I’m a learner  In the site address field type in: https://campus.digitalfrontiersinstitute.org/learn and…

The Causes and Consequences of Mobile Money Taxation

Mobile money taxation is a controversial subject. On the one hand mobile money has been something of a development success story in those countries where it has taken hold. On the other, developing countries face a range of issues when it comes to raising sufficient revenue to fund public services. This paper from the GSMA takes a fresh…

Digital Savings Groups

The SEEP Network defines digital savings groups (DSGs) as “technologies and systems that digitize savings group records, procedures or transactions.” What is most exciting about the growing range of DSG solutions is their potential for scale – creating new incentives for market actors, reducing the cost of training, and dramatically increasing the potential for outreach.…

LISTEN NOW: Interoperability and its Role in Financial Inclusion

This webinar looked fundamentals of interoperability and approaches within Africa with a special focus on Mozambique and Malawi. Panelists for the webinar were Gertrude Kadumbo, Chief Executive Officer at National Switch Limited, Malawi and Joao Gasper, experienced DFS Consultant and Founder of PayTek.  Interoperability is the ability for different systems to connect with one another. In…

A Survey of Research on Retail Central Bank Digital Currency

This paper examines key considerations around central bank digital currency (CBDC) for use by the general public, based on a comprehensive review of recent research, central bank experiments, and ongoing discussions among stakeholders. It looks at the reasons why central banks are exploring retail CBDC issuance, policy and design considerations; legal, governance and regulatory perspectives;…

Innovative Mobile Digital Identity Solutions: Financial Inclusion and Birth Registration

This case study looks at two start-ups that are using mobile technology to establish functional and foundational identities in the Caribbean and Burkina Faso, and looks at how those could be developed to provide people with further access to services.

Introducing Alfred Ikemon Biaou, CDFP Student

Introducing you all to Alfred Ikemon Biaou, who is a professional in the banking industry and specialises in electronic banking products and services. He has over 10 years’ experience in the field at UBA Bank and currently at Coris Bank International where he leads the e-banking & remittances unit. He’s always been passionate about solving…

Innovation Ecosystems

Innovations of all kinds contribute to greater economic growth, and tech innovations, in particular, can increase digital inclusion for individuals. But this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. For an innovation ecosystem to flourish, you need tech-savvy entrepreneurs, access to finance and a balanced network of connectors, plus an enabling environment. These ecosystems consist of, among…

Covid-19 and Remittances in Africa

The spread of Covid-19 and ‘stay at home’ measures in response to it are dramatically reshaping global societies and economies. This report from the European Commission contributes to understanding the potential economic implications of the Covid-19 crisis by focusing on its implications for migrant remittances in Africa. Large declines in remittance inflows could affect the…

How Mobile Money is Increasingly Interoperable

Achieving fully interoperable mobile money services that fulfil the needs of customers remains a goal for both the industry and the financial inclusion community. Emerging evidence from six markets sheds light on why this is the case. As more countries consider and implement a mobile money interoperability solution, this report from GSMA builds the evidence base…

COVID-19 and the Insurance Industry: Why a Gender-Sensitive Response Matters

Women play key roles in their homes, communities, and businesses. If insurers develop targeted approaches and products for women, they have the potential to earn up to $1.7 trillion by 2030. They can also help increase women’s understanding and willingness to buy insurance products to better protect their families or the companies women own or operate. The…

Digital Frontiers Institute turns five, launches a new company direction and announces the incorporation of the Gateway Academy

‘It’s our fifth birthday – my how we’ve grown”  This July marks five years since Arjuna Costa at Omidyar saw something in David, Ignacio and I wanting to solve for the human capital gaps preventing global development initiatives from reaching their true potential. Omidyar seeded our start-up and led the charge to bring in funding from MasterCard…

Gateway Academy Merges with Digital Frontiers to form Gateway

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1, 2020 – Gateway Academy, the digital learning platform for financial inclusion incubated by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), is merging with Digital Frontiers, a globally recognized non-profit that focuses on capacity building for the development community. The merger will help strengthen financial inclusion training, widen the markets served,…

Remittances in Times of Crisis: Facing the Challenges of COVID-19

On 19 March 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations called for an urgent and coordinated response from the international community to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Five days later, the Remittance Community Task Force (RCTF) was launched by Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID) 2020 co-organizers, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD),…

Fintech Toolkit: Smart Regulatory and Market Approaches to Financial Technology Innovation

This toolkit presents novel regulatory and market approaches policymakers, regulators, and development professionals can adopt to enable safe Fintech innovation.

The Long-Term Effectiveness of Financial Education Classroom Workshops in Rural Areas the Case of Armenia

Financial literacy is becoming more important, prompting public authorities, international organizations and the private sector to implement a variety of financial education programs. This case study features Armenia’s experience with classroom-based financial education workshops and the Central Bank of Armenia’s (CBA) efforts to measure the effectiveness of these workshops on financial inclusion and financial behavior.

Study Highlights How Policymakers Use Gender-Disaggregated Data to Design Effective Women’s Financial Inclusion Policies

There is a 7% gender gap globally in account ownership between men and women, 9% account in developing economies, according to the 2017 Global Findex (World Bank Group). Collecting gender-disaggregated data on access and usage of financial services provides vital information to reduce this divide, as well as fosters opportunity for economic growth and income…

LISTEN NOW: Delivering the Last Mile: A Payments Perspective on the Challenges of Delivering Humanitarian Aid

Humanitarian aid has increasingly moved from cash to digital over the last decade, but the vast majority of assistance still remains in-kind or commodity transfers, rather than unconditional cash. The reasons behind this are vast, but primarily stem from the challenges of delivering to the last mile. Coming from a payments perspective, the fundamentals of…

Pop-up Discussion: What is Privacy Worth?

We launched a new way for our community to discuss, share their thoughts and create industry best practice, called ‘The Pop-up Discussion’. These sessions will focus one topic and discuss various aspects over a maximum of a week. There is no set time commitment and it is not a course, but somewhere to discuss and…

LISTEN NOW: Providing Financial Services to Refugees under COVID-19

In this webinar three financial service providers (FSPs) that serve refugees discuss solutions to some of the problems created by the COVID-19 crisis and how they have adapted their operations. Although focused on Uganda, there are many lessons which can be adapted to other locations. DFI partnered with PHB Development and Opportunity International on the…

Our CDFP Journey with Gavin Krugel and Sarah Corley

In this video, Gavin Krugel and I share our journeys to become Certified Digital Finance Practitioners (CDFP). The CDFP program is a newly established certification built to support the emergence of a profession in digital financial services. The 3-year program provides professionals with the solid foundations and continued learning to ensure their success in this…

LISTEN NOW: The Mukuru Journey – from Humble Beginnings to a Major African FinTech Player

The webinar led by Sandy Rheeder, Chief Information Officer, takes you on Mukuru’s digital journey from a simple online offering of petrol coupons from the UK to Zimbabwe in the late 2000’s, to a remittances company today which operates across SADC and the sub-continent, offering customers multiple channels on which to access remittance and other…

Regulating Financial Services in an Era of Technological Disruption

Financial regulators are challenged to respond to the innovation opportunities presented by financial technology (fintech). Current rules are not necessarily sufficient or effective to adequately regulate new business models and new products relating to innovations such as crypto assets or digital financial services. Regulators that fail to respond in a timely manner may drive innovation…

The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Fintech Adoption

This paper draws on mobile application data from 74 countries to document the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adoption of digital finance and fintech. It estimates that the spread of COVID-19 and related government lockdowns have led to between a 24-32% increase in the relative rate of daily downloads of finance mobile applications…

Microinsurance Case Brief: Mozambique

Mozambique faces high levels of financial exclusion, particularly among the two thirds of the population living in rural areas. Access to insurance is low and awareness and knowledge is low. NBC Mozambique was founded in 2014 and is currently the only licensed microinsurer in Mozambique. This Case Brief showcases their approaches to securing partnerships to…

MTN MoMo Pay Merchant Payments: Expanding Women’s Mobile Money Use in Ghana

Access to financial services can be a critical driver of economic growth and opportunity. In Ghana, mobile money has opened access to financial services for millions of people for the first time, strengthening the payment ecosystem and deepening financial inclusion. Despite its capacity to widen access to financial services, mobile money has not proven to…

Agricultural Insurance for Smallholder Farmers: Digital Innovations for Scale

Globally, less than 20 per cent of smallholder farmers have insurance. Low awareness of insurance products and the high cost of premiums have restricted farmer uptake of indemnity-based insurance services. Insurance providers have largely overlooked smallholders due to the cost of acquiring and serving rural customers. Index insurance offers ways of overcoming some of the…

LISTEN NOW: Partnering During Crisis

This webinar discussed findings from the recent GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation report, Partnering During Crisis, on how mobile network operators (MNOs) and humanitarian organisations can partner for impactful delivery of aid and services, and share perspectives. Guest Speakers shared their lessons on how partnerships with humanitarian organisations can be designed for success, including during…

Clients Deserve to Know: Using Radio to Educate and Empower Consumers in Africa

Everyone has a role to play to improve financial consumer protection, including clients. This report explores lessons learned from three CFI initiatives in Ghana, Benin, and Uganda to raise consumer awareness of their rights and responsibilities when accessing financial services.

Transitioning Community of Practice Meetings Online

Communities of Practice (COP) were established in 2016 to support students on two of DFI’s global online courses. Over the years tried and tested approaches were used to engage students and help them contextualise the content to their local context. They also enabled students to connect and network together and collaborate on initiatives. Students met…

Ghana’s Digital Financial Services Policy

Ghana became the first country to launch a digital financial services (DFS) policy. While the policy has been years in the making, the government hopes the policy will support various measures it is taking to leverage DFS in its COVID-19 response. Developed with technical support from CGAP and funding from the Swiss State Secretariat for…

Mozambique Annual Fintech Report 2019

This Fintech Report is the first of its kind to be written in Mozambique in a collaboration between FSDMoç and the Mozambican Fintech Association. Fintechs are companies, in most cases startups, that develop innovative technologies in the financial sector, creating disruptive services for the final consumer. In an industry strongly linked to systems, processes, paradigms and…

COVID-19 Changing the Landscape for Migrants and Remittances

The pandemic’s effect on the flow of global remittances sent by migrants back home to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is projected to be one of sharp decline – a fall by about one fifth this year. The estimated 20 per cent slump represents US$ 109 billion in 2020. The hardship of COVID-19 felt by migrants…

Identity at the Margins: A Journey Continued

This narrative is a composite of experiences shared with the Caribou Digital research team, including direct quotes, presented in three short vignettes to highlight critical elements of how refugees engage with the identification systems of UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations.

VSLA and CARE Adaptations to COVID-19 and Past Crises

This brief from Care International includes examples of mitigating measures being put in place by VSLA members and CARE to lessen the impact of the pandemic on VSLA groups and their members. The brief also shares experiences of how VSLAs have adapted and delivered support through past epidemics and crises.

Golbal Dialogue on Regulatory Approaches for Inclusive FinTech

Financial policymakers and regulators in emerging and developing countries are mindful of the potential that FinTech holds for financial inclusion. While there is an increasing global convergence on the debate about and  implementation of regulatory and supervisory responses to these business model innovations, knowledge on how to deal with the risks of fast-moving technologies remains…

COVID-19 Resources

We’ve shared many covid-19 related resources and blogs via our League of Digital Finance Professionals group on LinkedIn and also included some papers and case studies in our cultivated knowledge bank. We thought we’d collate some of the popular sites, hubs and portals of information about covid-19 in this blog post to help you keep…

Interview with CDFP Student, Farouq Kakuru

Farouq is experiencing an illustrious career within banking. He began his career as a Teller with Stanbic Bank, where he received several promotions due to his performance, and now is a Relationship Manager of Electronic Channels at Bank of Africa, Uganda.  He has completed both the Certificate in Digital Money (CIDM) and Leading Digital Money…

LISTEN NOW: How is Digital Technology Affecting Identification?

In this webinar, Emrys Schoemaker discusses some of the trends in digital identification, drawing from research conducted in national ID schemes, identification for refugees and approaches that map identity ecosystems.     Caribou Digital’s research has resulted in the development of a holistic approach that looks beyond just the ID itself but to the wider…

Opportunities for Improving Digital Identification in Social Cash Transfer Programmes through Mobile: Insights from Kenya and Malawi

Through qualitative and quantitative research with more than 540 people across the two countries – including experts from the mobile industry, international development community, and private sector – GSMA identified and explored a range of insights and opportunity areas for mobile.

Case study: The Future of Government-to-Person (G2P) Payments: Innovating for Customer Choice in Kenya

In 2018, Kenya’s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection launched the newest phase of its social safety net programme Inua Jamii with an audacious goal: provide all beneficiaries with a full bank account and offer them a choice among four financial services providers. As of December 2019, the Inua Jamii programme had reached 1.2 million…

How to Apply Machine Learning to Business Problems

This article, breaks down categories of business problems that are commonly handled by ML, and provides actionable advice to begin a ML initiative with the right approach and perspective.

G2P: Fiji’s Electronic Welfare Transfer System

Digitizing social welfare payments can be a win-win for all stakeholders involved when done right; the recipients of welfare receive their payments in a more convenient and cost-effective way, the government can streamline services to make them more efficient and reduce illegitimate payment, and the service provider gains more customers. It was this thinking that…

Partnering During Crisis

he ubiquity and scale of mobile networks has made mobile an attractive delivery channel for many types of humanitarian assistance, and recent evidence shows that humanitarian stakeholders and the private sector are recognising the potential to offer essential products and services in an emerging digital humanitarian ecosystem. However, there is little available evidence of the…

Digitizing Payments in the Time of COVID19 and Beyond

UNCDF organized this webinar to discuss how fast-tracking digital payments at a time of crisis can be crucial in delivering aid and in post-crisis recovery. Three speakers from the UNCDF Inclusive Digital Economies team, Ali Akram, Sabine Mensah and Jaspreet Singh, were invited to share their experience and expertise. The objective of the webinar was to…

LISTEN NOW: Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Livelihoods in Africa Part 3 – The Effect on Digitisation in the Insurance Sector

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of the insurance sectors’ role in development, and in the economic resilience of businesses and individuals. As of April 9, a third of the global population was in lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. Lockdown restrictions across the world have led to insurers across the continent…

Mobile Money Recommendations to Central Banks in Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for the global economy. It has affected global health systems, affected peoples’ livelihoods and will, invariably, leave long lasting economic effects. Many countries have adopted partial or total ‘lock downs’, restricting movement in a bid to “flatten the curve” and to limit the spread of the virus.…

CICO Agents: The Under-Valued “First Responders”

Microsave’s ongoing research uncovered a set of unique challenges that cash-in/cash-out (CICO) agents currently face in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report looks at the experience and behaviors of CICO agents across eight countries and explores ways to support them through favorable policies, even as the disease rages on around the world.

Gender and Financial Misconduct: A Field Experiment on Mobile Money

The findings of this study on SSRN raise important issues at the intersection of economics and culture, and indicate that preexisting social distance (particularly unequal gender empowerment and gendered beliefs) can incentivize undesirable market outcomes and may be an important source of local financial market frictions.

The GSMA AgriTech Toolkit for the Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains

The Toolkit for the Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains is a collection of resources that illustrate how digital technologies can address pain points for farmers and value chain actors, such as agribusinesses and cooperatives, in the agricultural last mile. These resources support the use of digital technologies for digital procurement, by enabling the transition from…

Innovative Financial Products and Services for Women in Asia and the Pacific

This paper from Asian Development Bank examines digital financial services and products—powered by financial technology—as well as low technology solutions that can boost digital financial inclusion for women in remote and rural areas. New and innovative digital approaches that facilitate access to finance can effectively support the socioeconomic empowerment of women in Asia and the…

Achieving Business Impact with Data

There has never been a better time to achieve impact with data. More and more data is available, computing power is ever increasing, and mathematical techniques and the so-called data science are getting more and more advanced. What’s more, “digital” and “data” have become the talk of the town. Yet while talking about data as…

LISTEN NOW: What may Change Post COVID-19? Exploration Using a Scenario Lens.

David Porteous has led many scenario exercises over the years which seek to identify different possible outcomes as the basis for building robust strategies. As the Covid-19 crisis has grown, he has become involved with BFA clients in various countries, applying scenario logic to this situation. In this webinar, he shares some emerging general insights,…

Testing “Lenga” a New Financial Education Kit in Tanzania

For the past three years in Tanzania, UNCDF and its partners have been developing and delivering financial education through a wide range of mechanisms, such as SMS (Arifu), tablet-based apps (Jijenge), videos (Noa Ubongo, Shamba Shape-Up), campaigns (Saving is Love), in-person trainings, and using savings groups as inclusive and supportive platforms for learning. This year, UNCDF…

Savings at the Frontier – Getting closer

Savings at the Frontier (SatF) was set up in 2015 to promote formal financial service provision to savings groups and savings collectors (informal savings mechanisms (ISMs). It has partnered with nine financial service providers (FSPs) in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia to explore viable business models for reaching “the financial access frontier.” This focus note describes…

Financial Inclusion in Zambia and the role of the ADFP

On an ordinary day, Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city, is laden with agents on almost every corner of popular shopping malls, streets and communities. These agents contribute to the din in the city and offer various digital financial services to passersby and loyal returning clients. The agents are usually ready to offer money transfers, cash in…

Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion in the Fintech Era

Technological innovation has made major inroads into financial services, especially payments. The pace of innovation has substantially increased in the past five years, leading to the “era of fintech”. Fintech presents both opportunities and challenges for financial access and inclusion. It can support improved access to safe transaction accounts and encourage their frequent use. However,…

Access to Mobile Services and Proof of Identity

The ability to prove one’s identity is essential to securing both rights and access to a number of life-enhancing services including healthcare, voting, education, financial services, employment and social protections. As we continue advancing in the digital age, identification becomes ever more critical to gaining access to mobile connectivity and a range of mobile services…

LISTEN NOW: Bias, Blind Spots and Bad Identity Systems – Why the Digital Identity Industry Needs Diversity

This webinar led by Emma Lindley, co-founder of Women in Identity and Chief Commercial Officer for Truststamp, explored biases and ideas for bringing diversity to the digital identity industry. As humans we all have bias and there are different types of bias such as observer bias – where we see what we expect to see,…

Citizens and States: How Can Digital ID and Payments Improve State Capacity and Effectiveness?

In Bangladesh, a mother can now receive her child’s education scholarship through her mobile phone account instead of having to stand in long lines at the school on a prearranged day for a cash handout. Not only does this save her time and effort and provide accurate and documented payment, it also relieves school officials…

Blockchain Interoperability Considerations and Approach

The emergence of blockchain technology holds great promise for supply chain organizations. However, concerns around blockchain interoperability can serve as an obstacle to deployment. The World Economic Forum (Forum) and Deloitte examined the challenges and potential solutions for interoperability in the context of supply chain, global trade and the fourth industrial revolution. Read the report…

UNHCR Cash Assistance and COVID-19: Emerging Field Practices

This document from UNHCR is a snapshot of the many innovative field practices emerging in light of COVID-19. UNHCR preparedness and response to COVID-19 is comprehensive including cash assistance as a quick and efficient means of getting assistance to people fast, empowering families to deal with the crisis and meet their basic needs, mitigating some…

CVA in COVID-19 Contexts: Guidance from the CaLP network

This is a summary of the key points from rsources being shared on CVA and COVID-19. It is a living document and we  be updated as new resources are added. It is intended to help organisations understand and prepare for likely impacts of COVID-19 on their work, consider whether CVA is right for the contexts…

Don’t Jump Straight to Digital: What Ebola Taught Us About Trying to Force New Systems in Crisis

In this podcast from Care International, Holly Radice talks about how people have limited bandwidth to adopt new things in crisis, and how cash transfers in Ebola failed at digital solutions because of unrealistic expectations. Her recommendations: do everything you can to adapt and expand existing systems to push out cash safely, examine your context very carefully and…

Making Digital Finance Work for Women in the MENA Region: Eight Lessons from the Field

This brief from Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund highlights two regional case studies: the female agents, DFS Learning Program and other learnings from the MENA region that had an impact on how digital financial services can be used to accelerate women’s economic empowerment . The brief on making digital finance work for women in the MENA…

LISTEN NOW: DFS Capacity Building and COVID19 – Is online the answer?

In this webinar, our panelists discuss the impact of COVID19 on capacity building and the role of online learning in mitigating the effects of the pandemic. Panelists were: Lutz Ziob, Founder & CEO of Ziob Consulting; Esselina Macome, CEO of FSD Mozambique and Professor at Eduardo Mondlane University; Thom Sinclair, CEO of Gateway Academy; and…

Mobile Money Regulatory Index

The Mobile Money Regulatory Index measures regulatory enablers of mobile money adoption. It has been constructed according to the steps set out in the guidelines developed by the OECD and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). This methodology document presents the theoretical framework that underpins the Index; the process for selecting the indicators, along…

Humanitarian Cash Transfers and Financial Inclusion

Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan receive more than one quarter of their humanitarian assistance in the form of cash and vouchers. Leveraging this aid delivery to connect refugees to the formal financial system requires the host country to have widespread digital financial ecosystem in place and coordination among governments, aid agencies, and financial service…

Measuring Financial Health: What Policymakers Need to Know

Citizens, politicians and policymakers know that effectively managing one’s financial resources – being financially healthy – is central to the success of both individuals and broad populations. If financial health is to be a useful construct, it is important to be clear about what it means, how it is measured, and how it can be…

The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020

This third edition of The Mobile Gender Gap Report will consider how women’s mobile access and use are changing, and how efforts to reach women with technology should evolve alongside. This report provides: Updated figures on gender gaps in mobile ownership and mobile internet use in LMICs and how these are changing For the first…

The Contribution of FinTechs for MSME Development: What can Mozambique Learn from FinTechs in South Africa and Kenya?

This study, the Contribution of Fintechs for MSME Finance was produced by Helder Buvana as part of his journey to become a Certified Digital Finance Practitioner. It looks at how innovation, mainly technological innovation, is contributing to change the traditional way financial services are delivered to customers and how these new waves can reduce the…

LISTEN NOW: Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Livelihoods in Africa: Part 2 – The Effect on Financial Health

This webinar, the first of a 2-part series looking at the impact of COVID-19, was focused on its effect on financial health. The webinar was moderated by Cenfri technical director and insight2impact programme lead Hennie Bester and featured the following panelists: Elisabeth Rhyne, Former Managing Director, Centre for Financial Inclusion, Amolo Ng’weno, CEO of BFA…

LISTEN NOW: Can we Please Try to be a Little More Creative with the User Interface on Personal Finance Apps?

In this webinar Ignacio Mas asks us to raise our ambition levels when it comes to user interfaces. User interfaces for banking apps tend to be extremely boring; essentially a digital version of the old paper forms. If you could print off the user interface screens, you’d get the old paper forms. What could more…

The GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab for Mobile Money Interoperability

The GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab has released its Interoperability Test Platform, the first joint test environment including two key technologies, the GSMA Mobile Money API and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Mojaloop. With this test platform, the GSMA provides the industry with an open-source and secure environment, enabling ecosystem participants to test their systems…

State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2019

2019 marked a major milestone for the mobile money industry: the number of registered mobile money accounts surpassed one billion. Reaching the one billion mark is a tremendous achievement for an industry that is just over a decade old. The mobile money industry of today has a host of seasoned providers with a broad set…

Digitizing Value Chain Payments: A digital solution from Ghana

In Ghana, Tanager has been complementing the development of agribusiness markets by linking agribusinesses with ecosystems for cashless banking as a bridge between rural communities and brick-and-mortar banking services. In order to roll out mobile payment platforms across supply chains, and provide last-mile financial services to rural farmers, Tanager partners with agribusinesses, producers, and mobile…

Building a Resilient Industry: How Mobile Network Operators Prepare for and Respond to Natural Disasters

Mobile networks and connectivity have become increasingly necessary in times of crisis. They allow us to connect with loved ones, whether they are down the street or on the other side of the world. They fill not only a very human need to connect during times of hardship, but they also allow the coordination of…

Our Upcoming Webinars for April and May 2020

We have some great webinars coming up during April and May – as always places are limited to 100 so sign up to avoid disappointment.   This webinar explores how we may be unknowingly and unwittingly influenced by our own biases. By having people with differing points of view on our teams, we can avoid…

LISTEN NOW: Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Livelihoods in Africa: Part 1 – The Effect on Remittances

This webinar, the first of a 3-part series looking at the impact of COVID-19, was focused on the impact on remittances in Africa and potential responses from governments, development partners and the private sector, and globally to understand how fast countries typically take to recover after a crisis or disaster. The webinar was moderated by…

In memory of Ann Muhangi, DFS Champion

We received the sad news yesterday of the passing of Ann Muhangi. Ann was our COP facilitator in Uganda and the driving force behind the establishment of their professional association, Digital Frontiers Association (DFA). Ann was passionate about financial literacy and improving lives. She was an educator, coach, mentor, motivational speaker, and pioneer of savings…

Insur;Hack Report

The Insur;Hack (focusing specifically on insurtech) was a collaborative effort designed to provide competing teams with sector-specific training and mentorship, as well as the chance to win financial and physical resources that enable them to ideate, prototype and build digital products that can help to disrupt the insurance industry. The event sought to pioneer innovation in…

Guidance on Digital ID

Digital ID systems are evolving rapidly.  To determine whether a digital ID is suitable, governments, financial institutions and other stakeholders should: Understand the assurance levels of the digital ID system’s technology, architecture and governance Given its assurance levels, determine whether it is appropriately reliable, independent in light of potential risks that it is used to…

Case Study: Strengthening Agricultural Supply Chains Through The Delivery of Financial Services

This case study by the Fund for Rural Prosperity looks at the lessons learned from Ibero Uganda’s approach to financially including coffee farming families.

API Deployments in Inclusive Finance

APIs are often viewed as potential solutions for traditional financial institutions, particularly small and midsize banks, to partner with upstart financial technology companies (fintechs) to offer innovate products, especially to low-income customers. In practice, however, due to the maturity of the fintech market, fear of losing competitive advantage, and a variety of strategic errors in planning…

Digital Financial Services Supervision in Bangladesh

In this report, DFS innovations can rapidly expand financial access and inclusion, but also pose risks related to fraud, market abuses, and financial stability. Regulatory frameworks thus need to strike a balance between fostering innovation, protecting consumers, and addressing the potential for unintended consequences of technological disruption. They must also ensure the market is a…

The Mobile Money Regulatory Index

In September 2018 GSMA launched the Mobile Money Regulatory Index, an interactive tool that measures the effectiveness of mobile money regulatory frameworks.

Proportionate Regulation in Uganda: A Gateway for Refugees Accessing Mobile Services in Their Own Name

The world’s refugee population is growing. Although mobile connectivity is not an antidote to the challenges refugees face, evidence shows that access to connectivity improves the lives of refugees in a variety of ways. Proof of identity is often required for individuals to activate mobile-enabled services in their own name, but many refugees do not have…

LISTEN NOW: Navigating the Shift to Digital Humanitarian Assistance: Lessons from the International Rescue Committee’s Experience

This webinar, featuring Belinda Baah and Zoe Hamilton from the GSMA’s Mobile for Humanitarian Programme and Elizabeth Tromans from International Rescue Committee, discusses IRC’s experience with shifting to digital humanitarian assistance. There are benefits for both the humanitarian organisation and the client by using digital humanitarian assistance. For the organisation it offers scalability, security, speed,…

Digital Banks: How can they deepen financial inclusion?

New technologies and business models are upending long-established markets across virtually every major sector, including the financial services sector. Traditional retail banks are joined by a growing number of digital partners and other competitors. One example are digital banks – firms that adopt new technologies to offer more effective banking services. This slide deck from…

Fintech, Regtech and the Role of Compliance Report 2020

The 4th Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence report has been published on fintech, regtech and the role of compliance in 2020. It explores the adoption and use of technology and its implications for compliance. The report also highlights the shifting role of the regulator and concerns about best or better practice approaches to tackle the rise…

Understanding Women’s Rural Transition and Service Needs – Opportunities for Financial Service Providers

In this webinar recording FinEquity’s Social Norms lead , Nisha Singh facilitated a conversation with the Anne Maftei and Clara Colina from the Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab on the recently published Pathways to Prosperity report and the associated gender deep dive. The authors highlighted the novel approach to customer segmentation proposed in the report. Based…

Is There a Case for For-Purpose Remittances?

This report from Cenfri reveals the findings from their qualitative and quantitative research with remittance senders who live in the United Kingdom and send remittances to either Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria or Uganda. Remittances act as key sources of financial support for households: They reduce the likelihood of impoverishment, contribute to improved health and education, and provide…

Leveraging Mobile to Accelerate Digital Identity Ecosystems: Considerations for Policymakers in Africa

The white paper written by Yiannis Theodorou, Acting Head of Digital Identity at GSMA, discusses how mobile could be leveraged to accelerate digital identity ecosystems in Africa.

Digital Credit Scoring for Farmers: Opportunities for Agritech Companies in Myanmar

Despite rapid urbanisation in recent years, agriculture dominates Myanmar’s rural economy. Sectoral challenges, like farmers’ limited access to credit and associated low levels of financial inclusion, affect farmer livelihoods and limit opportunities for growth. Recently, innovative agritech companies have been testing the use of digital technologies to mitigate some of these challenges. This report from…

Seeking Solutions: New Roles for Technology in Cash and Voucher Programs

More people have been forced to flee their homes than at the height of World War II. The scale of these humanitarian crises are challenging, and sometimes outpacing, the capacity of institutions created to respond to them. Yet, the approaches available to reach populations in need have also advanced. In particular, the trend towards distributing…

Fintech Benchmarks Proof-of-Concept Report

Investment capital is flowing into fintech startups, yet it is still challenging to get capital to many fintechs addressing last-mile challenges. Evidence suggests this is driven in large part by a lack of information. Using data collected to test an initial set of Data Standards for Inclusive Fintech, this report from MIX presents insights into…

Digital Finance APIs Come with Risks – Here’s One Way to Manage Them

Often an open API initiative starts when a digital financial services (DFS) provider sees the potential for scaling the exposure of services, such as payments, to partners and third parties. However, internal resistance can squelch the initiative, as management grapples with potential security, data privacy and brand reputation risks. While these concerns are valid, if…

Space for Finance in Developing Countries

This research was conducted by Caribou Space for the International Partnership Programme, a five-year, £30 million per year initiative run by the UK Space Agency. This report outlines why and how the space industry has a role to play in addressing challenges within the finance sector in developing countries. It is part of a series…

Passwordless Authentication: The Next Breakthrough in Secure Digital Transformation

Authentication is the cornerstone of secure digital transformation for platform businesses, and beyond that, a pillar of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: from internet of things (IoT) devices that need authentication for machine-to-machine communication, to artificial intelligence (AI) that will be used both to secure and bypass authentication systems, and even blockchain, for which trustworthy authentication…

The Identities Research Project

The Identities research project explores user experiences of identity technology, brought to you by Caribou Digital, Omidyar Network and the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIITB). The need for user-centered research in “digital identity” arose out of concerns around top-down identity systems and lack of insights on how these are being understood and used,…

Digital Identity and Social Cash Transfers

The efficient implementation of social protection systems – and particularly social cash transfers – requires new digital tools that facilitate the efficient selection and enrollment of beneficiaries and the targeted and transparent delivery of funds. Effective methods of verifying beneficiary identities are essential to these processes; however, several issues are likely to hinder this. This…

Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development

In 2017, a group of development partners, international organizations, government agencies, and NGOs actively working to design and support identification (ID) systems came together organically to develop a set of shared principles essential for maximizing the benefits of identification for development while mitigating the risks. These Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development have now been endorsed by…

Global Risks Report 2020

The 15th edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report is published as critical risks are manifesting. The global economy is facing an increased risk of stagnation, climate change is striking harder and more rapidly than expected, and fragmented cyberspace threatens the full potential of next-generation technologies — all while citizens worldwide protest political and economic…

G20 Action Plan on SME Financing: Self-Assessment Consolidated Progress Report 2019

This report represents the comparison of the 2019 self-reported responses against those provided by the G20 countries in 2017.

Financially Underserved Kenyans and Their Market Potential: A segmentation Study

This segmentation study identifies Kenyans whose financial needs are not adequately met by the solutions available in the financial market, as well as the untapped opportunities they offer to financial service providers. The study was conducted by FSD Kenya and CGAP using data from FinAccess 2019. Over the past two decades, Kenya has made significant…

Unlocking Credit For Women-Owned Enterprises in Southeast Asia through Value Chain Digitization

This report by Women’s World Banking explores the answers to three key questions: Which value chains in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam represent priority opportunities to develop increased credit offerings for women-owned MSMEs (micro-, small- & medium-sized enterprises) through value chain digitization? What forms of value chain digitization would be best suited to women-owned…

Making Data Work for the Poor

With the rise of digital technologies, the use of personal data by private companies is growing rapidly. But how do we know they will use this data responsibly and in consumers’ best interests? In emerging and developing markets, the question is particularly acute because the predominant model rests upon obtaining consumer consent to use their…

Impending Arrival – a Sequel to the Survey on Central Bank Digital Currency

Research and experimentation on central bank digital currencies continue to fuel discussion and debate. This BIS paper updates an earlier survey that asked central banks how their plans in this area are developing. The latest responses show emerging market economies reporting stronger motivations and a higher likelihood that they will issue digital currencies, with central…

Changing Mindsets to Empower Women

This blog post and video interview on Next Billion features Roshaneh Zafar discusing how Kashf Foundation handles the challenges of serving women customers in Pakistan, why its services go far beyond microcredit, and where the development sector’s investments in women are still falling short.

Customer-Centric Guide

The CGAP Customer-Centric Guide is a collection of hands-on toolkits and experiments that help with the design and delivery of effective financial services for low-income customers.

The Real Story of Women’s Financial Inclusion in India

This research report from Microsave Consulting explores the real problems restricting women’s access to, and usage of, formal financial services in India, and recommends the use of introducing different categories of women so that use, uptake and design of products can be improved.    

Digital Identity Tracker

The Digital ID Tracker®, produced in collaboration with PYMNTS.com and Jumio, is a monthly resource for updates on trends and changes in the digital ID industry.