Financial Inclusion in Refugee Economies

Categories : Customer and Users of Digital Payments, Financial inclusion


Author: Sarah Corley

This paper by Kim Wilson and Roxani Krystalli is an editorial essay, with insights informed by a study on the financial journeys of refugees conducted in Greece, Jordan, Turkey, and Denmark in July and August 2016. This essay begins by providing a brief overview of financial inclusion and the “digital/formal” trends. It proceeds to discuss some particularities of displacement that affect refugees’ interaction with financial inclusion tools and systems. For each of these questions are identified for the financial inclusion community to consider as it reflects on engagement with refugee populations.

Ultimately, this paper strays from formal financial inclusion frameworks, which tend to delimit financial inclusion in terms of integrating customers into an existing digital or formal (hereon “digital/formal”) financial infrastructure. Instead it examines the financial tasks that refugees and displaced populations must perform in order to survive. It then explores the environments in which refugees must perform these tasks, and finally attempt to define more relevant parameters of inclusion.