The digital financial services industry has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, with digital financial services (DFS) being a critical enabler of financial inclusion, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, digital financial literacy (DFL) remains a key challenge and a hindrance to the uptake and use of DFS products.
Without the financial, numerical, and digital knowledge and skills required to adopt and use these products, customers become extremely vulnerable to consumer protection risks that diminish their financial resilience.
This lack of digital financial skills and literacy has strongly impacted the delivery, uptake, use, and promotion of DFS and, in turn, has impacted financial inclusion and the financial health of consumers. Policy adoption and implementation of DFL interventions are, therefore, crucial in providing customers with the skills they need to use financial services safely and efficiently. To bridge this gap, policymakers, regulators, and financial service providers need to prioritise DFL as an integral part of their financial inclusion strategies.
It’s against this backdrop that the GSMA decided to develop this toolkit to help address the DFL gap in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The goal of the toolkit is to give MMSPs, mobile money agents, NGOs, development agencies, government agencies, regulators, and policymakers the skills, resources, and knowledge they need to create DFL interventions that will help more people in LMICs get access to financial services.
The toolkit calls for collaboration between all mobile money stakeholders, especially in the development of national DFL programmes and initiatives. It offers guidelines on how each stakeholder can contribute to financial literacy and underscores the value of coordinating monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for data-driven DFL initiatives.
It also highlights the key role that regulators and policymakers have to play in developing, implementing, and monitoring national DFL initiatives while making sure relevant data is shared with DFS providers and used to improve and advance DFS products and solutions.