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Featured Publications

G20 Argentina 2018 Priorities Paper

Under its G20 Presidency’s theme of “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development” Argentina has released the GPFI Priorities Paper, which identifies the priorities for 2018. The document focuses on the role of digitisation to financially include the underserved population, particularly those in the informal economy. This agenda has been designed to be relevant for both developing and developed countries. To that end, under Argentina’s G20 Presidency, the GPFI will deliver a […]

Digital Financial Services in Nigeria: State of the Market Report 2017

The notion supporting digital financial services (DFS), mainly through ubiquitous mobile devices as a magic bullet for enhancing access and utility of financial services is still in its nascent stages. Through research engagements, the various dimensions of Nigeria’s financial inclusion conundrum are the primary focus of the Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Financial Services (SIDFS) Initiative hosted at the Lagos Business School. By generating an evidence base, we aim to provide […]

Digitally Delivered Credit: Consumer Protection Issues and Policy Responses to New Models of Digital Lending

Across the globe, we are seeing how the rapid expansion of digital financial services (DFS) is driving the growth of inclusive finance. Policymakers and regulators are recognizing the importance of DFS for financial inclusion, as highlighted in the G20 High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion: “While tremendous gains in financial inclusion have already been achieved, digital financial services, together with effective supervision (which may be digitally enabled), are essential to close […]

Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments

Cities account for a large proportion of the global population and its economic activity. Today, over half of the world population lives in cities. By 2050, this number will increase to two-thirds. Currently, over 80% of global economic activity takes place in cities and it is expected that the vast majority of future economic growth will come from cities, largely spurred by digital payments. This study is unique in that […]

2017 UNSGSA Report: Financial Inclusion Transforming Lives

Financial inclusion is now firmly established as a powerful tool to improve lives and strengthen development. Each year, the Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance—Queen Máxima of the Netherlands—publishes a report that looks at what financial inclusion has achieved and where it is going. The report discusses the contribution SMEs have on the economy – half of total employment and a third of the GDP. However, their opportunity for growth is […]

Equitable Growth through Financial Inclusion: Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation

Bhutan’s approach to development has always been founded on participatory and inclusive principles, driven by the country’s unique development philosophy of “gross national happiness”. Following this tradition, the Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation (BEFIT) — held in Thimphu, Bhutan from May 24-26, 2017 — was inspired by His Majesty, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck’s vision that Bhutan’s successful democratic transition must be accompanied by successful economic transformation. Financial inclusion […]

Agent Network Accelerator Research: Pakistan Country Report September 2017

The Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) project is a four-year research project in the following eleven focus countries, managed and conducted by MicroSave/the HelixInstitute of Digital Finance. It is the largest research initiative in the world on mobile money agent networks, designed to determine their success and scale. Pakistan is among 11 African and Asian countries participating in this research project, selected for its contribution to the development of digital financial services globally. […]

Voice of the Client: Cambodia 2017

This report presents the findings of the Voice of the Client project in Cambodia, a ground-breaking initiative in the microfinance industry developed by Hivos and MIX to leverage mobile technologies as a means to analyze the level of satisfaction of clients with the suite of products and services offered by their financial service providers (FSPs). The analysis is based on data related to client protection principles which were collected from […]

Digital Financial Services: Challenges and Opportunities for Emerging Market Banks

The digital transformation that has upended industries from retail and media to transport and business-to-business commerce is now sweeping the financial services industry, through the wide dissemination of digital financial services. This was inevitable, as ubiquitous computing power, pervasive connectivity, mass data storage, and advanced analytical tools can easily and efficiently be applied to financial services. After all, money was already extensively (though not exclusively) created, used, stored, processed, and […]

Data Analytics and Digital Financial Services

This is the third handbook on digital financial services (DFS) produced and published by the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint initiative of IFC and The MasterCard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance DFS in Sub-Saharan Africa. The first handbook in the series, the Alternative Delivery Channels and Technology Handbook, provides a comprehensive guide to the components of digital financial technology with particular focus on the hardware and software building […]

Latest Resources

DELIVERING ON THE POTENTIAL OF DIGITIZED G2P

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. Originally published on the Women’s World Banking website.

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. However, until now, we have not had a systematic way of understanding how much funding […]

COVID-19: BOON AND BANE FOR DIGITAL PAYMENTS AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Many emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) have made a significant amount of progress in the areas of digital finance in terms of usage of digital payments in everyday life, bringing people into the formal economy, and also as a key contributing sector to GDP. In the ninth FSI Brief, Nana Yaa Boakye Adjei compares pandemic-induced measures taken by authorities worldwide to boost digital payments and looks at how they […]

‘NOT A GOOD TIME’: ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19 IN AFRICA

The paper studies the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on African economies and household welfare using a top-down sequential macro-micro simulation approach. The pandemic is modeled as a supply shock that disrupts economic activities of African countries and then affects households’ consumption behavior, the level of their welfare, and businesses’ investment decisions. The DSGE model is calibrated to account for informality, a key feature of African economies. We find that […]

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 much work to do to achieve gender equality in financial services. Approximately one billion women […]