Responsible Finance Forum

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Featured Publications

Digital Financial Services and Risk Management Handbook

The last decade has seen a wave of innovative financial services aimed at serving the unbanked populations in emerging markets. Low-income individuals, microentrepreneurs and rural populations that were previously left out of the market due to the high costs of physical expansion are now accessing financial services through mobile phones and networks of agents acting as representatives of financial service providers. This has resulted in a remarkably rapid increase in […]

G20 High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion

The G20 and Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion stand at an unprecedented time when our leadership has the potential to drive the growth of inclusive economies by promoting digital financial inclusion. Two billion adults globally do not have access to formal financial services and are excluded from opportunities to improve their lives. While tremendous gains in financial inclusion have already been achieved, digital financial services, together with effective supervision (which […]

Alternative Delivery Channels and Technology

The ambition to reach full global financial inclusion requires that we address the challenge of delivering appropriate and affordable financial services to an estimated 2.5 billion unbanked individuals globally. One response to this challenge has involved the design of products such as microloans, low balance savings accounts, micro-insurance, and mobile money transfer that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the often excluded low-income mass market. Delivering these products […]

Responsible Finance Forum V: Responsible Digital Finance Outcomes Report

Digital finance is now widely recognized as one of the most powerful tools to reach financial inclusion targets at low cost, to create opportunities for people in remote communities, to provide them with the financial tools and services to grow their businesses, and to enable them to channel more household resources into education, health, and other key household expenses and investments. As the market for digital finance expands, it is […]

Small Beginnings for Great Opportunities

Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Microfinance Projects in IFC IFC is the World Bank Group’s main investor in microfinance, working with around 300 microfinance institutions (MFIs) and SME-focused financial institutions, which provide financial services in 91 countries. IFC is also one of the leading global investors in terms of volume. In fiscal year 2014, we committed $519 million in 43 projects with MFIs. Our cumulative investment portfolio in microfinance […]

Latest Resources

Beyond Financial Inclusion – Financial Health as a Global Framework

Individuals all around the world strive to improve their financial lives. They spend, save, borrow, and plan, working to grow their assets and protect their resources, in the pursuit of improved financial health. A relatively new term in the financial inclusion community, financial health is a model for assessing how well one’s daily financial systems help build resilience from shocks and create opportunities to pursue one’s dreams. Whether rural or […]

Financing the Frontier – Inclusive Financial Sector Development in Fragility-Affected States in Africa

This think piece is a response to the recognition that inclusive financial market development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) faces new challenges. It argues that there is a triple justification for an increased focus on fragility-affected states in Africa (FASA). First, poverty is reducing, but the concentration of extreme poverty in fragile states is likely to increase. As SSA grows, there is a moral imperative to ensure the benefits are shared, […]

Geodata and ICT Solutions for Inclusive Finance and Food Security

Recent developments in technological applications offer opportunities to increase outreach of financial services to rural areas and for smallholder farmers. Early evidence suggests that these applications offer great promise to produce a higher and more stable crop supply of increased quality and improve market access. By this, the risk profile of smallholder farmers reduces which is an important stimulus for financial institutions to provide financial services. At the same time, technology reduces costs and allows […]

Development Investments – A Response to Global Challenges

We offer our investors access to about 100 emerging local markets worldwide, where we invest directly in companies with scalable business models. Their products or services enrich the market and thus promote development. While global poverty has been cut in half since 1990, no more than 1 % of the global population is aware of this, according to a survey of 26,000 citizens in 24 countries. It is worth paying attention to the hundreds […]

Crowdfunding and Financial Inclusion

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Crowdfunding has been touted as a financial innovation, a FinTech, the fastest growing financial industry, and the next big thing in finance. “Crowdfunding” typically describes a method of financing whereby small amounts of funds are raised from large numbers of individuals or legal entities to fund businesses, specific projects, individual consumption, or other needs. It involves bypassing traditional financial intermediaries and using online web-based platforms to connect users […]