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

Technology Inequality: Opportunities and Challenges for Mobile Financial Services

Technology has been a pivotal and successful enabler of financial inclusion. However, even with each technical evolution, sets of technical, cost, competition, capacity and access challenges persist. CFI Fellow Leon Perlman looks at the advantages, disadvantages and challenges that fasten on the existing and evolving technologies, bearer services, access platforms and user devices for mobile financial services (MFS) in Technology Inequality: Opporunities and Challenges for Mobile Financial Services. His on-the-ground research […]

Financial Inclusion and Inclusive Growth – Review of Recent Empirical Evidence

There is growing evidence that appropriate financial services have substantial benefits for consumers, especially women and poor adults. This paper provides an overview of financial inclusion around the world and reviews the recent empirical evidence on how the use of financial products—such as payments services, savings accounts, loans, and insurance— can contribute to inclusive growth and economic development. This paper also discusses some of the challenges to achieving greater financial inclusion and directions for future research.

Mainstreaming Gender and Targeting Women in Inclusive Insurance – Perspectives and Emerging Lessons

The Rationale for a Focus on Women and Inclusive Insurance: The compendium “Mainstreaming Gender and Targeting Women in Inclusive Insurance: Perspectives and Emerging Lessons” provides a variety of articles and case studies on the state and potential of gender mainstreaming and targeting women in insurance in developing and emerging economies. It considers inclusive insurance as broader than microinsurance so that all underserved women clients in these markets can be included. At its heart, this […]

Measuring the Performance of Alternative Delivery Channels

Executive Summary: Financial Service Providers (FSPs) are deploying various alternative delivery channels (ADCs) to serve their clients outside of branches, often enabled by technology and digitization of the service. FSPs are developing metrics and dashboards to monitor the development of these new channels and to track them against operational and strategic goals.  However, FSPs still need visibility onto the rest of the market. Understanding this need, MIX embarked on research […]

Electronic Transfers in Humanitarian Assistance and Uptake of Financial Services

  The Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (ELAN) undertook case studies on humanitarian electronic transfer (‘e-transfer’) projects in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. The case studies examine the extent to which: recipients used digital financial services (e.g. money transfers, savings, credit, purchases) through mobile money; the factors that affected recipients’ uptake of these financial services; and considerations for future humanitarian programmes aiming to increase the use of digital financial services […]