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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

The State of Microinsurance 2018: The Insider’s Guide to Understanding the Sector

There are just 12 years remaining to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and urgent action is needed if no-one is to be left behind. This report, and future editions, will focus on providing concrete examples of how inclusive insurance is contributing to the broad development agenda in a structured way that links directly to selected SDGs. It builds on work published by Microinsurance Network (MiN) members in the […]

Digital Finance and Data Security

Mobile phones and networks are transforming the world of finance, creating opportunities for widespread financial inclusion, especially among neglected regions and groups. Security and privacy should be among the most important considerations when building digital finance systems. Credit decisions are often based on sensitive information and online finance offerings are no exception. The sensitivity of this information gives rise to a series of critical questions for customers: To whom am […]

Cash Digitization: UN Collaboration, Coordination, and Harmonization Opportunities

In a rapidly evolving humanitarian landscape — marked by more frequent crises, protracted conflicts, and climate shocks, among other challenges — cash-based transfers are on the rise. The humanitarian community increasingly looks to cash-based transfers for their ability to strengthen the resilience of populations and support longer-term development goals, and particularly to digital solutions that can drive financial inclusion and economic activity within a community. However, cash-based transfers are generally not […]

An Emerging Business Case for Consumer Protection

More than 100 financial service providers (FSPs) have been Smart Certified since 2013. The decision to become Smart Certified is often driven by an institution’s social commitment rather than influenced by the potential to have stronger financial results as a consequence of improved policies and processes. This paper evaluates key performance indicators (KPIs) of 22 FSPs that obtained certification between 2013 and 2015, highlighting outreach, portfolio quality and internal efficiency […]

Granting Access: Leveraging Social Payments to Expand Digital Financial Inclusion in Cote d’Ivoire

Granting Access: Leveraging Social Payments to Expand Digital Financial Inclusion in Cote d’Ivoire captures the experience of piloting digital social grant payments in Cote d’Ivoire and concludes that merely paying social benefits into a digital account is not sufficient to lead to lasting financial inclusion, but that coupled with additional activities such as financial literacy campaigns and expanded agent networks it can have a positive impact on expanding adoption of […]