Responsible Finance Forum

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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

Beyond the basics: How smartphones will drive future opportunities for the mobile money industry

Technology is changing the way we access a range of products and services, from viewing digital content to paying for goods and services via our mobile phones. The proliferation of mobile internet and smartphone access in emerging markets is creating new and exciting opportunities to narrow the digital inclusion gap and an opportunity for mobile money providers to leverage the added benefits of smartphones. This publication is part of a […]

Global Microscope 2018: The Enabling Environment for Financial Inclusion

The Global Microscope is a benchmarking index that assesses the enabling environment for financial access in 55 countries. The research underscores the evolving landscape of financial inclusion itself. This year’s index was completely revised to take a forward-looking focus on digital financial services, and to address the critical role of financial inclusion envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This report was originally published on the EIU’s website. 

The Digital Financial Services for Agriculture Handbook

This handbook offers financial services providers an understanding of smallholder farmers and agricultural value chains, and practical guidance on how to develop and launch sustainable financial services for the agricultural sector. It surveys the current landscape in terms of existing DFS offerings in the agricultural sector, to share actual market experience and lessons learned from the pioneers in the market. Although financial inclusion has expanded dramatically in Sub-Saharan Africa over […]

FINTECH FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION | A FRAMEWORK FOR DIGITAL FINANCIAL TRANSFORMATION

The full potential of FinTech for financial inclusion may be realized with a strategic framework of underlying infrastructure and an enabling policy and regulatory environment to support digital financial transformation.  Drawing from experiences in a range of developing, emerging and developed countries, our research suggests that the best approach is staged and progressive, focused on four main pillars. This is a major journey for any economy, but one that experience […]

RESPONSIBLE USE OF PERSONAL DATA AND AUTOMATED DECISION-MAKING IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

The opportunities and risks presented by innovative digital finance solutions are two sides of the same coin, with digitisation holding enormous potential for advancing financial inclusion in innovative ways in developed and developing economies alike. Digital financial services (DFS) are deemed to be a huge game changer, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the number of individuals making use of digital payments increased by 68.5 million from 2014 to 2017. With […]