Progress toward Universal Financial Access

Stephen Kehoe
19 Apr 2017

Two years ago, Visa announced a commitment, alongside other organizations, to provide financial access to 500 million unbanked adults as part of the World Bank Group’s goal of achieving Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020.  It’s widely reported that 2 billion people worldwide (38% of all adults) don’t have access to formal financial services—no bank or savings account, no formal way to store or send money, no basic financial tools […]

Housing Microfinance – an Opportunity for Vast Impact

Sandra Prieto
19 Apr 2017

I could not have been happier when I heard that this year the European Microfinance Platform is focusing on housing microfinance. As a microfinance specialist for the last 21 years—and the last 9 exclusively dedicated to microfinance products for housing—I have witnessed the growth potential of this sub-sector of microfinance, as well as the constraints and limitations to the expansion of housing finance portfolios, amongst which the most important include […]

Ten Simple Rules for Responsible Big Data Research

Zook M, Barocas S, Boyd D, Crawford K, Keller E, Gangadharan SP,
19 Apr 2017

Introduction The use of big data research methods has grown tremendously over the past five years in both academia and industry. As the size and complexity of available datasets has grown, so too have the ethical questions raised by big data research. These questions become increasingly urgent as data and research agendas move well beyond those typical of the computational and natural sciences, to more directly address sensitive aspects of […]

G20 Communiqué Commits to Advance Financial Inclusion

16 Apr 2017

G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors gathered in Baden-Baden, Germany, on 17 and 18 March, committed to advance financial inclusion worldwide while supporting and recognizing the work of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI). A special focus was given to facilitating financial services among vulnerable groups and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) in the G20 Communiqué Baden-Baden, 18 March 2017, so as to advance and encourage SME participation in […]

Removing Barriers to Expand Access to Finance for Refugees

Micol Pistelli
26 Mar 2017

The core essence of financial inclusion lies in its non-discriminatory principle that everyone, everywhere, should have access to essential financial services that are affordable and that meet their needs. When it comes to refugees, however, access to even the most basic financial services, such as opening a bank account, is not legally allowed in some countries and problematic in most others. In countries where refugees do have the right to […]

The Case for Digital Reinvention

26 Mar 2017

This report was originally published by McKinsey in February, 2017 Digital technology, despite its seeming ubiquity, has only begun to penetrate industries. As it continues its advance, the implications for revenues, profits, and opportunities will be dramatic. As new markets emerge, profit pools shift, and digital technologies pervade more of everyday life, it’s easy to assume that the economy’s digitization is already far advanced. According to our latest research, however, […]

Daily Energy Payments Powering Digital Finance in Ghana

Daniel Waldron and Michiel Wolvers
27 Feb 2017
raders work on the floor of the Ghana Stock Exchange

Originally published by CGAP on February 27, 2017 Much has been written about the potential of pay-as-you-go solar to advance financial inclusion while expanding access to energy among the poor. One of the biggest challenges in promoting digital payments is that often there is not a strong value proposition for customers; people don’t want to switch from cash payments unless there is a good reason. The excitement around pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) […]

Universal Financial Access 2020 – Video

24 Feb 2017

1 billion adults to gain access to a transaction account.  The World Bank Group, IFC and the Private Sector are collaborating to make it happen.  Check out the event video >>>                

Fintech or Die: Five Ways Microfinance Can (and Must) Respond to the Digital Age

08 Feb 2017

Originally published by MicroSave founder and managing director Graham Wright seemed to enjoy playing the provocateur at the 2016 European Microfinance Week, aiming some pointed (and well-justified) barbs at the ways fintech is being leveraged in loan products for low-income clients. He used terms like “rapacious consumer lending” and “automated loan sharking” to describe many popular digital credit products in emerging markets, and decried interest rates that, in Kenya, […]