BUILDING RESPONSIBLE DIGITAL FINANCIAL SERVICES

Michael Schlein and Vijay Mahajan
21 Oct 2019

By Michael Schlein and Vijay Mahajan For fintech to live up to its potential for financial inclusion, client protection is critical We’re living in a period of spectacular innovation in financial services: new technologies are changing nearly every aspect of the formal financial sector. It’s a very exciting time for everyone who aspires to create a financially inclusive world: for the first time, we have new tools that work anywhere, […]

HAS FINTECH CLOSED THE CREDIT GAP? NOT BY A LONG SHOT

Gabriel Davel
09 Oct 2019

By Gabriel Davel A loan from an agrifinance institution enabled this coffee co-op in Uganda to train its employees in business administration, logistics and computer skills. Photo: Wim Opmeer, 2018 CGAP Photo Contest With all the enthusiasm for fintech and the digital revolution, it’s easy to forget the importance of traditional credit market infrastructure, including “old-fashioned” institutions such as credit bureaus, collateral and company registration systems and the legal systems that enable […]

HOW CAN DIGITAL FINANCE SUPPORT AGRICULTURE? USING ALTERNATIVE DATA SOURCES TO SUPPORT CONSUMER PROTECTION

Laura Caron
30 Sep 2019

By Laura Caron Background & Opportunities for Digital Finance in Agriculture. Many rural and peri-urban smallholder farmers and agribusinesses struggle to access financial institutions, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Global Findex 2017, only 23% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa were able to save in order to start, operate, or expand a farm or other business, and only 30% of adults living in rural areas had any account at […]

REVISITING OUR ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT DIGITAL FINANCIAL INCLUSION: THREE UNEXPECTED FINDINGS FROM BFA’s FIBR PROJECT

David Porteous
30 Sep 2019

  By David Porteous BFA is about to conclude our FIBR (Financial Inclusion on Business Runways) Project, an innovative R&D initiative which sought to demonstrate how smartphones can accelerate and deepen financial inclusion in developing countries. When we launched the FIBR Project in 2015, we outlined a set of assumptions about how increased connectivity and digitization would create “business runways for financial inclusion” for small businesses in Africa, helping to accelerate […]

RED FLAGS IN KENYA’S NANO-CREDIT MARKET

Elisabeth Rhyne
30 Sep 2019

By Elisabeth Rhyne A new report commissioned by The Smart Campaign shows that the digital credit market in Kenya continues dramatic growth and cripplingly high default and delinquency, enabled by poor business practices and weaknesses in both the credit reporting infrastructure and regulatory jurisdiction. All is not well in the country that pioneered mobile credit. A new report on digital credit in Kenya from MSC, commissioned by the Smart Campaign and the SPTF, shows that with […]

INCLUSIVE AND TRUSTED DIGITAL ID CAN UNLOCK OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE WORLD’S MOST VULNERABLE

29 Aug 2019

Originally posted on The World Bank’s website.              Cash transfer payment Sierra Leone. Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank  Juan and his family fled their home during Peru’s 1995 insurgency. Like many other Peruvians, they left behind all of their possessions, including their IDs and other documents. Without an ID, Juan—along with 3 million other Peruvians whose civil registration records were lost or destroyed during this period—was […]

WHAT’S THE POINT OF INVESTING IN FINANCIAL INCLUSION? A NEW REVIEW AIMS TO HELP INVESTORS MAXIMIZE THEIR IMPACT

Timothy Ogden, Financial Access Initiative at NYU-Wagner and Machal Karim, CDC Group
15 Aug 2019

By Timothy Ogden and Machal Karim  If you haven’t wondered “Is social investment in financial systems and services justified?” you haven’t been paying attention to the financial inclusion sector’s development in recent years. It’s not just microcredit RCTs that have raised the question. The history of development aid, including social investment, in financial systems doesn’t yield terribly many obvious success stories. In fact, the microcredit revolution was an outgrowth of an earlier […]

THESE 5 INDUSTRIES CAN DRIVE DIGITAL FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Dan Salazar, Director, Mastercard and Carlos Monteverde, Product Manager, Mastercard
15 Aug 2019

By Dan Salazar, Director, Mastercard and Carlos Monteverde, Product Manager, Mastercard Digitizing payroll, mass transit and supply chains encourages use of digital payments and greater access to financial services Image: REUTERS What good is a hammer without a nail – or, for that matter, without a piece of wood? A hammer can be a powerful tool, but alone, it’s just a hunk of metal. Digital payments are no different. Cards […]

MARKETPLACE LENDING ASSOCIATION BACKS GUIDELINES FOR RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT IN DIGITAL FINANCE

18 Mar 2019

The Marketplace Lending Association (MLA) joined as the latest Signatory to the “Guidelines for Investing in Responsible Digital Financial Services.” These guidelines were co-developed by an Investor Working Group of more than 30 members including IFC, CDC and DEG, among others, through feedback and lessons culled from existing global industry principles and frameworks. The MLA represents some of the most prominent online lenders in the US. Names like Prosper, LendingClub, and SoFi […]

A GROWING TREND IN FINANCIAL REGULATION: THEMATIC SANDBOXES

Schan Duff
18 Mar 2019

By Schan Duff In 2016, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) pioneered the concept of a market-driven regulatory sandbox with cohorts selected from a general pool of aspiring innovators. Reminiscent of private-sector incubators or accelerators, the FCA’s sandbox model had immediate intuitive appeal for regulators and fintech innovators seeking common ground. Scan the globe today and you will find that most of the active regulatory sandbox programs follow a similar approach. […]