MERCHANT PAYMENTS: ADDING VALUE FOR MERCHANTS

16 Dec 2019

Digital payments alone are not a compelling value proposition for merchants because cash is ubiquitous, free, and works very well in retail commerce. Very compelling value propositions, however, can be created on top of the payments element, for example, by leveraging the data generated to resolve some of the many pain points faced by merchants. Merchants worldwide tend to experience three groups of pain points that can be easily addressed using […]

WHAT’S REALLY DRIVING AFRICA’S ‘INVESTMENT FRENZY’?: AN ENTREPRENEUR RESPONDS TO INVESTOR CONCERNS

Mike Quinn
11 Dec 2019

By Mike Quinn, co-founder and former Group CEO of Zoona Recently, Lauren Cochran, Managing Director at Blue Haven Initiative, wrote a thought-provoking article on NextBillion called “Rethinking the ‘Africa Play’: Why We Held Back from the Africa Investment Frenzy.” She made a compelling argument that the “growth-at-all-costs” approach to scaling is “an unsustainable concept” in Africa. Her rationale is sound: Tech-driven businesses in Africa require ongoing human engagement with customers that […]

FOUR FINTECH & FINANCIAL INCLUSION TRENDS FOR 2020

Andrée Simon
11 Dec 2019

By Andrée Simon, president and CEO, FINCA Impact Finance Financial technology innovations have forced a shift in traditional financial services paradigms and prompted large financial institutions to re-evaluate how they do business. The outsized impact that fintechs have had on the industry over the years has not only been disruptive, but quantifiable. In 2018 alone, global investment in fintechs reached record levels ($112 billion). And while global fintech investment fell […]

OPINION: SOLAR AND BATTERY STORAGE: A CLEAN SOLUTION TO A DIRTY PROBLEM

Philippe Le Houérou
11 Dec 2019

By Philippe Le Houérou, chief executive of International Finance Corporation (IFC) Revolution is possible in the next few years to develop products and business models that can replace privately operated back-up generators at scale You can hear—and smell—them everywhere you go in the world’s poorest countries. Diesel-burning back-up generators wail through neighborhoods at all hours, cough noxious pollutants into the air, and account for a disproportionate amount of consumers’ spending […]

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

            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 unable to enroll in school or access […]