STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT ON MOBILE MONEY 2019

26 Mar 2020

Reaching the one billion mark is a tremendous achievement for an industry that is just over a decade old. The mobile money industry of today has a host of seasoned providers with a broad set of operational capabilities, a full suite of products and a global reach.

This year’s State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money examines what one billion registered accounts signify for the mobile money industry, mobile money users and the future of the mobile money ecosystem; moving us a step closer to a digital future for all.

Originally published on GSMA’s website

THE MOBILE ECONOMY 2020

25 Mar 2020

The GSMA Mobile Economy series provides the latest insights on the state of the mobile industry worldwide. Produced by our renowned in-house research team, GSMA Intelligence, these reports contain a range of technology, socio-economic and financial datasets, including forecasts out to 2025. The global version of the report is published annually at MWC Barcelona, while regional editions are published throughout the year.

Originally published on GSMA’s website

CDC GROUP COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS

25 Mar 2020

Every company is trying to understand how to manage their workers’ exposure to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As an employer and investor, CDC has access to a great deal of external guidance and good practice amongst our investees and fund managers on how to reduce their workforce exposure to COVID-19.

This document is a summary of publicly-available guidance and examples of practice adopted by some CDC Group investees and fund managers. The aim is to provide a framework of thinking that can be applied to many companies and situations, but this guidance cannot cover all circumstances and not every company will be able to benefit from all of the guidance, in particular if employees cannot work from home or practice social distancing. Furthermore, every company is different and a strategy which is suitable for one employer may not work for another.

Advice for our investee companies and fund managers

If your company or investee is facing any specific issues and would like to discuss how to handle these situations, please reach out to your ESG Impact contact.

Important note: This guidance does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for professional advice from international public health organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), national public health authorities, and national governments, which should be consulted for qualified and more detailed information. We strongly encourage our investees to seek daily updates from these sources as COVID-19 spreads/evolves.

Originally posted on CDC Group’s website

DEVELOPING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SUSTAINABLY: TOWARD A PRACTICAL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES

19 Mar 2020

The adoption and diffusion of artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies will play an
important role in market creation and growth. Development finance institutions have a role to play in
leveraging their investments to ensure that these technologies sustain both growth and development
objectives. To this end, the authors propose adoption of a Technology Code of Conduct as a framework,
supported by a set of practical tools for its operationalization, to assist IFC’s clients engaged in
technology intensive projects.

Originally published on IFC’s website

COUNTRY DIAGNOSTIC: THE STATE OF DIGITAL PAYMENTS IN THE PHILIPPINES

18 Feb 2020

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Philippine Government recognize digital payments as a policy priority to enable Filipinos to seize the opportunities of the digital revolution.

The Philippines was a global early-mover in digital payments, with the launch of mobile money in 2001. However, as in most countries, the path to widespread adoption and usage has not been straightforward. The first Better Than Cash Alliance diagnostic on the state of digital payments in the Philippines (released in 2015) found that adoption had been limited. The first diagnostic estimated that the share of digital payments in the Philippines was only about 1% by volume (26 million out of 2.5 billion payments per month).

Recognizing that digital payments are an enabler and driver of digital transformation, the BSP set a target of driving the share of digital payments to 20% by 2020. The BSP considers that 20% could be the tipping point, after which the country could expect faster growth in digital payments. The BSP further set out a vision for modernizing the retail payment system, pushing a number of significant regulatory reforms. In turn, the Philippine Government has led by example, becoming the most digitized stakeholder in the ecosystem, with 64% of all government transactions carried out digitally.

Originally published on BTCA’s website

POWERING OPPORTUNITY IN EAST AFRICA: PROVING OFF-GRID SOLAR IS A POWER TOOL FOR CHANGE

18 Feb 2020

Confirming the positive socioeconomic impact of solar home systems over a longer period of time, Powering Opportunity in East Africa. Proving Off-Grid Solar is a Power Tool for Change finds:

  • An overwhelming majority (94%) of people living with solar home systems reporting improvements to their quality of life.
  • 34% of households report being more economically active with 28% making an additional $46 per month on average.

The research, funded by UK aid from the UK government, and conducted by Altai Consulting, was based on data collected from over 1,400 small-scale pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar owners in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda who owned their solar home system for ca. 15 months.

Originally published on GOGLA’s website

THE ECONOMIC FORCES DRIVING FINTECH ADOPTION ACROSS COUNTRIES

10 Feb 2020

Fintech is being adopted across markets worldwide – but not evenly. Why not? This paper reviews the evidence. In some economies, especially in the developing world, adoption is being driven by an unmet demand for financial services. Fintech promises to deliver greater financial inclusion. In other economies, adoption can be related to the high cost of traditional finance, a supportive regulatory environment, and other macroeconomic factors. Finally, demographics play an important role, as younger cohorts are more likely to trust and adopt fintech services. Where fintech helps to make the financial system more inclusive and efficient, this could benefit economic growth. Yet the market failures traditionally present in finance remain relevant, and may manifest themselves in new guises.

Originally posted on BIS’ website

DIGITAL CREDIT AUDIT REPORT: EVALUATING THE CONDUCT AND PRACTICE OF DIGITAL LENDING IN KENYA

03 Feb 2020

Digital credit has been instrumental in granting formal credit in ways that were not conceivable a decade ago. It has provided individuals with the tools to manage their day-to-day needs and working capital for small enterprises. Survey data reveals that over six million Kenyans have borrowed at least one digital loan. Beyond these daily use-cases, digital credit is increasingly used to finance non- routine needs such as school fees and pay for healthcare. However, while there are any bright spots, expanding access is just the first step towards realising the potential of credit to create long-term sustainable value.

The expansion of digital credit and the proliferation of digital lenders has increased attention to wider consumer protection issues. Pricing continues to be a concern, even in the presence of market infrastructure that mitigates part of the risk inherent in lending decisions. Access to infrastructure, such as credit information sharing, is disparate across lenders. Data privacy and ownership is starting to emerge as a concern. The absence of an overarching regulatory framework means anyone can lend. When credit is easy to access without safeguards, cases of debt stress begin to surface. Inevitably, there have been growing concerns to regulate the sector with concerns that some of the gains made are being eroded. However, regulation is frequently misrepresented as simply being about restricting what market actors can do. Often, carefully crafted regulation can actually support effective market function.

Research and analysis can play a role in generating a clear case for policy action, providing ex post evidence for success or the need for change in a regulatory area.

Originally posted on FSD Kenya’s website

MAKING DATA WORK FOR THE POOR: NEW APPROACHES TO DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY

23 Jan 2020

With the rise of digital technologies, the use of personal data by private companies is growing rapidly. But how do we know they will use this data responsibly and in consumers’ best interests? In emerging and developing markets, the question is particularly acute because the predominant model rests upon obtaining consumer consent to use their data. Informed consent, however, is unrealistic given the complexity of disclosures and particularly so in countries where there are literacy, language and technological barriers. It’s time for a new approach to digital privacy and protection. To safeguard the interests of billions of consumers, many of whom are coming online for the first time and opening up digital financial services, CGAP has identified three key ways for countries to better protect their citizens, especially the poor. The new approaches would shift the burden of responsibility off the shoulders of consumers and onto the data collectors and users.

Originally published on CGAP’s website

DIGITAL ID AND THE DATA PROTECTION CHALLENGE: PRACTITIONER’S NOTE

23 Jan 2020

Inclusive and robust identification systems can offer many concrete benefits for governments, as well as individuals, private companies, and development partners. By providing a secure and accurate way of identifying the population, these systems can facilitate the delivery of a wide variety of services that expand financial inclusion, boost economic opportunities, improve access to social safety nets, increase gender equality, and more. In addition to these developmental uses, evidence suggests that strong identification systems have the potential to generate savings and revenue for the public sector, to the tune of millions of dollars per year (or even billions for larger economies). To date, however, our understanding of the full fiscal impact of identification systems is limited due to the scarcity of publicly available data and the methodological challenges associated with quantifying and attributing the effects of these systems. This paper is a first step toward filling this gap. Using the experiences of a handful of countries where data are available, it attempts to summarize existing case studies and build a framework for analyzing the potential fiscal benefits associated with investment in identification systems, including the features, mechanisms, and conditions that may generate (or limit) savings and revenue. In addition to aggregating existing knowledge and developing an analytical framework, this paper also provides a Guide for Practitioners with concrete steps to assist governments and other stakeholders when estimating expected savings and revenue from investment in identification systems. In order to conduct a full cost-benefit analysis, readers are encouraged to consult a complimentary World Bank report on the cost of identification systems (World Bank 2018d) and a companion paper on the financial benefits of these systems for the private sector (World Bank 2018c). We hope that these resources will not only broaden the evidence base and tools available to implementers, but will also encourage practitioners and researchers to undertake more rigorous evaluations of the impact of identification systems on public finances and the broader economy.

Originally posted on World Bank’s website. See additional ID4D publications here.