Granting Access: Leveraging Social Payments to Expand Digital Financial Inclusion in Cote d’Ivoire

14 Dec 2018

Granting Access: Leveraging Social Payments to Expand Digital Financial Inclusion in Cote d’Ivoire captures the experience of piloting digital social grant payments in Cote d’Ivoire and concludes that merely paying social benefits into a digital account is not sufficient to lead to lasting financial inclusion, but that coupled with additional activities such as financial literacy campaigns and expanded agent networks it can have a positive impact on expanding adoption of digital financial services the poorest.

Women and Digital Financial Services in Sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding the Challenges and Harnessing the Opportunities

14 Dec 2018

Women and Digital Financial Services in Sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding the Challenges and Harnessing the Opportunities draws on several studies over the past six years and shows that there are pronounced differences in the way men and women engage financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa. The researchers recommend that providers offer simplified services for basic phones, emphasize marketing through social networks, and mimic the flexibility and social aspects of informal services to better reach women.

Banking on the Future: Youth and Digital Financial Services in Sub-Saharan Africa

14 Dec 2018

Banking on the Future: Youth and Digital Financial Services in Sub-Saharan Africa summarizes insights on youth uptake and usage of DFS from a cross-section of studies over the last six years, and recommends, for example, that providers can better reach out to the youth by offering savings accounts, checking or prepaid accounts, and micro loans.

Driving Digital Financial Services through High-Volume Payments

10 Dec 2018

The future success of inclusive digital finance depends on finding better and more affordable uses for digital wallets that will encourage low-income customers to use them regularly and repeatedly. High-volume payments (HVP) have gained industry attention as a means to drive or diversify usage, particularly among low-income customers. To better understand the prerequisites to implement HVP digitally and to unlock the opportunity of digital finance, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has sought greater clarity on the requirements necessary for HVP to drive active account usage as well as the roles and activities of different actors involved in the digitization effort. This report combines the key observations, hypotheses and recommendations from this research. It draws on information available and insights from projects that UNCDF has implemented with partners between 2015 and 2017.

Originally posted on UNCDF’s website

Financial Consumer Protection and New Forms of Data Processing Beyond Credit Reporting

10 Dec 2018

New sources of data, as well as new ways of processing such data, have contributed to an ongoing expansion in the availability of digital financial services (DFS) to served, underserved, and unserved consumers. Such data is being used to design and market customer-centric digital financial services, create credit scores for consumers with limited credit histories, meet and facilitate know-your-customer requirements, and minimize the risk of fraud. Yet a great variety of personal information may be used and processed in this context. This discussion note provides an overview of consumer-related benefits and risks arising from the usage of new types of data, beyond traditional credit-reporting frameworks. The note also identifies areas for further research.

Originally posted on World Bank’s website

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

12 Nov 2018

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 series of deeper insights into selected topics based on the findings of the 2017 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money. We take a deeper look at how the gap in mobile internet and smartphone access has narrowed in recent years, and how the mobile money industry is leveraging the opportunities this presents.

Originally published on GSMA’s website

Global Microscope 2018: The Enabling Environment for Financial Inclusion

12 Nov 2018

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

12 Nov 2018

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 the past ten years due to the rapid evolution of mobile money and agent banking, access to formal financial services remains limited in rural areas and in the agricultural sector. Agriculture contributes to about 18 percent of GDP across Sub-Saharan Africa, but only an estimated 1 percent of bank lending in the region is allocated to the agricultural sector.

Originally posted on the IFC-Mastercard Partnership for Financial Inclusion’s website


11 Oct 2018

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 increasingly suggests has tremendous potential to transform financial inclusion and support digital economic development. Access the report for more insights.

This publication is available through AFI’s website


10 Oct 2018

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 the 2030 Agenda acknowledging that financial services are an important driver of sustainable development, the digitisation of financial services are an enabling and powerful way to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Digitisation presents an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate access to finance for the financially excluded and underserved.

This paper builds on GIZ’s 2016 discussion paper Data protection in the context of digital financial services and Big Data and on its 2017 report on Selected Regulatory Frameworks on Data Protection for Digital Financial Inclusion. It seeks to provide financial sector policy-makers and regulators with orientation in their work to develop appropriate regulatory frameworks for data-intensive financial services (DIFS) – frameworks that, in the interests of financial inclusion, should ensure to safeguard people’s privacy as well as to promote innovation.

–Foreword by Natascha Beinker, German Co-Chair G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)