‘NOT A GOOD TIME’: ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19 IN AFRICA

28 Jul 2020

The paper studies the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on African economies and household welfare using a top-down sequential macro-micro simulation approach. The pandemic is modeled as a supply shock that disrupts economic activities of African countries and then affects households’ consumption behavior, the level of their welfare, and businesses’ investment decisions. The DSGE model is calibrated to account for informality, a key feature of African economies. We find that […]

ADVANCING WOMEN’S DIGITAL FINANCIAL INCLUSION

23 Jul 2020

Digital financial services have expanded opportunities for millions of women across the globe. More than 240 million more women now have an account with a financial institution or mobile money service, compared to 2014. Through this increased engagement in the formal economy, women’s resilience to financial, economic and health shocks is improving.  However, there remains much work to do to achieve gender equality in financial services. Approximately one billion women […]

OECD/INFE 2020 INTERNATIONAL SURVEY OF ADULT FINANCIAL LITERACY

26 Jun 2020

This report includes overall financial literacy scores, as computed following the OECD/INFE methodology and definition, and their elements of knowledge, behaviour and attitudes. Patterns of product awareness and holding are reported as an illustration of financial inclusion. A comprehensive section on the outcomes of financial education explores elements of financial resilience and presents a novel score of financial well-being. Originally published on OECD’s website.

THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF MOBILE MONEY TAXATION

25 Jun 2020

Mobile money taxation is a controversial subject. On the one hand mobile money has been something of a development success story in those countries where it has taken hold. On the other, developing countries face a range of issues when it comes to raising sufficient revenue to fund public services. In this paper, we take a fresh look at the subject of mobile money taxation through the lens of taxation and development. With […]

MAKING CONSUMER PROTECTION REGULATION MORE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC

23 Jun 2020

Customer outcomes approaches are emerging as a promising consumer protection paradigm where the regulatory focus shifts from provider compliance with prescriptive check-the-box rules to customer results or outcomes achieved through provider actions. This shift is highly relevant to emerging markets where unserved and underserved customers are targeted with a range of digital financial services that may expose them to new risks, and where vulnerable customers are disproportionately affected by global […]

GLOBAL ECONOMIC PROSPECTS

17 Jun 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has, with alarming speed, dealt a heavy blow to an already-weak global economy, which is expected to slide into its deepest recession since the second world war, despite unprecedented policy support. The global recession would be deeper if countries take longer to bring the pandemic under control, if financial stress triggers defaults, or if there are protracted effects on households and firms. Economic disruptions are likely to […]

COVID-19 AND THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY: WHY A GENDER-SENSITIVE RESPONSE MATTERS

17 Jun 2020

Women play key roles in their homes, communities, and businesses. If insurers develop targeted approaches and products for women, they have the potential to earn up to $1.7 trillion by 2030. They can also help increase women’s understanding and willingness to buy insurance products to better protect their families or the companies women own or operate. The COVID-19 crisis poses new challenges for women and insurers. This guidance note highlights best practices […]

MICROFINANCE IN THE COVID-19 CRISIS: A FRAMEWORK FOR REGULATORY RESPONSES

17 Jun 2020

A framework for identifying and assessing crisis responses must take account of the special characteristics of microfinance. This calls for an approach that is empathetic toward vulnerable clients, attuned to the specific risks of microfinance services, and open to communication and consultation with the industry. This leads to the question of how regulators should respond. A review of current practice in a range of countries suggests there are six key […]

GENDER-DIVERSE AGENT NETWORKS FOSTER CHANNEL ACTIVITY AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION FOR WOMEN

16 Jun 2020

While digital financial services (DFS) have greatly contributed to financial inclusion, progress in women’s inclusion has recently been stalling. Accelerating progress towards parity requires innovations that remove barriers to women’s inclusion. IFC research explores the importance of gender for women’s DFS usage and finds that gender drives transactions patterns in agent banking: women are significantly more likely to transact with female agents and transact larger amounts with them. These results […]

DIGITAL FINANCIAL SERVICES AND THE BUSINESS OF MANAGING CASH: USING DATA-DRIVEN INSIGHTS TO ADDRESS THE AGENT LIQUIDITY CHALLENGE

15 Jun 2020

Agent liquidity remains a persistent challenge providers face when building economically viable, reliable, and trustworthy agent networks. Despite the availability of a variety of tools, providers have not necessarily been able to fully address and resolve this critical issue. IFC research explores the diverse factors that influence agents’ abilities and constraints to better understand and frame the problem. Based on findings from multiple African countries, the field note showcases how […]