Responsible Finance Forum

The 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report – Advancing Equitable Financial Ecosystems

JOHN D. VILLASENOR, DARRELL M. WEST and ROBIN J. LEWIS
01 August 2016

The Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project (FDIP), launched in summer 2014, examines access to and usage of secure, affordable formal financial services among underserved populations. The objective of FDIP is to provide policymakers, the private sector, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and the general public with information that can help improve financial inclusion in their respective countries and beyond. As part of this aim, the FDIP team produces an annual report and scorecard evaluating commitment to and progress toward financial inclusion across a set of geographically, economically, and diverse countries.

Executive Summary: The 2016 FDIP Report analyzes key changes in the global financial inclusion landscape over the previous year and broadens its scope by adding five new countries to the study: the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Egypt, Haiti, and Vietnam. The report’s findings show continuing progress across the global financial inclusion landscape. This assessment is driven in part by the recent launch of comprehensive financial inclusion strategies in several countries and, more broadly, by substantial progress in enhancing the digital financial services ecosystem. In the past year, for example, we have seen significant progress in advancing platform interoperability, as well as in the expansion of nontraditional financial access points, including banking agent outlets and mobile money agent outlets. These and other advancements in the digital financial services landscape have helped underserved populations in emerging economies gain access to formal financial services.