Responsible Finance Forum

Data Analytics and Digital Financial Services

Dean Caire, Soren Heitmann, Susie Lonie, Minakshi Ramji, Leonardo Camiciotti, Christian Racca and Qiuyan Xu
30 June 2017
Source:  IFC and The MasterCard Foundation’s Partnership for Financial Inclusion

This is the third handbook on digital financial services (DFS) produced and published by the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint initiative of IFC and The MasterCard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance DFS in Sub-Saharan Africa. The first handbook in the series, the Alternative Delivery Channels and Technology Handbook, provides a comprehensive guide to the components of digital financial technology with particular focus on the hardware and software building blocks for successful deployment. The second handbook, Digital Financial Services and Risk Management, is a guide to the risks associated with mobile money and agent banking, and offers a framework for managing these risks. This handbook is intended to provide useful guidance and support on how to apply data analytics to expand and improve the quality of financial services.

This handbook is designed for any type of financial services provider offering or intending to offer digital financial services. DFS providers include all types of institutions such as microfinance institutions, banks, mobile network operators, fintechs and payment service providers. Technology-enabled channels, products and processes generate hugely valuable data on customer interactions; at the same time, linkages to the increasingly available pools of external data can be enabled. The handbook offers an overview of the basic concepts and identifies usage trends in the market, and also illustrates a range of practical applications and cases of DFS providers that are translating their own or external data in to business insights. It also offers a framework to guide data projects for DFS providers that wish to leverage data insights to better meet customer needs and to improve operations, services and products.

The handbook is meant as a primer on data and data analytics, and does not assume any previous knowledge of either. However, it is expected that the reader understands DFS, and is familiar with the products, the function of agents, aspects of operational management, and the role of technology.