In a rapidly evolving humanitarian landscape — marked by more frequent crises, protracted conflicts, and climate shocks, among other challenges — cash-based transfers are on the rise. The humanitarian community increasingly looks to cash-based transfers for their ability to strengthen the resilience of populations and support longer-term development goals, and particularly to digital solutions that can drive financial inclusion and economic activity within a community. However, cash-based transfers are generally not […]
More than 100 financial service providers (FSPs) have been Smart Certified since 2013. The decision to become Smart Certified is often driven by an institution’s social commitment rather than influenced by the potential to have stronger financial results as a consequence of improved policies and processes. This paper evaluates key performance indicators (KPIs) of 22 FSPs that obtained certification between 2013 and 2015, highlighting outreach, portfolio quality and internal efficiency […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]