The aim of this Working Brief is to maintain a focus on responsible investing in digital financial services (DFS) and fintech companies, particularly as COVID-19 continues to accelerate the need for digitization. This involves identifying relevant practices evolving for prospective and current DFS partners, which builds on lessons from past and current crises. The COVID-19 context has presented new opportunities for digital innovation to enable access to financial services, particularly for MSMEs and vulnerable segments who are most affected by the pandemic. Digital business models have become even more relevant in various geographies, given, among others, mobility restrictions, constraints currently faced by traditional financial institutions, and in some cases, government support for alternative digital payments platforms to channel public credit resources.
The Working Brief provides a proposed investor checklist to reassess the relevance of core areas to be reviewed and reconsidered by responsible investors and providers in the context of investing in responsible digital financial services. The Checklist aims for an appropriate re-balancing of risks and their mitigants, in an effort to rebuild resilience for markets, institutions, and customers underlying inclusive digital financial services portfolios. This is crucial for market players involved in digital financial inclusion (e.g. DFS Providers, Investors, Regulators), so that key stakeholders in evolving digital economies may further recover in today’s unprecedented crisis and post-crisis, where access to digital financial services remains critically essential.