Across the developing world, financial institutions have leveraged digital technologies and innovative business models to expand access to digital financial services (DFS), such as digital transaction accounts and payment services, which serve as the gateway to financial inclusion. Providers are now diversifying their products offerings to newer DFS, such as credit, insurance, and savings. A recent World Bank Group report examines DFS products geared toward longer-term savings. Financial Inclusion Beyond Payments: Policy Considerations for Digital Savings, looks at how these digital savings products—though not yet mature–have the potential to advance an important element of digital financial inclusion.
“Mother, you shall not fear as long as your sons live in Germany” goes a popular folk song in Kosovo. Its equivalent in Bosnia and Herzegovina says “I am from Bosnia, take me to America” and in Albania the most famous morning show goes by the motto “Love your country, like Albania loves America”. In these countries, migration and remittances are synonyms of economic prosperity in the homeland. More than 40 percent of the population of these countries lives and works abroad for decades, and regularly sends money to their families back home. Remittance inflows in 2018 are estimated to range from $1.3 to $2.3 billion in these countries, exceeding foreign direct investment and accounting for 10 to 16 percent of the GDP.
The Global Findex database is the world’s most comprehensive data set on how adults save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. Launched with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the database has been published every three years since 2011. The data are collected in partnership with Gallup, Inc., through nationally representative surveys of more than 150,000 adults in over 140 economies. The 2017 edition includes updated indicators on access to and use of formal and informal financial services. And it adds new data on the use of financial technology (fintech), including the use of mobile phones and the internet to conduct financial transactions.
Submitted by H.M. Queen Maxima of The Netherlands on June 14, 2018
—creating a financial system that works for all and opens the doors to greater stability and equitable progress.
This has been a demanding challenge. At the start of our engagement on financial access back in 2013, we said that having a real target with an end date would keep us focused and give us a benchmark against which we could measure progress.
Last month we learned that we have made strong and consistent progress—a real cause for celebration. According to the Global Findex database, more than half a billion people gained a financial transaction account over the last three years, thanks to a combination of technology, private investment, policy reforms, and support from the global community.
Mary Banda in Zambia runs a small restaurant in one of Lusaka’s oldest markets. Before she learned that financial services could make the way she did business easier, her profits were low. But today, her profits have increased, both because she banks her money and because she uses mobile money transfer services.
Using financial services has simplified managing her business and increased profits. And business proceeds now pay her children’s school fees.
by Kristalina Georgieva On Wed, 05/23/2018
I opened my first bank account as a new student at the London School of Economics in 1987. This seemingly small act meant that I could manage my own finances, spend my own money, and make my own financial decisions. It meant freedom to decide for myself.
Connection of millions of unbanked people to formal financial systems accelerated
27 July 2017, Geneva – A new global program to advance research in digital finance and accelerate digital financial inclusion in developing countries, the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative, has been launched by the World Bank Group, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The three-year program focuses on three different “model” developing countries – China, Egypt and Mexico – and consists of two complementary operational and knowledge work streams.
Deadline: 04-Jul-2017 at 11:59:59 PM (Eastern Time – Washington D.C.)
Under The Partnership for Financial Inclusion, IFC is assisting a mobile network operator (MNO) in Cameroon to expand their existing customer segment to new clients and markets. IFC is supporting the MNOs plans to implement an expansion and financial inclusion strategy with research to identify opportunities in the market that will help the MNO develop the best products to service its customer base. IFC is looking for a market research firm (Consultants) for this research assignment on mobile money and access to finance in Cameroon. Consultants will be hired to conduct desk research, data collection and analysis on customer needs and preferences for financial services and the extent to which these needs may be met through mobile money. The market research will also involve a competitor analysis, agent profiling, customer segmentation, and product assessment. The goal is to identify and quantify the potential customer base in the Cameroonian market.
Deadline: 26-Apr-2017 at 11:59:59 PM (Eastern Time – Washington D.C.)
A wave of innovation is sweeping financial services, transforming channels products and processes and enabling broader outreach. This has resulted in improved product fit for underserved segments, and more efficient service delivery. Together these improvements can enable a more sustainable provision of high volume low value services to previously underbanked segments, as well as improved delivery across all segments. Some of this innovation is coming from new regulated and unregulated stand-alone financial services providers. The full potential for financial inclusion, however, will be more quickly attained by fostering innovation in the incumbent banks and financial service providers alongside fostering innovative entrants. IFCs goals of financial inclusion and servicing the real economy are therefore served by both investing in FinTech innovators and by helping incumbents build their capacity to innovate internally and adopt external innovations.
Deadline: 28-Dec-2016 at 11:59:59 PM (Eastern Time – Washington D.C.)
CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) is an independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial inclusion for the world’s poor. It is supported by over 30 development agencies and private foundations who share a common mission to alleviate poverty. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP provides market intelligence, promotes standards, develops innovative solutions and offers advisory services to governments, microfinance providers, donors, and investors.
The high level objectives of this project are:
Improve publically-available data to serve the financial inclusion industry
Empower decision makers (financial service providers, funders/investors, and government officials) to build an inclusive financial services ecosystem through data, analytics, and insight.