August 24th, 2016

The Caribbean Context

While Latin America has been experiencing fast economic growth over the last decade, progress in the Caribbean sub-region has been a bit slower. Natural disasters and low commodity prices have pushed Caribbean countries to seek financial reforms. In an attempt to overcome poverty, the largest countries in the region have been implementing financial inclusion policies and regulations for innovations like digital…

August 17th, 2016

In Tanzania, access to financial services for the unbanked expanded drastically when convenient and relatively cheaper options became available to receive and send money through simple feature mobile phones.

Four mobile network providers were in stiff competition in a market of 39 million registered mobile wallets (this registered wallet number does not include multiple wallet holders nor some of the dormant wallets from providers…

August 16th, 2016

AMPI’s new Chair on his vision for AMPI and DFS opportunities for Africa

The Governor of the Bank of Mozambique, Mr. Ernesto Gouveia Gove, was elected in February 2016, as the new Chair of the African Mobile phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI) for the period 2016 -2018. He provides some light on DFS opportunities for Africa and his vision for AMPI in this Q&A.

How has Africa been able to maintain its leadership in…

July 1st, 2016

Good data illuminate our world. It can make invisible markets visible. This is why the application of data to promote evidence-based financial inclusion policy is vital.

I believe everyone in attendance at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI) 13th meeting of the Financial Inclusion Data Working Group (FIDWG) in San Salvador on 5-7 April 2016 would agree with this notion.

Coming out of that meeting, I have identified…

June 9th, 2016

Ninety-nine percent of Canadians have an account at a formal financial institution, and 98% of adults belonging to the poorest 40% have an account. Yet, in Canada too, some Canadians are underserved by the formal financial system and face barriers in accessing and using financial products.

Canada has developed efforts to boost financial capabilities for all Canadians through Canada's Financial Literacy Strategy. It mobilizes a wide…

June 2nd, 2016

How can financial regulators foster the use of mobile financial services among MSMEs?

This article is the second of a series of two blog posts looking at the issue of driving the uptake of mobile financial services among MSMEs. It explores different ways in which financial regulators can encourage the adoption of mobile money among MSMEs.

As discussed in the previous blog of this series, getting more MSMEs to use mobile financial…

May 28th, 2016

In his recent CGD Policy Paper on Balancing Financial Integrity with Financial Inclusion, Alan Gelb recommends that financial regulators should engage more with national identification efforts. We agree, and would go further. All too often, we see financial regulators play the role of passive ‘takers’ of the national identity strategy in their jurisdictions.  As digital financial services grow exponentially around the world, we believe that…

May 27th, 2016

Account ownership is widely recognized as a first step toward financial inclusion. The Global Findex defines account ownership as “having an account either at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider.” Levels of account ownership vary across AFI member countries, and after digging into data on 70 of these countries, I uncovered some exciting facts behind these differences.

First, there is tremendous diversity across…

May 26th, 2016

What are the benefits of encouraging the use of mobile financial services among MSMEs?

This article is the first of a series of two blog posts looking at the issue of driving the uptake of mobile financial services among MSMEs. It provides an overview of the benefits from increasing adoption of mobile money among MSMEs. The next article will look at different ways regulators can encourage the adoption of mobile financial services among MSMEs…

May 19th, 2016

From 2011 to 2014, the number of women with access to bank accounts in Nigeria grew from 26.0 percent to 33.6 percent. However, the gender gap in terms of access to account widen from 7.3 percent to 20.7 percent. One reason for the persistent gender gap is that financial inclusion progress so far has been with traditionally easier to reach segment – primarily urban men.

According to Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFinA…