Digital Financial Services

Digital Financial Services

Digital financial services (DFS) comprises a broad range of financial services accessed and delivered through digital channels, including payments, credit, savings, remittances and insurance. It also includes mobile financial services.

Digital channels are typically used to distribute DFS, including the internet, mobile phones (smartphones and feature phones), ATMs, POS terminals, kiosks, NFC-enabled devices, chips-based cards, biometric devices, tablets, phablets and other digital systems or instruments. With technology, DFS is able to foster greater financial inclusion by reaching unserved and underserved populations.

By using a diverse range of digital channels and models, DFS can offer personalized services and offerings to the market, reducing or removing barriers associated with the access, usage and quality of financial service that exist with formal traditional financial systems.

DFS has been a cornerstone of AFI’s work since its inception. AFI and its members are actively working towards improving financial inclusion globally through their Maya Declaration commitments and increasing support for in-country implementation and measurable policy changes.

Fundamental and emerging topics under DFS are explored in-depth through AFI’s Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG).

DFS and gender

“Digital financial services contributed to increasing financial inclusion of women, but in some countries, it has been disproportional. Even though access to finance for women is rising, the gender gap is still persistent” (Dr. Alfred Hannig, Executive Director, AFI).

The key to success in financially empowering women is through gathering data, analyzing insight and continuously crafting effective strategies to engage and include women.

DFS Maya Declaration Commitments by AFI members

Reflects the network’s financial inclusion intervention priorities, DFS targets make up a significant share of Maya Declaration commitments with at least one appearing in every 50 commitments. DFS is among the top three working groups — alongside CEMC and FID — in terms of a continued uptick in commitments that address the usage and quality of financial inclusion.

Primary thematic area20122013201420152016201720182019

Digital financial services

  • National payment system
  • Agent banking
  • Mobile financial services
  • E-Money
Maya Declaration targets385268728995111160
In progress17253033464867100
Completion rate55%52%54%53%48%49%40.1%38%


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