Blog Series

Pitfalls in MFI Digitization: What They Are and How to Avoid Them

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world are exploring ways to digitize their operations. While some have achieved success, others have found this to be a difficult, costly endeavor in which success is anything but guaranteed. This blog…

Bangladesh at 50: Reflections on Financial Inclusion

Bangladesh turned 50 in 2021. Over the decades since its independence, the country has made significant progress on many measures of development, among them financial inclusion. Bangladesh offers the financial inclusion community an opportunity to…

Microfinance Solvency and COVID-19

When COVID-19 hit, it did not take long for questions to emerge about whether the pandemic posed an existential threat to the microfinance sector. CGAP’s research has demonstrated the need to carefully monitor solvency in the longer term as the…

Taking a Closer Look at Financial Inclusion Funding Trends

For more than a decade, the CGAP Annual Cross-Border Funder Survey has tracked and reported on international funding commitments for financial inclusion. Each year’s data reveals specific themes worthy of further analysis and emerging priorities for…

Asset Finance for the Poor: Innovations and Challenges

Asset finance offers donors and investors a potentially scalable approach to advancing several SDGs. In this blog series, we explore innovations and challenges in asset finance across emerging markets.

Livelihoods and Financial Services

The nature of work has changed greatly over the past few decades. So have financial services. To better understand how today’s financial services intersect with people’s changing livelihoods, CGAP is researching how the digital economy and digital…

Cybersecurity and Financial Inclusion: Protecting Customers, Building Trust

Cyber-threats have become a growing concern in emerging financial markets and are weakening consumer trust and confidence in digital financial services. Industry players and governments in emerging markets are becoming aware of the need to develop…

Interoperability and Digital Financial Services

Interoperability, the ability for systems to connect and work together, allows for e-mails that pass effortlessly around the world and trains that travel between cities no matter who laid the tracks. Yet interoperability remains largely absent from…

Microfinance and COVID-19: Insights from CGAP's Global Pulse Survey

The global microfinance sector faced a crisis in 2020, as many borrowers were unable to repay their loans due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. CGAP’s Global Pulse Survey of Microfinance Institutions, conducted June to December 2020, offered…

What Makes Digital Banking Inclusive? A Look at Emerging Evidence

Digital banks have created new possibilities for financial inclusion, but are digital banks actually reaching low-income customers? A new CGAP working paper, “Inclusive Digital Banking: Emerging Markets Case Studies,” presents emerging evidence…

Regulatory Sandboxes: What Have We Learned So Far?

A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a regulator that allows FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment under a regulator’s supervision. In this blog series, CGAP takes a critical look at…

New Guidelines for Funders of Financial Inclusion

CGAP's new "Guidelines for Funders: A Market Systems Approach" advocates that funders of financial inclusion shift their approach from institution building to building broader and sustainable markets. This blog series provides insight from a variety…

Africa’s Gig Economy and the Role of Digital Finance

Digital gig platforms are on the rise globally, connecting millions of independent workers to expanded markets. But research indicates – and the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted – that such platforms have done little to alleviate risks fundamental to…

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Financial Services in the Global Response

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is first and foremost a public health crisis, but it is also threatening many people’s financial security. This is especially true for low-income families in developing countries. As reports of distress pour in from…

Financial Services in Humanitarian Crises

This blog series explores the role that financial services can play for displaced people. Topics include the demand for financial services among FDPs, disaster insurance, and cash transfers. The millions of refugees and people forcibly displaced…

Impact and Evidence in Financial Inclusion: Taking Stock

Whether and how financial services improve the lives of low-income people remains the subject of intense debate despite decades of evidence-gathering. The evidence to date appears mixed and often contradictory. As a result, different factions in the…

Open APIs: Unlocking Innovation in Digital Finance

This blog series explores how digital payment providers can unlock innovation in the digital finance ecosystem by selling open APIs to third-parties, empowering these companies to create new products and services that benefit providers, third-…

Financial Services in Youth Education and Employment

There are about 1 billion people between 15 and 24 years of age in the world’s less developed regions. As they grow into adulthood, they will need support from many sources – including parents, trusted mentors, and social networks – and a variety of…

CGAP Leadership Essay Series

What factors are shaping the future of financial inclusion and offer the most promise for improving the lives of poor people? In this series of Essays, CGAP’s leaders consider where the sector is heading, and which innovations hold the greatest…

Financial Inclusion in Turkey in 2015

Turkey currently holds the G20 presidency and has declared financial inclusion to be one of its presidency’s priorities as a powerful driver of inclusive growth. In this series, Olga Tomilova and Stefan Staschen share some of their impressions on…