Youth in rice farming, Philippines. Photo by Jayson Berto, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest Photo by Jayson Berto, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest

Policy

New technologies are rapidly changing the face of finance, breaking up financial services into smaller components digitally delivered by new players. Large retail chains, electronic money issuers and big technology and social media platforms such as WeChat, Apple Pay and Google are entering the financial arena, leveraging the vast amounts of data they harvest from consumers’ online purchases, text conversations or Facebook posts and combining them to deliver new financial services.

While these innovations offer great potential for expanding financial services to larger numbers of people especially the financially excluded, they raise new questions for policy making in an environment that was largely built for banks. Should the newcomers be regulated and supervised and by whom? What rules on market competition apply? How should data privacy be managed? Where is the balance between fostering innovation and protecting consumers? What risks are posed to market stability?

As financial services increasingly become modular, automated, disaggregated and transnational, CGAP believes that policy makers need a new approach. Successful financial inclusion requires a policy and regulatory framework that fosters responsible, inclusive financial systems and one that has the flexibility to adapt to rapid changes. Consumers must view the system as fair and stable, protecting their interests. Businesses must know there is a clear set of rules balancing innovation and stability while fostering appropriate competition and cooperation.

Latest Research

Publication

Regulatory Approaches to the Interest Earned on E-Money Float Accounts

What happens to interest earned on float accounts? CGAP believe that electronic money issuers should be allowed – but not required – to distribute some or all of the float interest to their e-money customers.
Publication

Elevating the Collective Consumer Voice in Financial Regulation

Exploring the potential impact of incorporating the collective voice of consumers into financial sector policy and regulation, and opportunities for funders to help elevate these voices.  
Slide Deck

Regulatory Sandboxes: A Practical Guide for Policy Makers

A visual guide that walks you through the key decision points on whether to build a regulatory sandbox for financial inclusion.

Latest Blogs

Blog

The Evolving Nature and Scale of Consumer Risks in Digital Finance

New consumer risks in digital finance are emerging, especially around data misuse and fraud. Meanwhile, familiar risks like data breaches are speeding up, not slowing down. New approaches to consumer protection are needed.
Blog

Is It Possible to Estimate Financial Stress Before It Harms Borrowers?

A tool piloted by CGAP and 4G Capital reliably measures changes in borrower behavior to detect financial stress. If stress indicators are found to predict future repayment, the tool could also serve as an early warning system for issues like default.
Blog

Bangladesh’s COVID-19 Response Is Taking Digital Finance to New Levels

Bangladesh’s policies in response to COVID-19 have enabled more low-income people to benefit from digital financial services.