Stephen Rasmussen

Lead, Digital Rails

Stephen Rasmussen heads CGAP’s work that focuses on the components required to build the digital rails for a ubiquitous, efficient, and sustainable digital financial services ecosystem, particularly distribution networks, connected market solutions (including biometric identity data bases and interoperability), and open APIs that enable business innovation.

Mr. Rasmussen has 30 years of development and financial inclusion experience. In 2014–2015, he established and was the first CEO of Karandaaz Pakistan, a start-up company focused on small business finance for job creation, digital financial inclusion, and innovation in the financial sector. Before joining CGAP, he was the World Bank’s microfinance focal point for South Asia. From 2001 to 2008 he was CEO of the Pakistan Microfinance Network, and from 1994 to 2003 he was CEO of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, a large rural development program in northern Pakistan, where he also helped establish First MicroFinanceBank, the first microfinance bank in Pakistan.

By Stephen Rasmussen

Blog

Pakistan Enigma: Why Is Financial Inclusion Happening So Slowly?

Just 21 percent of adults have accounts in Pakistan, despite decades of support for financial inclusion. What could accelerate progress?
Blog

Will Universal Basic Income Replace Safety Net Payments in India?

India is currently considering a universal basic income (UBI) scheme in which the government would guarantee a minimum income for all citizens. What are the key points of the UBI debate? What could UBI mean for financial inclusion in India?
Research

bKash Bangladesh: A Fast Start for Mobile Financial Services

bKash launched in the second half of 2011, grew to 2 million accounts by the end of 2012, and shot up to 11 million registered accounts by the end of 2013.
Blog

The Future of Provider Ecosystems for Financial Inclusion

CGAP’s five-year strategy recognizes that in most countries poor people are more likely to get financial services from a range of commercial and public sector actors.
Research

The Jipange KuSave Experiment in Kenya

This Brief highlights the experience of Jipange KuSave, the mobile version of P9 designed to work over the M-PESA system.