This Brief presents opportunities for the new wave of blended finance and points to areas that deserve further attention to optimize the use of different funding sources to advance responsible financial inclusion.
The 2017 CGAP Cross-Border Funder Survey sheds light on key trends and development in international funding for financial inclusion. It shows that funder commitments to financial inclusion reached a historic high of US$37 billion in 2016.
Despite significant funding for financial inclusion efforts worldwide—an estimated US$34 billion was committed as of 2015—approximately 2 billion adults remain excluded from the formal financial system. How do funders of financial inclusion programs know if and how development programs are making a difference?
Funders have an important role to play in exploring how data-enabled financial services can benefit poor people and in helping governments to balance the new risks that are emerging with the opportunities provided by a digital world.
There is not enough being done to implement minimum standards in consumer protection for digital credit, and this exposes the industry and consumers to risks such as credit bubbles and mass-blacklisting of consumers in credit bureaus for just a few dollars of debt.
Mobile financial services (MFS) have rapidly become a conduit for fraud and other criminal activity. Various fraud types have been noted in key MFS markets, including consumer-facing fraud from agents and third parties and fraud perpetrated against agents.