In a fast increasing number, policy makers and regulators in other developing and transition countries are embracing “transformational branchless banking”—the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and nonbank retail channels to reduce costs of delivering financial services to clients beyond the reach of traditional banking.
This Brief aims to provide national and global policy makers with a clear picture of the rapid development of digital financial services for the poor and the need for their attention and informed understanding.
The growth in online lending and investment platforms presents an opportunity and a challenge for MFIs intent on tapping the potential of online lenders or investors. This paper focuses on the demand side of the equation and highlights issues that MFIs may want to consider before signing up for a loan from an online lending platform.
The growing use of branchless banking channels over the coming years is inevitable in most countries. But it’s far less certain whether large numbers of the unbanked poor will use these alternative channels for financial services beyond payments, such as savings and credit.