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.
Regulatory sandboxes may enable financial innovations that benefit excluded and underserved customers. In most cases, a regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a financial sector regulator to allow small-scale, live testing of innovations by private firms in a controlled environment under the regulator’s supervision.
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.
Branchless banking has great potential to extend the distribution of financial services to poor people who are not reached by traditional bank branch networks; it lowers the cost of delivery, including costs both to banks of building and maintaining a delivery channel and to customers of accessing services (e.g., travel or queuing times).