Digital Finance Plus

"Lack of access to financial services is a significant barrier to many important services that contribute to development and social inclusion."

Digital Finance Plus aims to understand how digital finance can support innovative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in development, including:

The growth of digital finance is enabling new business models, financing schemes, and payment mechanisms that, when applied to the delivery of basic services, can help expand access to such services and improve the lives of low-income people. 

In the case of energy, for example, pay-as-you-go solar home systems are quickly changing this picture for many low-income households. Customers can finance a solar unit and make small payments on a recurring basis over the course of 12 or more months. Payments can be made by mobile money, and when a payment is made, the unit is automatically unlocked for an established period of time. The use of mobile money reduces the salesforce needed to collect payments and manually unlock systems. And what’s more, companies are now using this digital payment data to establish creditworthiness for other important financial services, such as education savings and loan products.

Tackling the world’s toughest development challenges and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals will require innovative solutions, underpinned by payments and financial services made possible and more effective through the use of digital finance. 

Topic Contact: Xavier Faz

Publications

22 August 2018
Blended finance arrangements are emerging every year that mitigate risks and unlock revenue, bringing private capital into the water sector where it is sorely needed. This presentation shows that efficient, customer-centric providers are using digital finance to expand access and provide better service.
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English (35 pages)
18 January 2018
Despite their relatively recent emergence, PAYGo companies are rapidly approaching maturity. These businesses have the chance to reduce the energy poverty gap, drive financial inclusion, and improve the quality of life for millions of people.
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English (34 pages)

From Our Blog

A pharmacist assists patients at a pharmacy in Kenya
11 September 2018
Mobile health wallet M-TIBA bundles savings, credit, insurance and remittance products to help Kenyans cover health care expenses.
Ugandan child uses a solar lamp to study at night
01 August 2018
In Africa, some of the most innovative ideas in education financing are coming from an unlikely source - an off-grid solar company.