The emergence of a digital economy, the globalization of data and information, rising inequality and increased migration flows are powerful global forces reshaping the world, creating new opportunities for people to move out of poverty, while also opening up new areas of risk. Increasingly world leaders recognize that financial inclusion, whereby everyone can access and use a financial account that contributes to their well-being, has an important role to play in enabling people to navigate this fast-changing world and is foundational to achieving many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for ending poverty. As a global think tank, CGAP seeks to expand and deepen financial inclusion through its research and experiments with the goal of identifying solutions that others take to scale. We work in four interconnected areas.

Small business owner, India. Photo by Ullas Kalappura, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest

Customers

Insights into the financial lives of poor people, particularly excluded segments, help financial service providers deliver products and services appropriate to the needs and aspirations of their customers, creating value for the customer.
Fish bazaar | Photo by Md. Mahabub Hossain Khan, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest

Business and Markets

The digital economy is connecting more low-income people to financial products and attracting a wider range of players to the financial services industry, spurring new ways of doing business and opening up new opportunities to achieve the SDGs.
Youth in rice farming, Philippines. Photo by Jayson Berto, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest

Policy

Building responsible, inclusive financial systems requires a policy and regulatory environment that protects low-income customers, fosters innovation and has the flexibility to adapt in face of rapid changes brought about by digital technologies.
Cloves, Indonesia. Photo by Herwin Gunadi, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest

Donors and Investors

Understanding how the financial inclusion sector is evolving is challenging for donors and investors alike. What role can they play in an increasingly complex landscape? What market needs should they be focusing on? How should they go about it?