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Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018

CGAP’s most read blog posts of 2018 explore the ways digital technology is reshaping financial inclusion, but they go beyond the hype that so often surrounds the latest innovations in financial inclusion. They challenge us to rethink what we mean by “FinTech" and to reconsider whether digital credit is living up to its promise. They don’t just ask whether blockchain can work; they ask whether it works better than existing solutions. Check out the most popular posts from 2018 and know what you’d like to see more of in the year ahead.

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1. Kenya’s Digital Credit Revolution Five Years On >>

It's been five years since Kenya launched its first digital credit solution. How big is the market now? Who’s using digital credit? And what impact is it having on low-income customers? A CGAP survey reveals, among other things, that one in four Kenyans has taken a digital loan, mostly for working capital and day-to-day consumption. 

2. Blockchain: A Solution in Search of a Problem? >>

Blockchain may be capable of expanding poor people's access to financial services, but does it work better than other existing technologies? As CGAP's CEO Greta Bull points out, “Despite breathless enthusiasm and substantial investment, we have seen relatively few [distributed ledger technology] applications successfully introduced at scale outside of cryptocurrencies.”  

3. Six Ways Microfinance Institutions Can Adopt to the Digital Age >>

CGAP CEO Greta Bull worked for 10 years with microfinance institutions in Latin America and Africa before joining CGAP. In this post, she argues that microfinance has a relatively good record of serving the poor in a socially responsible way, but it must adapt to continue serving those customers in the digital age.  

4. Helping or Hurting? 10 Facts About Digital Credit in Tanzania >>

How is digital credit being used in Tanzania and who’s using it? What impact is it having on their lives? CGAP conducted a nationally representative phone survey to find out. Just like CGAP’s digital credit research in Kenya, the results were concerning. They showed high late repayment and default rates.  

5. FinTech for the Poor: Not All Virtual, Not All Apps >>

FinTech isn't always about rolling out a dazzling new smartphone app. As Gayatri Murthy reminds us, in developing countries it usually means something quite different. USSD solutions still play a big role, and a fully virtual customer experience doesn’t always meet customers’ needs.  

6. Financial Inclusion in 2018: BigTech Hits Its Stride >>

In her first post of the year, CGAP CEO Greta Bull explores how large platform players like Google, Facebook and Ant Financial could shape financial inclusion in the future. While highlighting their potential to reach millions with financial services, she raises concerns about the digital divide and regulatory challenges.  

7. New Global Findex: What You Need to Know >>

The latest Global Findex, the world’s most comprehensive data set on financial inclusion, was released in spring 2018. As summarized in the first post of our 2017 Findex blog series, the data shows global progress on access to financial services, but it also illustrates challenges in reaching marginalized groups and increasing usage.  

8. It’s Time to Slow Digital Credit’s Growth in East Africa >>

Bringing together CGAP’s research in both Kenya and Tanzania, this post paints a clear picture of digital credit and draws lessons for funders. The research shows digital credit is often used for consumption purposes and that delinquency and default rates are high, suggesting that funders of digital credit markets should prioritize consumer protection.  

9. What Can Mobile Money Make Possible? China Has Many Answers >>

In 2016, more than 500 million Chinese used mobile payments and transacted 97 billion times on nonbank mobile apps. What's the secret to China’s success in mobile payments? AliPay’s and WeChat Pay’s in-app universes of bundled services have played a big role by making mobile payments more useful to customers in their everyday lives.  

10. Five Highlights in Financial Inclusion Funding >>

The CGAP Funder Survey revealed that commitments to financial inclusion reached a historic high of $37 billion in 2016. How do funders view financial inclusion in relation to their other goals? Does funding focus on countries that need it most? Find out the answers to these and other questions about the current funding landscape.  

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