Blog

The Social Impact Credit Trap in Asset Finance

Rapid growth in credit sectors, even if motivated by a desire for social impact, can lead to overindebted customers and insolvent lenders. For funders, it is important to recognize that investing in asset finance is investing in risk management.
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Does PAYGo Solar Improve Women’s Lives? A Look at the Evidence

Pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar financing has electrified the homes of more than 100 million people. What does the available evidence say about its impact on women?
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Flipping the Switch: How Locking Assets Unlocks Credit for the Poor

A new study out of Uganda offers strong evidence that lock-out technology can enable providers to sustainably lend to low-income customers, who may need credit for school fees and other critical expenses.
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In Uganda, Solar Home Systems Help Students Stay in School

A pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar provider in Uganda is proving that an often-overlooked benefit of PAYGo – financial inclusion – can also affect education outcomes by keeping kids in the classroom.
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Harnessing Fintech in the Arab World: An Opportunity Worth Billions

New research suggests that fintechs in the Arab world could help millions of people and small businesses and generate billions in revenue by serving excluded customers.
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How Financial Services Can Help the Poor in the Climate Transition

Early evidence suggests that the financial sector could play a key role in helping low-income people prepare for and participate in climate transition. However, greater coordination among funders and other sector stakeholders is needed.
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How Does Tech Make a Difference in Digital Banking?

Digital banks have been innovating faster than traditional banks, and the secret to their ingenuity has a lot to do with the agile business cultures made possible by their modern tech stacks.
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What Makes Digital Banking Inclusive?

Just because digital banks can reach low-income customers doesn’t mean that they will. But new evidence suggests that in fact some digital banks are becoming more inclusive and sheds light on how they are reaching low-income customers.
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The Breaking Point: How Warranties Support Sustainable Asset Finance

Warranties can break down barriers to asset finance for low-income customers. Here's how.
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PAYGo Transformed Off-Grid Solar: Is Consumer Financing Next?

By partnering with pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar companies, electric utilities in Africa could expand low-income households' access to responsible consumer finance for refrigerators and other electric appliances.
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Digital Banks Increasingly Embrace a Platform Business Model

There are a billion mobile money wallets in developing countries that could be made far more relevant for low-income customers by a digital marketplace approach to banking.
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These Digital Banks Help Fintechs to Offer Banking Services

By enabling virtually any type of business to offer banking services cheaply and in record time, “banking-as-a-service” providers can dramatically reduce the barriers to entry into banking and potentially deepen financial inclusion.
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The Wrong Kind of Credit: Why Loans to Gig Workers Must Reflect Income

Volatile gig income and inflexible loan repayment schedules can be a dangerous mix, as this ride-hailing driver in Nairobi learned from experience. His story serves as a cautionary tale to lenders and borrowers in the gig economy.
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The Box, Not the Tools: Managing Credit Risk in Asset Finance

Pay-as-you-go solar companies and other asset finance providers are using cutting-edge tools to manage credit risk, but many lack the risk culture, governance structures and processes to use them effectively.
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Asset Finance Innovations Can Advance SDGs – If They Scale Responsibly

New asset finance business models are breaking down old barriers to putting life-changing assets into the hands of poor households. But to meaningfully advance SDGs, they’ll need to scale responsibly, and this is where funders can play a role.
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What Do Low-Income Customers Want from Asset Finance?

Here are six lessons for offering asset finance to low-income customers, based on in-depth interviews with dozens of asset finance providers and their customers in developing countries.
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Digital Finance APIs Come with Risks – Here’s One Way to Manage Them

Digital financial services providers can manage risks associated with open APIs by adopting standardized legal contracts with partners and third parties. Here are six key issues that a contract should clarify, along with a contract template.
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E-Commerce Is Taking Off in Rural China: 3 Lessons for Other Countries

China's e-commerce market has $2 trillion in annual sales and is growing as digital services reach rural areas. CGAP visited several villages and spoke with farmers and manufacturers about e-commerce. Here's what we learned.
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African Digital Credit Goes West

Digital credit is emerging in West Africa. Despite early reports of low default rates, consumer protection policies will be key to avoiding problems witnessed in East Africa.
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How Fintechs Could Digitize Store Credit in the Arab World

People in the Arab world rely on store credit almost twice as much as people in other regions. Here are three ways fintechs could digitize this type of credit.