Blog

Pakistan Enigma: Why Is Financial Inclusion Happening So Slowly?

Just 21 percent of adults have accounts in Pakistan, despite decades of support for financial inclusion. What could accelerate progress?
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Bank-Led Digital Finance: Who’s Really Leading?

In countries where regulators favor “bank-led” digital finance models, nonbanks are playing important – even dominant – roles in digital finance.
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3 Customer Insights for Better Mobile Money UI/UX in Pakistan

Smartphone use in Pakistan has grown steadily, but low-income, less educated, and female customers lag in smartphone adoption and ownership. GRID Impact's user research lends insights into how to better serve and design for these population segments.
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Advancing Financial Inclusion Through P2G Payment Digitization

Karandaaz Pakistan recently undertook the first-ever systematic review of digital person-to-government (P2G) payment efforts from across the globe. What did they find, and what are the implications for future P2G digitization efforts?
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Paying for School: 6 Insights for Better Financial Services

The inability to pay fees and other education expenses keeps many children out of school. What is the extent of these challenges, who is affected and what kinds of financial services could help?
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Pakistan’s Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion

Pakistan has the second worst gender gap in the world, an imbalance reflected in the country’s financial inclusion numbers. What are the specific causes of women's financial exclusion, and what are potential solutions?
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Unlocking Financial Inclusion Using Biometrically Verified SIMs

In 2015, Pakistan became the first country to leverage biometric SIM verification for remote mobile wallet account opening. We talked to members of the Banking Policy and Regulation Department at the State Bank of Pakistan to learn more about these developments and the exciting implications for financial inclusion.
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Five Fresh Facts from the Smallholder Diaries

How are smallholder families managing their money? What challenges do they face? What financial solutions can help? CGAP’s Financial Diaries with Smallholder Households ("Smallholder Diaries”) spent a year with 270 farming families in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Pakistan to find out.
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Salam: Both a Greeting & Innovative Agricultural Financing Option

For over 6 million smallholder farmers in Pakistan, financing options are extremely limited. The Wasil Foundation, winner of the 2013 Islamic Microfinance Challenge, offers an alternative to traditional financing that enables farmers to build assets and sustainable livelihoods.
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The Graduation Approach: What’s Next on the Research Agenda?

Results from an in-depth impact study on the Graduation Approach were strong. As Graduation programs are scaled up in India, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and elsewhere, what should researchers study next?
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Making Mobile Money Accessible in Pakistan

Mobile wallets could have a revolutionary impact on financial inclusion in Pakistan. However, success of this channel hinges on matching the abilities of the end users with appropriately designed products.
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Pakistan: Is Mobile Money a Viable Alternative to Banking?

There is more to financial inclusion than convenience. In Pakistan, for mobile financial services to maximize their financial inclusion benefits, providers need to offer a wider variety of services.
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The Promise of Mobile Money in Pakistan

Mobile money - through over the counter services and mobile wallets - is helping to drive financial inclusion in Pakistan.
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Interpreting the Financial Inclusion Numbers in Pakistan

Financial inclusion in Pakistan has improved slowly but steadily since 2008 according to most sources. However, depending on the source of data, the topline financial inclusion figure for Pakistan varies from 7% to 23%. Why?
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EasyPaisa: Incentivizing Mobile Wallet Usage in Pakistan

The majority of mobile money customers in Pakistan prefer to transact via agents. However, registered mobile money accounts are critical for financial inclusion.
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The Complex Smallholder-Arthi Relationship in Pakistan

Arthis (agricultural agents) are an integral part of the financial lives of the Pakistani families taking part in the CGAP Smallholder Diaries research.
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Mobile Money in Pakistan: From OTC to Accounts, Part 2

Despite the continued dominance of agent-assisted OTC transactions in Pakistan, it is not all doom and gloom. We note four recent developments that just might trigger a rapid expansion in mobile account usage in 2015.
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Mobile Money in Pakistan: From OTC to Accounts, Part 1

The latest data from the Intermedia Financial Inclusion Insights survey suggests that providers continue to focus on basic over-the-counter (OTC) services. Kabir Kumar and Dan Radcliffe discuss lessons learned from the survey and Pakistan’s potential for digital financial inclusion.
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Consumer Protection at the Crux of Takaful Islamic Insurance

A growing need exists to design insurance products that meet the needs of the world's 2 billion Muslims. Takaful insurance is one possible solution, but consumer protection is a challenge.
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Selecting a Site for Smallholder Financial Diaries in Pakistan

CGAP and Bankable Frontier Associates have begun a study that examines the financial lives of smallholder agricultural families in Mozambique, Pakistan, and Tanzania. Here, we look at how we chose an appropriate site in Pakistan.