Blog

I-SIP Approach Helps Russia Shape Inclusive Financial Policy Making

Find out how Russia's central bank is using the I-SIP approach to promote financial inclusion.
Blog

20 Years of Financial Inclusion in Europe and Central Asia

In the past 20 years, microfinance in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has become understood under the larger umbrella of inclusive finance. During this shift, several important changes have occurred.
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Financial Inclusion and Innovation in Russian Payment Systems

The payments sector in Russia has over recent years been at the forefront of innovation. The hope is that new developments will lead to an easily accessible and interoperable payment system that combines the advantages of various channels.
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How Much do Financial Inclusion Indicators Say about Russia?

Despite significant progress, access to financial services is still a huge challenge in remote areas of Russia.
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Microfinance in the ECA Region: Need to Sharpen Definitions?

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region a deep and growing divide between commercial, high-interest consumer finance and traditional social purpose microlending is emerging, and the confusion of the two in the eyes of the public.
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Are Lower-end Shops Ripe for Electronic Payments?

Are payment dongles like Square democratizing retail electronic payments by eliminating the need for dedicated point-of-sale terminals. Is the growth curve of Square an indication that similar low-cost acquiring solutions could trigger an explosion of merchant payments in developing countries?
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Powering Remittances Flows between Russia and Tajikistan

It can be concluded the Russia-Tajikistan corridor offers some interesting insights on how one might link financial products to remittance flows, but it also provides insights on the basic challenges accounting for why no significant scale has yet been reached.
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Remittances in Russia and Tajikistan

The potential seems huge to make use of a promising mix of (i) people on both ends of the remittance corridor being in regular contact with banks; (ii) most of the senders and receivers still being unbanked; (iii) the banks having detailed records of remittance clients’ financial flows; and (iv) intense and growing competition among banks, which has led to declining fees for customers to remit money.
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Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Predictions for 2012

The year 2011 was not particularly easy for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA). What are some of the issues that will be key for the ECA microfinance sector in 2012?
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Time to Choose

We need to focus on the real underlying issue and thinking that it is commercialization that is the problem.
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The Allure of A Cashless Society

I’ve been intrigued to see several recent new stories spouting off about the grandiose vision of a cashless society. To a certain extent I thought we had moved past this debate. While recognizing it as desirable, this high and mighty goal seems somewhat unattainable, at least in the short to medium term.
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Can Mobile Money Support Post-Conflict Development?

There's been a great deal of excitement over the last few years regarding the potential for mobile money to solve a host of development problems. An increasing number of post-conflict countries are all experimenting with or thinking about mobile money implementations. In addition to the normal issues and challenges facing policymakers and service providers, post-conflict and post-disaster countries face additional problems that merely serve to exacerbate the overall challenges with mobile money.
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Defining Microfinance Creatively in Russia

In August 2010, several internet-based media in Russia, including a number of very popular ones, published information about a company called AktivDen’gi (Active Money).