Blog

COVID-19 and Microfinance: What’s Next for Equity Investors?

Access to funding has been a top priority for microfinance providers during COVID-19 . Debt investors have played a key role in supporting providers through the crisis. Now, as providers focus on recovery and growth, equity capital is needed too.
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The Evolving Nature and Scale of Consumer Risks in Digital Finance

New consumer risks in digital finance are emerging, especially around data misuse and fraud. Meanwhile, familiar risks like data breaches are speeding up, not slowing down. New approaches to consumer protection are needed.
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The Menace of COVID-19 for Microfinance

FINCA Impact Finance President and CEO Andrée Simon explains what’s needed for the most vulnerable microfinance institutions and their customers to overcome the pandemic.
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Why Do CICO Agent Networks Matter and How Do We Promote Them?

More than a decade since the rise of digital finance, cash remains popular and the ability for people to move cash in and out of digital systems is still vital to financial inclusion. How can agent networks be expanded to fill this need?
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Is It Possible to Estimate Financial Stress Before It Harms Borrowers?

A tool piloted by CGAP and 4G Capital reliably measures changes in borrower behavior to detect financial stress. If stress indicators are found to predict future repayment, the tool could also serve as an early warning system for issues like default.
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Bangladesh’s COVID-19 Response Is Taking Digital Finance to New Levels

Bangladesh’s policies in response to COVID-19 have enabled more low-income people to benefit from digital financial services.
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Pitfalls in MFI Digitization: Not Listening to the Customer

Customer centricity is key to ensuring a microfinance institution's digital solutions actually meet customer needs -- and there's ample evidence it's good for business. Yet many microfinance institutions overlook this critical aspect of digitization.
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COVID-19 and Microfinance: What the Data Says About Risk in the Sector

What impact has COVID-19 had on microfinance so far? What are likely future scenarios? Learn more in this blog post, which summarizes key findings from CGAP and MFR's research that began in June 2020.
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Pitfalls in MFI Digitization: Getting the Business Case Right

Kicking off a new series on how microfinance institutions can avoid common mistakes when digitizing, this post highlights the need to start with a clear business case and presents six proven ways digitization has benefited microfinance institutions.
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Analyzing Social Media to Spot Digital Consumer Credit Risks in India

Last year, news reports emerged of aggressive debt collection amid India's digital credit boom. New research shows that early warning signs on social media preceded the reports, highlighting the value of social media for consumer protection.
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Are Funders up to the Challenge of Building Rural Agent Networks?

Agent networks are crucial for advancing financial inclusion and other development goals. Here are six ways funders can encourage the expansion of agent networks in rural areas home to many of the world's low-income populations.
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Forging Her Own Path: Women and Informal Online Commerce

A growing number of financially excluded women are running businesses over social media platforms to improve their lives. What What does this mean for women's financial inclusion?
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5 Ways Gender Lens Investors Can Deepen Impact on Financial Inclusion

Gender lens investing is becoming a more popular way to invest in financial inclusion. Here are five ways funders can set themselves up for success and use this approach for greater impact.
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Cool in Crisis: How Bangladeshi MFIs Stay Resilient

Through flood, drought and famine, Bangladesh's microfinance industry has survived over the decades and continued to serve low-income customers in times of crisis. What has made Bangladeshi microfinance institutions so resilient?
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Has Microcredit Empowered Women in Bangladesh? Yes, But Not by Itself

Microfinance has contributed to women’s empowerment, but to understand the impact you have to look beyond where many observers have assumed they would find it.
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How Bangladesh Democratized Its Savings Culture

Bangladesh may be best known within financial inclusion circles as the birthplace of modern microcredit. But it has also democratized savings by developing formal savings instruments that are used today by many of the country’s poorest households.
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Leveraging Gender Lens Investments for Women’s Financial Needs

Gender lens investing is gaining momentum among a wide range of investors as an approach to women's empowerment. Here are three ways this approach could accelerate women's financial inclusion.
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Bangladesh’s 50 Years: Taking the Long View of Financial Inclusion

Bangladesh turned 50 this year. What does the country's decades-long journey with financial inclusion reveal about how financial inclusion connects to wider development? This post kicks off a new series exploring this question.
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Digital Consumer Credit in India – Time to Take a Closer Look

As media reports of abusive lending practices emerge amid India’s digital consumer credit boom, the country can steer digital credit in a more promising direction by ramping up its efforts to listen to consumers and taking the necessary actions.
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Small but Mighty: CGAP and the Future of Financial Inclusion

In her final leadership essay as CGAP’s CEO, Greta Bull shares her perspective on the impact COVID-19 has had on global development and some lessons she’s learned about financial inclusion.