Five New CGAP Pilots Aim to Improve Platform Worker Livelihoods

Washington, D.C., June 8, 2022. CGAP today announced five partnerships with platforms, fintechs and financial service providers to pilot innovative financial services for platform workers that support and improve their livelihoods.

Platform workers are a rapidly growing segment of the labor force in emerging markets. However, they face several challenges, such as fluctuations in income and limited growth prospects due to insufficient access to the capital they need to expand their businesses and improve their skills. According to CGAP’s research with platforms and their workers across five countries, financial services can help platform workers in emerging markets improve their livelihoods, while potentially creating revenue for providers.

“The data generated by platforms holds great promise for the design and delivery of financial services that can meet the needs of platform workers,” said Gayatri Murthy, Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP, who leads CGAP’s research and outreach on platform livelihoods. “Through these five pilots, we hope to generate evidence that the platform ecosystem can support the provision of responsible and meaningful financial services that increase workers’ income generation opportunities. The pilots will also help build a business case to demonstrate to lenders and investors that such services can be viable and sustainable.”

The pilot partners, listed below, were selected from a pool of over 40 applicants worldwide. Through five planned pilots, CGAP aims to support, develop and test innovative financial services for platform workers in emerging markets—these workers are typically underserved and have low incomes, particularly women platform workers.

  • ABALOBI, a digital seafood market platform based in South Africa
    •  A pilot will test flexible, digital savings to help turn fishers' lumpy income into assets they can tap into for the future.
  • Britam, an insurance provider, and Little Apps, a ride-hailing platform, serving different countries in Africa
    • A pilot will test investment and insurance products for ride-hailing drivers to help drivers smooth out their income and begin to save; it will also assess the impact of such financial products on worker performance.
    • Jumia, a pan-African e-commerce platform A pilot will test the impact of healthcare benefits on the wellbeing and performance of delivery riders, sellers, and sales team—JForce.
  • KarmaLife, a fintech that serves platform gig workers in India o A pilot will test and validate credit scoring models based on platform data, including a multi-month credit product that tie installments and frequency across different use cases—such as B2B logistics and food delivery—to workers' current and projected earnings on platforms.
  • SafeBoda, a community-based urban transportation network available in various African countries
    • A pilot will test the influence of app integrated savings wallet features on the savings behavior of platform workers and the role of savings products on platform worker engagement.

“These engagements will help us uncover practical ways in which platform data can be leveraged more effectively, how financial services can be seamlessly embedded into livelihood generation, and how the customer journey can be finetuned for ease of use by platform workers. We look forward to sharing and discussing these insights with the financial inclusion community broadly,” added Murthy.

To facilitate designing and piloting the new or enhanced services, CGAP will provide technical assistance tailored to partners’ needs in various areas, including product development, testing/iteration, marketing, and delivery. The results of these pilots will be shared by CGAP and partners in due course.

As part of broader efforts to strengthen the financial inclusion of platform workers, CGAP is participating in the Sustainability Advisory Council of the new entity GoTo, formed from the recent merger of ride-hailing platform Gojek and e-commerce platform Tokopedia in Indonesia. CGAP will be advising GoTo on the development of next-generation financial services for its drivers.

CGAP will also be launching a learning committee, which will include the pilot partners and other partners across the industry, to support responsible innovation for workers in the platform ecosystem. The committee will serve as a forum to exchange knowledge and best practices and replicate or adapt the approaches tested in the pilots. This effort is part of a wider focus at CGAP on ensuring financial inclusion has a positive impact on people’s livelihoods and resilience.

If you have worked on finance for platform workers directly and wish to join this committee, please email us at [email protected].

To learn more about CGAP’s new research on the demand for and supply of financial services for platform workers and sellers, click here to watch this webinar recording. It includes first-hand perspectives from three platforms and fintechs—including GoTo and pilot partners KarmaLife and SafeBoda—about fulfilling worker demand for platform-based financial services.


About CGAP

CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people, especially women, through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that enable poor people to capture economic opportunities, access essential services, and build resilience, including in the context of climate change. We research and experiment to establish proofs of concept and extract actionable insights that help our partners implement solutions in the marketplace and take them to scale. In short, we influence through evidence. By doing so, we hope to advance broader development goals and contribute to more prosperous, equal, resilient, sustainable economies and societies.