Inclusive Finance Frontiers

Globally, 1.4 billion people don't have a bank account, let alone other financial services that many of us take for granted. But digitization and innovation are reshaping financial services and creating new opportunities to build a greener, more resilient and equitable world. New solutions and approaches are improving financial inclusion, bringing low-income and underserved people into the formal financial sector and improving their lives. Join us to hear from a wide range of technical experts, thought leaders, and financial service users as we explore new trends, controversies, and developments in inclusive finance.

Acknowledgments:  

This podcast was created by CGAP’s podcast production group (Andrew Johnson, Lamis Daoud, Jahda Swanborough, Peter ZetterliYasmin Bin-Humam, Sai Krishna Kumaraswamy and Gcinisizwe “Sizwe” Mdluli), and is a production of Volubility Podcasting

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What is the frontier of financial inclusion? There is a geographical frontier: people in rural areas are more often financially excluded. There is a technological frontier in the form of a digital divide. But there’s also a social frontier, often appearing through social norms that dictate who can, and can’t, use financial services. What can we learn from Women’s Micro Bank in Papua New Guinea which used biometric technology to push geographical, technological and social boundaries?
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The spread of digital technology and infrastructure has given rise to fintech, but it’s also driven the popularity of non-financial services like social media apps, gig platforms, and e-commerce sites. “Embedded finance” refers to the integration of financial tools into this growing array of services. What forms will embedded finance take in the future? What are the biggest opportunities and risks and what players are driving it in different regions?
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Typhoon Rai made landfall in the Philippines in December 2021, killing over 400 people and causing over US$1 billion in damage. With such extreme weather events becoming more common due to climate change, financial services can make households more resilient and adaptive. What is the role of insurance and other financial services in climate change mitigation and adaptation?
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The wide reach of digital financial services can unlock life-changing opportunities for low-income consumers by helping them save, borrow, and receive remittances. But here’s a little secret about these digital services: their current ability to attract and serve new users largely depends on the expansion of old-fashioned physical interaction through agent networks, which is crucial in cash economies. In this episode, we explore the latest advances in agent networks and what they mean for the future of inclusive finance. 
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Central banks have been eying the emergence of privately issued digital currencies with a mix of excitement and anxiety, and some began experimenting with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Some advocates say CBDCs will help central banks advance financial inclusion. But are CBDCs really a game-changer for financial inclusion?
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CGAP's privacy and consumer financial services expert David Medine discusses the risks that millions of low-income consumers face in developing countries as they start using digital financial services
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What must providers do differently to make digital payments work better than cash for merchants and their customers? Peter Zetterli’s search for an answer led him to a surprising question: What if trying to be better than cash is the wrong approach?