Research & Analysis

Inclusive Digital Banking: Emerging Markets Case Studies

Digital technology has greatly expanded access to financial services over the past decade. Yet even today, the range and quality of services available to low-income customers remain limited because of constraints in the business models, management culture, and operating procedures of traditional banks. A new generation of fully digital retail banks has emerged and promises to offer more and better services through branch-lite distribution channels that reach underserved areas.

This Working Paper tells the stories of three of these banks: TymeBank in South Africa, Kotak 811 in India, and UnionBank in the Philippines. It takes a detailed look into how the selected businesses operate in their markets, what they do differently from traditional players, and how they are contributing to financial inclusion.

Related Resources

Blog Series

Digital banks have created new possibilities for financial inclusion, but are digital banks actually reaching low-income customers? A new CGAP working paper, “Inclusive Digital Banking: Emerging Markets Case Studies,” presents emerging evidence suggesting that some digital banks


As a fully digital retail bank in South Africa, TymeBank has created a suite of basic products that cater to the essential financial needs of low-income rural customers.
Reading Deck

This slide deck sheds light on the digitization of banking and analyzes the connection of three new business models to financial inclusion: fully digital retail banks, marketplace banks and banking-as-a-service.