Water station, Bangladesh. Photo by Sohel Parvez Haque, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest Photo by Sohel Parvez Haque, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest

How Digital Finance Boosts Access to Basic Services

The stakes in achieving universal access to high-quality education are high. According to the Global Partnership for Education, 420 million people could be lifted from poverty with a secondary education, cutting the number of poor worldwide in half. And a child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to live past the age of five. Yet poverty prevents many children from attending school. Tuition and other expenses are costly and bills often are difficult for families with irregular incomes to pay. CGAP has found that financial services can remove barriers to education by increasing transparency in the use of public education funds, improving teacher’s presence and accountability, and expanding access to education finance for low-income families.

Slide Deck

Education is a powerful tool to combat poverty. This slidedeck describes how digital finance can remove systemic barriers to high-quality global education in at least three ways.

Innovations in digital finance can play a role in the Sustainable Development Goals' aim to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
Additional Resources

For many low-income families worldwide, education can be out of reach. Mobile money and digital financial services have the potential to help families by providing them with better tools that can help them save, plan and make education payments.

The inability to pay fees and other education expenses keeps many children out of school. What is the extent of these challenges, who is affected and what kinds of financial services could help?

What if a teacher in rural Liberia could collect her salary instantly and remotely? USAID recently partnered with the Liberian Ministry of Education to roll out the first mobile salary payments, and the preliminary results are extremely promising.

In Uganda, CGAP partnered with a solar company to better understand the education finance needs of rural customers and explore how pay-as-you-go solar companies can get into education financing.

Mobile money can make paying school fees easier and cheaper, so why aren't more schools adopting it? Part of the solution could involve a simple app for inexpensive smartphones and tablets.

In Africa, some of the most innovative ideas in education financing are coming from an unlikely source - an off-grid solar company.