a woman in Indian dress on the phone in a field of yellow and orange flowers Photo by Alok Avinash/2015 CGAP Photo Contest

Digital Innovation

Digital innovation has transformed the way we live, work, and interact with each other. By leveraging digital technology such as mobile banking, digital payments, and access to credit and insurance services have made financial services accessible to individuals and businesses that were previously excluded.  

The digital economy generates new business models annually, attracting a broader range of players to the financial services industry, including fintechs and social networks. This diversity of providers and business models has enormous potential to advance financial inclusion and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Business models build proper connectivity through strategic partnerships, making it easier for innovators to offer valuable, affordable financial solutions. 

CGAP's research showcases various business models that effectively use digital technologies to create and provide financial solutions to people with low income. We demonstrate how increased connectivity can make it simpler for innovators to offer financial solutions that are both valuable and affordable. Our work focus ranges from the digitization of Microfinance, Open Finance, financial services for gig workers, data-driven financial Services, and more.  

As digital innovation continues to evolve, we will see even more creative solutions that will further promote financial inclusion and enhance the lives of individuals and communities worldwide. 

Latest Research


The Building Blocks Supporting Open Finance

This working paper introduces the concept of an inclusive data ecosystem as one where low-income people’s data trails are used to improve their financial inclusion. The paper highlights open finance as a catalyst for inclusive data ecosystems and identifies key enabling layers that drive the success of open finance and, by extension, an inclusive data ecosystem.

Open Finance Self-Assessment Tool and Development Roadmap

This technical guide introduces the open finance self-assessment tool and development roadmap. It provides practical tools for policymakers to use to decide whether to implement an open finance regime to advance financial inclusion and outline a development roadmap to guide the implementation process.

Gender-Intentional Credit Scoring

Evidence shows women often demonstrate higher loan repayment rates than men, suggesting they are lower-risk borrowers yet face higher barriers to loan approval. This guide introduces a gender-lens analytical framework for lenders to determine whether lending decisions and outcomes in their portfolios differ by gender and, if so, how.

Latest Blogs


Open Finance Can Reduce Financial Inclusion Gaps: Here’s How

Open finance can be a transformational enabler to unleash the power of data to increase financial inclusion. Data-driven strategies and open finance ecosystems can revolutionize access to financial services, especially for underserved communities.

Cash vs. Digital? Unleashing the Power of DFS through Agent Networks

The rise of DFS has sparked debate on cash's future in developing economies. But, despite increasing adoption of DFS, cash prevails in most global economies, emphasizing agent networks' crucial role as enablers rather than disruptors.

Regular Savings from Irregular Income: How Platforms Can Help

CGAP partnered with fintechs and platforms across Sub-Saharan Africa to understand how they are using digital rails to offer savings products to low-income gig workers. Here, we share what we found.