Youth in rice farming, Philippines. Photo by Jayson Berto, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest Photo by Jayson Berto, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest


New technologies are rapidly changing the face of finance, breaking up financial services into smaller components digitally delivered by new players. Large retail chains, electronic money issuers and big technology and social media platforms such as WeChat, Apple Pay and Google are entering the financial arena, leveraging the vast amounts of data they harvest from consumers’ online purchases, text conversations or Facebook posts and combining them to deliver new financial services.

While these innovations offer great potential for expanding financial services to larger numbers of people especially the financially excluded, they raise new questions for policy making in an environment that was largely built for banks. Should the newcomers be regulated and supervised and by whom? What rules on market competition apply? How should data privacy be managed? Where is the balance between fostering innovation and protecting consumers? What risks are posed to market stability?

As financial services increasingly become modular, automated, disaggregated and transnational, CGAP believes that policy makers need a new approach. Successful financial inclusion requires a policy and regulatory framework that fosters responsible, inclusive financial systems and one that has the flexibility to adapt to rapid changes. Consumers must view the system as fair and stable, protecting their interests. Businesses must know there is a clear set of rules balancing innovation and stability while fostering appropriate competition and cooperation.

Latest Research


A Guide to Supervising E-Money Issuers

This Technical Note provides general guidance to emerging markets and developing economies supervisors who are designing proportional approaches to EMI supervision and serves as a reference for drafting or improving EMI supervision manuals in a few specific areas.

Safeguarding Rules for Customer Funds Held by EMIs

This Technical Note focuses on nonbank e-money issuance, with a detailed look at maintaining customer funds in bank accounts, diversifying funds across several banks to reduce the concentration risk, and the option of placing them in other safe, liquid assets.
Slide Deck

Cybersecurity for Mobile Financial Services

This deck answers key questions regulators, supervisors, mobile network operators, and digital financial services providers have about vulnerabilities in mobile financial services and countermeasures that can be taken to address data security.

Latest Blogs


I-SIP Approach Helps Russia Shape Inclusive Financial Policy Making

Find out how Russia's central bank is using the I-SIP approach to promote financial inclusion.

How the Philippines Applied I-SIP Approach to Basic Deposit Accounts

Learn how the Philippine Central Bank is advancing financial inclusion using a new CGAP toolkit for policy makers.

A Growing Trend in Financial Regulation: Thematic Sandboxes

More regulators are experimenting with "thematic sandboxes" that are designed to advance a specific policy goal. Here are three types of thematic sandboxes we've seen emerge over the past year.