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

Policy

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

Publication

Nonbank E-Money Issuers vs. Payments Banks: How Do They Compare?

A special licensing category for nonbank e-money issuers is considered a key regulatory enabler for inclusive digital financial services. This Technical Note compares the EMI license with the payments bank license that India, Mexico and Nigeria have created.
Publication

Fair Play: Ensuring Competition in Digital Financial Services

In addition to the behavior of market actors, regulation can have a substantial impact on the dynamics of competition in digital financial services markets. CGAP examines some regulatory levers that policy makers can deploy to promote more competition in emerging economies.
Publication

Deposit Insurance Treatment of E-Money: An Analysis of Policy Choices

The expansion of digital financial accounts among poor customers has raised the question of whether e-money should be covered by deposit insurance and if so, how. This Technical Note examines the options while arguing that deposit insurance should not be the first line of defense in many emerging markets.

Latest Blogs

Blog

Risk Alert: Development Community Support Needed for Cybersecurity

Here are four things the development community can do to improve cybersecurity as digital financial services expand in developing countries.
Blog

Last-Mile Agent Networks: Why Public-Private Partnerships Matter

Building out rural agent networks isn’t just about harnessing digital innovations. Global experience shows that it’s also about the public and private sectors working together.
Blog

Digital Finance and the Future of Competition Policy

As tech giants disrupt financial services, they are giving urgency to questions around competition policy. Here are five questions that policy makers in developing countries should be asking about how to ensure fair play.