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

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.
Publication

Risk-Based Customer Due Diligence: Regulatory Approaches

Regulators face a challenge in balancing policies on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism against their financial inclusion goals. This Technical Note provides guidance on using risk-based approaches to customer due diligence, with examples from around the world.
Publication

The Future of G2P Payments: Expanding Customer Choice

There’s a better way to deliver government-to-person (G2P) payments. Modernizing the delivery architecture can increase value for customers, lower government costs and create competition among financial service providers.

Latest Blogs

Blog

Open Data and the Future of Banking

Although growing numbers of low-income people are entering the formal financial system, many are not yet leveraging its full value. Emerging regimes for data sharing and payments flexibility have the potential to bypass traditional financial sector development and give poor customers better products and more choices.
Blog

Cloud Computing for Financial Inclusion: Lessons from the Philippines

For the first time, the Philippine central bank has allowed a bank to move its core banking operations to the cloud. Its approach, balancing caution with forward thinking, holds lessons for regulators in other countries.
Blog

Regulator’s Friend or Foe? Cloud Computing in Financial Inclusion

Financial regulators in emerging markets shouldn’t fear cloud computing. When regulated and supervised properly, it can be a boon to financial institutions trying to reach underserved customers. Here are some tips for regulators and supervisors.