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

Enabling and Responsible Financial 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, fintechs, and big tech 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, chat 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 the financial services industry becomes increasingly 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

8 Billion Reasons: Inclusive Finance as a Catalyst for Climate Action

We cannot tackle climate change effectively without inclusive financial services. CGAP outlines five areas for collaborative action between stakeholders working on climate change and those working on inclusive finance in order to leverage inclusive finance to scale grassroots climate action.
Publication

Supply-Side Gender Disaggregated Data for Advancing Financial Inclusion: Insights and Areas for Further Research

Gender data is key for unlocking the potential of financial inclusion. This report explores the ways supply-side gender-disaggregated data (S-GDD) is being used to inform financial policies and strategies that seek to intentionally apply a gender lens.
Publication

Digital Financial Services for Financial Inclusion: Tools for Supervisors

This technical guide provides supervisors with tools and practical guidance on supervision of digital financial services (DFS).

Latest Blogs

Blog

Surveys Reveal a Path to Responsible Digital Finance in WAEMU

For the first time, there is comprehensive data on digital financial services users in the WAEMU region, and it highlights the need for more responsible digital finance ecosystems. Strengthening consumer protection is crucial.
Blog

Are Climate-Related Financial Sector Policies Inclusive for All?

Climate-driven financial policies could inadvertently end up undermining financial inclusion efforts. Authorities and funders must understand the pathways through which risks could occur and the opportunities for supporting green finance effectively.
Blog

Supply-Side Gender Data is a Game Changer for Financial Inclusion

Gender-disaggregated data is the cornerstone for designing strategies and interventions that not only help increase women’s use of financial services to be more resilient and prosperous but also empower them to be stronger market players.