ICT applications

Library Resources

resource title type year resource
Market Scoping Study for the Digitization of the Fish Value Chain in Uganda Report 2020

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Value chain development

This report shares insights from a market scoping study for the digitization of the fish value chain in Uganda. The study was intended to explore opportunities where digitization - especially digital financial services (DFS) - can add value and positively impact the lives and productivity of actors in the fish value chain. The study was commissioned by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and it focused on: conducting a value chain analysis in order to understand the key actors involved and their roles; economic impact of the different activities in the value chain; an analysis of the state of financial services / digital financial services in the value chain. Similarly, the study also centered on carrying out a gap analysis to assess the unmet needs associated with access to financial services, coping mechanisms and how DFS can provide solutions.

125 stakeholders including fishers, boat owners, fishmongers, fish processors were interviewed. Equally, other key actors from the supply side including financial services providers, technology companies, traders and other macro actors like the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the donor community were interviewed.

 

 

 

Publisher UNCDF
Number of Pages 40
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Uganda
Keywords value chain development, digital financial services (DFS)
Related Resources
Digital Savings Groups Technical Note 2020

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Savings groups

The SEEP Network defines digital savings groups (DSGs) as “technologies and systems that digitize savings group records, procedures or transactions.” What is most exciting about the growing range of DSG solutions is their potential for scale – creating new incentives for market actors, reducing the cost of training, and dramatically increasing the potential for outreach. Digital savings groups may also improve the user experience, offering greater transparency and time efficiency for members; and enhance impact, expanding access to financial and non-financial services in underserved markets.

This learning brief, based on a survey of 12 DSG solution providers, examines the design options and essential tradeoffs in solution development. The target audience includes philanthropic entities, as well as private sector actors – impact investors, microfinance investment funds, banks, non-bank lenders and mobile network operators – that recognize the commercial potential of new digital approaches for savings groups. Fintech innovators may also find this document useful for identifying new opportunities and risks in developing digital solutions for savings groups.

Author Mark Staehle
Publisher The SEEP Network
Number of Pages 24
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords digital savings groups (DSGs), Learning brief, opportunities and risks
Related Resources
Artificial Intelligence in Agribusiness is Growing in Emerging Markets Article 2020

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This resource appears in: Business Support, ICT applications

Business models utilizing artificial intelligence can help meet rising global demand for food and support a more inclusive and sustainable food system by:

(1) enhancing the resilience of farming methods; 
(2)reducing the cost of quality inputs and services to underserved farmers; and 
(3) improving market access to facilitate smallholder farmer integration into regional and global supply chains. 

AI technologies are transforming agtech business models, it also extends products and services to underserved farmers. Farmers need access to credit and insurance to expand their businesses and manage risk, and to enhance the resilience of their operations. Many emerging market farmers lack access to affordable financial products because of the significant time and cost required to price their risk and collateral, as well as the difficulty of serving farmers in rural and remote areas. Technological advancements in satellite weather data collection and the wider adoption of mobile technology has dramatically reduced these costs, facilitating the extension of financial products to farmers in emerging economies

Author Peter Cook, Felicity O’Neill
Publisher IFC
Number of Pages 8
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agribusiness, Artificial Intelligence
Related Resources
Policy Framework for Leveraging Digital Financial Services to Respond to Global Emergencies – Case of COVID-19 Report 2020

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Policy Advice

The global pandemic COVID-19 and the ensuing emergencies have reinforced the urgency of using Digital Financial Services (DFS) to preserve the functioning of financial systems and the security of people during the period of declining demand, reduced supplies, and tightening credit terms.
Digital payments, particularly when accompanied by digital financial Infrastructure and enabling regulations, help governments quickly and securely make cash transfers and other socio-economic benefits in the form of financial support.

This policy framework aims to provide policy guidance to regulators within the AFI network and beyond, in developing relevant policy/regulatory responses to mitigate the effects of global pandemics by leveraging on DFS. Although this guidance is immediately relevant to the current COVID-19 outbreak, it is also applicable for other emergencies, including natural and manmade disasters such as cyclone, earthquake, conflicts, forced displacements, etc.

Digital Finance & the COVID-19 Crisis Paper 2020 English (en)

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This resource appears in: ICT applications

The COVID-19 coronavirus crisis is putting unprecedented strain on markets, governments, businesses and individuals. The human, economic and financial costs are increasing dramatically, with potentially huge impact on developing countries and emerging market countries in addition to developed countries and regions. Across all of these, the greatest toll is likely to fall on those least able to bear it, with terrible damage to human development across the world.

This paper examines how the digital financial infrastructure that emerged in the wake of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis is being, and can be, leveraged to overcome the immediate challenges presented by the pandemic and manage the impending economic fallout.  This study operates at two levels:

  • At the macro level, it seeks to identify areas of systemic risk and strategies and frameworks to support policy coordination and action.
  • At the micro level it seeks to illustrate how digital finance tools may be able to assist addressing some of the challenges emerging.
Document  -  English (en)

Author Douglas W., Arner, Janos N. Barberis, Julia Walker, Ross P. Buckley, Andrew M. Dahdal & Dirk A. Zetzsche
Publisher SSRN
Number of Pages 17
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Coronavirus (COVID-19), digital finance
Related Resources
Policy Framework for Leveraging Digital Financial Services to Respond to Global Emergencies – Case of COVID-19 Report 2020

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Policy Advice: General

The global pandemic COVID-19 and the ensuing emergencies have reinforced the urgency of using Digital Financial Services (DFS) to preserve the functioning of financial systems and the security of people during the period of declining demand, reduced supplies, and tightening credit terms.
Digital payments, particularly when accompanied by digital financial Infrastructure and enabling regulations, help governments quickly and securely make cash transfers and other socio-economic benefits in the form of financial support.

This policy framework aims to provide policy guidance to regulators within the AFI network and beyond, in developing relevant policy/regulatory responses to mitigate the effects of global pandemics by leveraging on DFS. Although this guidance is immediately relevant to the current COVID-19 outbreak, it is also applicable for other emergencies, including natural and manmade disasters such as cyclone, earthquake, conflicts, forced displacements, etc.

The GSMA AgriTech Toolkit for the Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains Toolkit 2020

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Value chain finance

The Toolkit for the Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains is a collection of resources that illustrate how digital technologies can address pain points for farmers and value chain actors, such as agribusinesses and cooperatives, in the agricultural last mile. These resources support the use of digital technologies for digital procurement, by enabling the transition from paper to digital for a range of systems and processes in the last mile. The toolkit explains how digitising the last mile offers a pathway to financial inclusion for farmers.

 

Results of the Fintech Benchmarks Proof-of-Concept Report 2020

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Technology and outreach

Investment capital is flowing into fintech startups, yet it is still challenging to get capital to many fintechs addressing last-mile challenges. Evidence suggests this is driven in large part by a lack of information. Using data collected to test an initial set of Data Standards for Inclusive Fintech, this report presents insights into what we can learn about fintechs as businesses and how they address challenges of inclusion. 

The data and insights identified here will be leveraged to scale, iterate upon, and apply the Data Standards to address two of the key challenges currently facing inclusive fintech: bringing clarity to a crowded marketplace of ideas and linking solutions to financial inclusion.

Summary of responses to COVID-19 pandemic by APRACA member institutions Reference Material 2020

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Policy Advice

APRACA during the last 4 weeks conducted a survey to understand the preparedness and responses of APRACA members across the region to understand the followings:

  1. What is the impact of COVID-19 that you are expecting on the agricultural sector in your country (macro level)?
  2. How the supply of finance to agriculture and allied sectors are being impacted due to COVID-19 (both Macro and micro level)?
  3. What are the responses by your organization to reach out to your customers engaged in agriculture and allied business?
  4. What are the policy measures taken by the national government and central banks to ease the impact of COVID-19 on agricultural finance?

The survery includes responses from 14 Institutions from 9 countries which are compiled and presented below:

South Asia: India (NABARD and State Bank of India), Nepal (ADBL and NCBL) and Pakistan (State Bank of Pakistan)

Southeast Asia: Philippines (ACPC, KMBI), Thailand (BAAC), Laos (APB) and Vietnam (VBARD, VBSP)

East Asia: Japan (JFC) and China (ADBC and HTRCB)

Publisher Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA)
Number of Pages 16
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Coronavirus (COVID-19), Financial Institution
Related Resources
Growing Digital Financial Inclusion in Senegal Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Inclusive finance

In 2014, Mastercard Foundation and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) partenered to try to replicate and scale a model that had found success in the Pacific region – taking a market development approach to increase digital financial inclusion. Through this partnership, UNCDF was able to expand the Mobile Money for the Poor programme (MM4P) and test frameworks created in the Pacific in markets that were not yet “on the map”.

The Mastercard Foundation and UNCDF chose to work in three countries in West and Southern Africa – Benin, Senegal, and Zambia – all with very low digital financial services (DFS) usage rates.

The numbers tell a story of great success: Benin has seen DFS usage rates increase from 2% to 40%, Senegal from 13% to 29%, and Zambia from 4% to 44%. But lift under the “hood” of the numbers and you will see the lives of millions of people who are now financially included that weren’t five years ago.

Back in 2015, Birane was 19 and struggling to find work in his village on the outskirts of Nioro Du Rip in Senegal. Today, he is a young and well-established roving mobile money agent servicing rural villagers with the Intouch app. His diligence in handling other people’s money soon earned him the trust of villagers and allowed him to grow his customer base to a level that allows him to support himself and save for other activities in farming.

You may find out more about Birane`s story, our work and approach on the market as well as the lessons we have learned in our report “Growing digital financial inclusion in Senegal”.

Harnessing the Power of Mobile Money to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Rural Financial Services, Rural Financial Services: General

Exploring ways in which mobile money contributes to the digitalization of finance

Over the last decade, mobile money has been disrupting traditional financial services and transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of people across developing countries. Today, with over $1.3 billion a day processed by over 866 million registered accounts in 90 countries, mobile money has evolved into a broader payments platform that provides access to life-enhancing services, such as healthcare, education, employment, transportation and social protection. As national economies become increasingly dependent on digital technology, the power of mobile money to harness digital finance for sustainable development is strengthening.

This report brings together existing evidence to explore the ways in which mobile money is contributing to the digitalization of finance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The insights presented here illustrate the potential of mobile money to help achieve the 2030 targets by driving sustainable and inclusive growth, and providing solutions to some of the world’s most intractable development challenges.

Author Mariana Lopez, Senior Advocacy Manager, Mobile Money (GSMA)
Publisher GSMA
Number of Pages 31 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Financial Inclusion; Digital financial services
Related Resources
State of the Digital Financial Services Market in Zambia, 2018 Document 2019 English (en)

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Rural Financial Services: General

For Zambia’s digital financial services industry, 2018 saw growth in the number of active DFS account users, growth in the number of agents nationwide and growth in the number of products available to customers. These indicators of growth in the industry are findings in the Annual Provider Survey (APS), which UNCDF has conducted for over three years, and which UNCDF and Bank of Zambia compiled into the State of the Zambia DFS Industry 2018 Report.

Our 2018 Report revealed that 18 DFS providers operated in Zambia, the same as the previous year, and though no new products were launched in the year, the majority of providers considered DFS a commercially sustainable side of their business. This year, 85% of providers continuously increased investment in their technical and organisational capacity, and providers dedicated more than 72% of their DFS staff to agent network management, further illustrating how meaningful these services are to providers. The number of active agents in Zambia’s DFS ecosystem has seen an increase of 104% from 2017. 

State of the Digital Financial Services Market in Zambia, 2017  -  English (en)

The Digital Lives of Refugees: How Displaced Populations Use Mobile Phones and What Gets in the Way 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Technology and outreach

Mobile money is available in 90 countries across the globe, including three-quarters of low- and lower-middle-income countries, making it the leading payment platform for a digital economy in emerging markets. For refugees, the vast majority of whom reside in the developing world (84 percent), mobile money offers a lifeline to better financial management. This is particularly true in harder to reach locations, where the prevalence of other financial services is often lower.

This report digs deeper into findings and recommendations across five thematic areas – one of which is mobile financial services – in three contexts: urban settings in Jordan, Kiziba camp in Rwanda and Bidi Bidi settlement in Uganda. Due to the low use of mobile money in Jordan – only one percent of refugees surveyed reported using mobile money – this portion of the research therefore focuses primarily on Kiziba camp and Bidi Bidi settlement.

Author Jenny Casswell
Publisher GSMA
Number of Pages 47 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Africa
Jordan, Rwanda, Uganda
Keywords digital financial services, Disasters and Conflict, mobile money, Refugees
Related Resources
China’s Long March to a Cashless Future: Regulatory Responses to DFS Innovation and the Challenges of Rural Distribution Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Rural Financial Services: General

This papers documents China’s policy and regulatory trajectory towards building a more inclusive digital financial system and offers lessons for stakeholders in other markets striving to overcome the physical distribution challenges of cash while expanding financial inclusion. The paper is a supplement to the official and peer reviewed CGAP Technical Guide"Agent Networks at the Last Mile: A Guide for Digital Finance to Reach Rural Customers" (2019).

In the past decade, China pioneered the large-scale aggregation of financial services into digital platforms hosting a variety of services, marketplaces, and activities. This “platform model” had several years to develop and mature before regulators intervened by taking active measures to bring the platforms and other types of digital financial services (DFS) under a comprehensive regulatory framework. In parallel, the physical distribution or agent network for financial services expanded rapidly into underserved rural areas, thanks to policy initiatives combined with huge investments by the public and private sectors. The result has been a quantum leap in financial inclusion, characterized by high levels of account usage. A robust banking and digital infrastructure played a key role in this outreach effort. The expansion of agents serving as cash points proliferated and then reduced, making China one of the few countries in the world where the use of cash is decreasing.

Is Data Privacy Good for Business? Technical Note 2019

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This resource appears in: Business Support, Business Support Services: General, Agribusiness and enterprise support, Business planning, ICT applications

As digital financial services grow rapidly, so do concerns over data privacy and protection especially for poor customers who are particularly vulnerable to abuses and injury from lax data policies. CGAP set out to test how much poor people value their data privacy and whether there was a business case for financial services providers to offer better data protection. The results from six experiments in Kenya and India make the case that customers will choose products with data policy and protection features built in, and they are willing to pay for them. This opens an avenue for voluntary self-regulation in markets that do not have strong consumer protection and data policies in place.

Author Maria Fernandez Vidal and David Medine
Publisher Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
Number of Pages 12 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Customers, Donors and Investors, Business and markets, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, India
Related Resources
Digital Financial Services in Nigeria: State of the Market Report 2019 Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General, ICT applications, Rural Financial Services

In-depth exploration of consumer profiles, the gender gap, and a review of DFS policy landscape.

The 2019 Digital Financial Services in Nigeria State of Market Report is the fourth in the series and presents consumer and gender profiles with more contextual relevance and linkages. It contains key insights from analysis of disaggregated data on banked, under-banked and unbanked adult Nigerians and also the widening gender gap. 

There is also a high-level review of the progress of market-enabling policy recommendations made in 2017. The section explores how much progress has been made so far, which recommendations have been implemented and which ones are outstanding. 

Author Olanrewaju Adelaja, Olubanjo Adetunji, Olawale Ajai, Timothy Aluko, Olayinka David-West, Nkemdilim Iheanachor, Emmanuel Ogbu, Omotayo Muritala, Ijeoma Nwagwu, Ibukun Taiwo, Samuel Umoh & Immanuel Umukoro
Publisher Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Financial Services (SIDFS)
Number of Pages 107 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global, Africa
Nigeria
Keywords digital financial services, Market Assessments, Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria
Related Resources
Making Digital Credit Truly Responsible Presentation 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Technology and outreach

Digital credit has emerged as a new and profitable service offering that has a great potential to increase financial inclusion. Yet, if it is not carefully managed, digital credit runs a great risk to exclude, over-charge, and create over-indebtedness.

During the first half of 2019, The Smart Campaign and the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) commissioned Microsave Consulting (MSC) to study the current state of digital credit in Kenya and formulated recommendations for how to make digital credit delivery safer and more customer-centric. We propose that regulations be put in place such that delinquencies and defaults among loans below some fixed amount not be reported to the credit bureau so as not to unduly burden consumers. We also call for increased public awareness campaigns about how credit bureaus work and the consequences of default so consumers will better understand the risks involved in borrowing.

Publisher Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion; SPTF, Agence Francaise de Developpement, MSC
Number of Pages 105 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Consumer Protection, Credit Provision, Customer Centricity, Nano Loans, Interest Rates, digital financial services
Related Resources
S-Commerce Landscape - Bangladesh Report 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Technology and outreach

In 2018, pi STRATEGY conducted a digital financial services gender gap study, in partnership with CGAP, to investigate the existing gender gap in digital financial services in Bangladesh. The study identified multiple solution spaces that could drive women’s financial inclusion, and one of them was linking social commerce with digital financial services. To better understand the landscape of social commerce in Bangladesh, pi STRATEGY and CGAP later conducted several one-on-one interviews, held multiple focus group discussions, and ran a small online survey with online buyers and sellers. This report highlights findings from this primary research.

Publisher CGAP Background Documents
Number of Pages 59 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Asia
Bangladesh
Keywords value chain, e-commerce, s-commerce, social commerce
Related Resources
Growing Digital Financial Inclusion in Zambia Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Inclusive finance

In 2014, Mastercard Foundation and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) formed a partnership to try to replicate and scale a model that had found success in the Pacific region – taking a market development approach to increasing digital financial inclusion. Through the partnership, UNCDF was able to expand the Mobile Money for the Poor programme (MM4P) and test frameworks created in the Pacific in markets that were not yet “on the map”.

The Mastercard Foundation and UNCDF chose to work in three countries in West and Southern Africa – Benin, Senegal, and Zambia – all with very low digital financial services (DFS) usage rates.
The numbers tell a story of great success: Benin has seen DFS usage rates increase from 2% to 40%, Senegal from 13% to 29%, and Zambia from 4% to 44%. But lift under the “hood” of the numbers and you will see the lives of millions of people who are now financially included that weren’t five years ago.

In Zambia Elase was trapped in the cash economy with little options to save and transfer money safely. As she started using mobile money, she began to save in order to establish an agent booth. Today, she is a thriving mobile money agent managing four booths and several tellers. She was able to grow her business after receiving a non-collateral loan from FINCA, a project partner of the programme. She is growing as an entrepreneur and feels empowered in her professional and personal life, providing business advice to her clients and contributing to her household needs.
You may find out more about Elase`s story, our work and approach on the market as well as the lessons we have learned in our report “Growing digital financial inclusion in Zambia”.

Cyber Security in Financial Sector Development: Challenges and Potential Solutions for Financial Inclusion Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Financial sector linkages, Inclusive finance

This paper assesses the relevance of cyber security for the development of inclusive financial systems in developing countries. The growing use of digital financial services and shared service platforms has increased the financial sector’s exposure to cyber risks. Financial service providers and their customers, regulators and supervisors are challenged with the increase in cyber threats – especially in emerging and developing countries with lower capacities and less resources.

The paper shares trends, challenges and examples of governments, industry initiatives and public-private partnerships that are taking steps towards addressing capacity and resource gaps in the sector. Based on the analysis and lessons drawn from existing examples, the authors provide suggestions for further research and experimentation aimed at identifying effective approaches for improving the sector’s resilience to and preparedness for cyber incidents.

Author Silvia Baur-Yazbeck, Judith Frickenstein and David Medine
Publisher CGAP Background Documents
Number of Pages 15 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords cyber security, Financial Sector, Financial Inclusion
Related Resources
Deposit Insurance Treatment of E-Money Brief 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Collateral regulation, Prudential regulation

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, for two primary reasons. In many emerging markets where authorities have limited resources, their first area of focus should be on strong prudential regulation and supervision to ensure safe and sound institutions. Second, electronic money issuers are engaged in a narrow set of activities and in most cases pose limited or no systemic risk, compared with financial institutions that intermediate deposits and issue credit.

Author Juan Carlos Izaguirre, Denise Dias, Mehmet Kerse
Publisher CGAP
Number of Pages 24 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Deposit Insurance, e-money, Regulation
Related Resources
Taxing Mobile Phone Transactions in Africa: Lessons From Kenya Report 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Technology and outreach

The taxation on mobile phone-based transactions and on airtime has been introduced in Kenya and is spreading to other African countries. Some countries in sub-Saharan Africa view mobile phones as a booming sub-sector easy to tax due to the increasing turnover of transactions and the formal nature of such transactions by both formal and informal enterprises. The increasing tax burden on the sub-sector and the consumers, though, has raised concerns that the massive gains made in financial inclusion in developing countries made possible by retail electronic payments platform via mobile phone transactions may be reversed—resulting in a return to cash transactions.

This paper shows that taxation on mobile phone airtime and financial transactions may not expand the tax base significantly but, rather, may reverse the gains on retail electronic payments and financial inclusion. A higher tax rate on low-level retail electronic transactions mostly levied on low-income earners that are sensitive to transaction costs may discourage the use of mobile phone-based transactions, incentivizing them to revert to cash transactions to evade taxes and so less tax revenue. This trend will deal a big blow to the financial inclusion success witnessed so far.

The data so far available shows that the contribution of mobile money-related taxes is less than one percent of total tax revenue, a negligible contribution to Kenya’s total tax income, at high economic costs. These lessons are not just relevant for Kenya but also for other countries in Africa with such tax propositions. Introducing and increasing taxes on mobile phone transactions may risk stalling progress on digitization and fiscal policy design as well as revenue administration.

Author Njuguna Ndung’u
Publisher The Brookings Institution
Number of Pages 14 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Africa
Kenya
Keywords taxation, digital financial services, mobile money, mobile transactions
Related Resources
The Fintech Landscape in Rwanda Document 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Technology and outreach

The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is partnering with the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and the fintech community to provide technical assistance to support innovative approaches for the regulation of the blossoming fintech ecosystem in Rwanda.

Information on fintech start-ups in Rwanda is scattered, and a mapping exercise of ecosystem players is yet to be completed. Addressing those gaps, UNCDF conducted a landscape analysis to (1) develop a centralized repository of information regarding fintech start-ups operating in Rwanda, (2) assess their capacity and needs and (3) identify appropriate areas for collaboration among UNCDF team members, regulatory bodies and fintech start-ups to promote innovation in Rwanda.

The UNCDF team completed the landscape analysis through a combination of desk research and semistructured interviews with fintech start-ups, ecosystem facilitators, policymakers and regulators. The team reviewed policy documents, regulations and frameworks guiding the development of the financial sector, the digital transformation and the innovation agendas as well.

Information gathered during the research and received from various stakeholders indicated that 44 fintech start-ups are currently operating in Rwanda. Since the fintech landscape in Rwanda is evolving, this number is subject to change as more information on companies that are not active members of various associations in the industry becomes available.

The UNCDF team leveraged the Ernst & Young fintech ecosystem framework,1 evaluating the current and projected trends in four core ecosystem attributes: (1) availability of talent, (2) demand for products and services, (3) availability of capital for start-ups and innovators, and (4) government policies and regulations regarding innovation. 

Nonbank E-Money Issuers vs. Payments Banks: How Do They Compare? Technical Note 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Remittances and payments

A key regulatory enabler for building inclusive digital financial services is creating a special licensing window for electronic money issuers (EMIs). Because EMIs have a lower risk profile than banks, they require less regulatory oversight. A special licensing category that recognizes that their role is to store customer funds converted into e-money held in basic transaction accounts, not to extend credit based on such funds, can open the DFS market to new providers. While many countries have created nonbank e-money licenses to cater for this business, at least three countries have introduced a special banking licensing category – the payments bank license. This technical note analyzes the country context in which the payments banks licenses were crafted, and compares the advantages and disadvantages of the EMI license versus the payments bank license.

Author Denise Dias and Stefan Staschen
Publisher Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
Number of Pages 20 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Supervision, Regulation, e-money, digital money
Related Resources
Global Microscope 2019: The Enabling Environment for Financial Inclusion Report 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Financial management

The Global Microscope assesses the enabling environment for financial inclusion across 5 categories and 55 countries. In this 2019 edition, the EIU examines how countries are promoting financial inclusion for both women and men, 11 new gender-focused indicators have been added to the framework. The Microscope was originally developed for countries in the Latin American and Caribbean regions in 2007 and was expanded into a global study in 2009. Most of the research for this report, which included interviews and desk analysis, was conducted between June and September 2019. This work was supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, IDB Invest and IDB LAB.

Author Mike Kenny, Emma Ruckley, William Shallcross, Nick Wolf
Publisher The Economist Intelligence Unit
Number of Pages 110 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Financial Inclusion, enabling environment, Consumer Protection, Policy, Regulation and Government Initiatives
Related Resources
Enabling Policy and Regulation: Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Rural Financial Services: General, Inclusive finance

As technology and information rapidly force the evolution of global and local markets, we must act quickly to support policymakers and regulators to adapt to a swiftly advancing future full of opportunity and uncertainty.

An interconnected digital economy requires an agile, well-informed approach to risk management. For example, as new and old customers use digital channels from multiple and diverse providers, protecting customer data has become a policy focus area. Complementarily, as more people use formal financial accounts and expect their money to be accessible on demand, protecting funds will continue to be a priority issue. Rapid economic development will be driven by increasing customer trust. In a competitive environment that evolves rapidly, engendering customer trust is a constant process, and governments represent one of the few actors at the national level to which customers can look for protection from abuse and endorsement of reliable systems.

Did You See My Tweet? Monitoring Financial Consumer Protection via Social Media Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Technology and outreach

Social media is changing customer service by shifting the ways in which consumers seek resolution of problems and the channels that firms make available to consumers. The ability for consumers to directly, instantly, and publicly praise or chastise the service of a firm has led to increased accountability and new ways to remotely resolve customer issues swiftly.

In Kenya, the "#KOT" or "Kenyans on Twitter" community has become an important channel for public discourse on a wide range of topics. This includes financial services. In Kenya financial consumer protection via channels such as government authorities is still very limited, and cases of mistreatment of financial customers are commonly reported in the Kenyan media, often with no resolution for the consumers.

This frustration has led some to turn to social media to both attempt to resolve their problems and publicly call out consumer protection abuses. Through this active Twitter population, a clearer view is emerging of the extent and type of problems that occur with financial services and how providers and government agencies do—or do not—respond.

Author Rafe Mazer; Dan Onchieku
Publisher Financial Sector Deepening Trust Kenya (FSDK)
Number of Pages 26 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Africa
Kenya
Keywords Social Media, Consumer Protection; Financial Inclusion
Related Resources
Growing Digital Financial Inclusion in Benin Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Inclusive finance

In 2014, Mastercard Foundation and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) partnered to try to replicate and scale a model that had found success in the Pacific region – taking a market development approach to increase digital financial inclusion. Through the partnership, UNCDF was able to expand the Mobile Money for the Poor programme (MM4P) and test frameworks created in the Pacific in markets that were not yet “on the map”.

The Mastercard Foundation and UNCDF chose to work in three countries in West and Southern Africa – Benin, Senegal, and Zambia – all with very low digital financial services (DFS) usage rates.

The numbers tell a story of great success: Benin has seen DFS usage rates increase from 2% to 40%, Senegal from 13% to 29%, and Zambia from 4% to 44%. But lift under the “hood” of the numbers and you will see the lives of millions of people who are now financially included that weren’t five years ago.

Pierrette in Benin tells a story of how digital finance can be a game changer for small entrepreneurs. “My business tripled” she says as she saved time and money by using her phone to place orders via WhatsApp, pay with her MTN mobile money account her suppliers in northern Benin, and repay her loan with ALIDé. She invested the money she saved into her business, which is now flourishing in front of her home in Cotonou and will soon expand to a new warehouse in Hévier, west of the capital city.

You may find out more about Pierrette`s story, our work and approach on the market as well as the lessons that we have learned in our report “Growing digital financial inclusion in Benin”.

Competition and Digital Financial Services 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Rural Financial Services, Rural Financial Services: General

These working papers investigate competition issues in digital financial services (DFS), providing both a survey of the main issues at each step of the DFS value chain as well as going in depth on topics such as digital data and credit card interchange fees. Drawing on both experience and research, these papers provide regulators and stakeholders alike a solid framework for understanding how competition policy, regulation and behaviour by market players can effect the level playing field of DFS in emerging markets.

Author Ariadne Plaitakis and Matthew Soursourian
Publisher CGAP Background Documents
Number of Pages 128 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords digital financial services, Competition, value chain, digital data, Regulators, competition policy, market players
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Digital Financial Services Measurement Framework Paper 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Rural Financial Services: General, Remittances and payments

A range of indicators are used to measure the digital financial services and payment landscapes. This measurement framework is created to characterize various measurable components of the digital payments ecosystem that could be tracked over time. It incorporates access, adoption and usage indicators, distinguishing between receiving payments and making payments. It considers drivers that influence the adoption and usage of digital payment solutions. 

This framework will enable practitioners to identify new digital payment indicators and to structure existing ones.

Author Claire Hayworth, Chris Colli & Illana Melzer
Publisher Insight to Impact (i2i)
Number of Pages 43 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords digital financial services, Remittances and Payments
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Digitalization for Agricultural Value Chains in China and India: practical examples of software platform-based solutions for smallholder producers Report 2019 English (en)

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Value chain development

The Rural Finance Best Practices Project (RuFBeP) by the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and IFAD have released a publication on how information and communication technology (ITC) networks in China and India make the agricultural value chain significantly more efficient. 

The study presents the following cases:

1. Nixn, the leading high-tech agricultural enterprise in China; through its subsidiary company, Nxin Internet Technology Co., Ltd., it offers a suite of software solutions that links multiple players in the agricultural value chains. The Nxin Mall platform is an online store that gives farmers increased access to agricultural input suppliers and offers transparency of pricing as well as built in safeguards to help prevent price gouging.

2. E-Commerce Platform-Driven Agricultural Value Chain Finance: The initiatives of Ant Financial in China; Ant Financial provides integrated software platforms using cloud-based services and a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model;

3. SourceTrace, a new generation social enterprise that leverages the strength of ICT to fuel the growth in agriculture of the Green Revolution based on eService Everywhere (ESE™) that uses the SaaS model and cloud-based networking;

4. National Collateral Management Services (NCMS) Ltd., India’s leading post-harvest management organization, providing technology-enabled warehousing and supply chain solutions.

APRACA  -  English (en)

Author Prasun Kumar Das Michael Hamp
Publisher APRACA under the auspices of the IFAD grant supported ‘RuFBeP’ project
Number of Pages 92 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Asia
Keywords Digitalization, Ict, Agriculture, Value Chains, smallholder producers
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Credit to Merchants: Tienda Pago's Digital Solution for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Case Study 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications

This case study aims to extrapolate some preliminary lessons from Tienda Pago’s model, including its challenges and potential for scale. The study is informed by distributor and customer interviews and qualitative research, which sought to map characteristics of merchant clients and analyze both drivers and barriers to product usage and uptake.

Early Lessons on Regulatory Innovations to Enable Inclusive FinTech: Innovation Offices, Regulatory Sandboxes, and RegTech Report 2019

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Technology and outreach

The report was produced by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School in partnership with the FinTech Working Group of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) with support from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). I was invited to contribute the part relating to Singapore

Digital Transformation of Microfinance and Digitization of Microfinance Services to Deepen Financial Inclusion in Africa Report 2018

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Microfinance institutions, Inclusive finance

Digital financial services (DFS) are spearheading greater financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 338 million registered accounts in 2017 and a significant boost in penetration from 12 percent to 21 percent between 2014 and 2017. Over the past decade of market development, DFS has diversified from basic money transfer and bill payments to credit, cross-border remittances, savings, insurance, merchant payments, bulk disbursements and other value-added services like pay-as-you-go (PAYG) energy, crowdfunding, savings group and value chain digitization. Digital credit offers are growing rapidly in mature DFS markets in Africa, such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and parts of West Africa. Digitization of services is no longer an option, but a race MFIs must run to stay relevant in rapidly evolving markets.

Microfinance providers are taking progressive steps to embrace digital finance, often starting with the digitization of existing products, services and operations, either by using mobile devices, partnering with a digital financial service provider or developing a proprietary agency network. Although this triggers benefits for both clients (convenience, security, faster transactions and creation of a digital footprint) and microfinance providers (increased operational efficiency, diversification of customer base with value-added products, rural outreach at a lower cost), digital finance comes with certain challenges and risks, and can sometimes represent a threat if not leveraged appropriately.

Microfinance providers have to compete with other DFS players by serving millions of traditionally un(der)served populations. Despite the progress in expanding the reach of DFS, many Africans, especially vulnerable segments like rural residents, women and the very poor remain unserved. Microfinance has traditionally focused on serving these groups and have developed methodologies for building relationships with vulnerable clients. Given the scale and rapid rise of DFS and the rural/women focus of microfinance, partnerships offer great potential to deepen financial inclusion: between microfinance providers and mobile network operators (on digital savings and loans, mobile-to-wallet interoperability, etc.) or between microfinance providers and technical services specialists and FinTechs (credit scoring solutions, blockchains, etc.).

As technology disruptions and new players change the face of microfinance, regulators need to fully comprehend this changing environment and be prepared with adequate supervision and oversight tools. Inclusive digital finance is contingent on a broader disaggregation of the financial services value chain, with banks and non-banks (including FinTech companies) assuming different responsibilities according to their area of specialization, through a web of partnerships. This could include account and client data storage, management and analytics, and many more. Regulators need to identify how to optimize synergies between digital finance and microfinance for financial inclusion, such as consumer protection for DFS, KYC, credit risk management, data privacy, innovation, reporting, financial education and other areas.

Author Vera Bersudskaya, Lisa Chassin, Denise Dias, Isabelle Musat and Aurelie Wildt Dagneaux
Publisher African Financial Inclusion Policy Initiative
Number of Pages 32 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords digital transformation, Microfinance, digitization, Microfinance Services, Financial Inclusion
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Fintech, Inclusive Growth and Cyber Risks: A Focus on the MENAP and CCA Regions Document 2018

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This resource appears in: ICT applications, Financial sector linkages, Risk management, Inclusive finance

Financial technology (fintech) is emerging as an innovative way to achieve financial inclusion and the broader objective of inclusive growth. In addition to improving the speed, convenience, and efficiency of financial services, fintech has potential to promote financial inclusion. More specifically, it can enhance access to affordable financial services for unbanked populations and underserved small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs); reduce delays and costs in cross-border remittances; foster efficiencies and transparency in government operations, which helps reduce corruption, and facilitate social and humanitarian transfers in a manner that preserves human dignity. 
For the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) and Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) regions, fintech has a particularly valuable role to play as these potential benefits are aligned with the regions’ policy priorities. Both regions have countries with large unbanked populations, SMEs whose growth is constrained by limited access to finance, high youth unemployment, large remittance markets and informal transfers (Hawala), undiversified economies, vulnerabilities to terrorism, large income disparities, large displaced populations, and endemic corruption. Fintech innovations and underlying technologies can contribute to the solutions for many of these challenges.

Author Inutu Lukonga
Publisher International Monetary Fund
Number of Pages 51 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Financial Stability & Governance, Banking Supervision and Regulation, Financial Inclusion, digital finance
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Emerging Opportunities for the Application of Blockchain in the Agri-food Industry Paper 2018

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This resource appears in: ICT applications

Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) have the potential to transform the global food system by introducing important efficiency gains along value chains, and improving trust, transparency and traceability. While large actors are likely to make fast and significant inroads in exploiting DLTs, small farmers and processors also stand to reap significant benefits, provided the technology is made accessible to them. This raises the question of how an enabling environment can be created for smallholders to harness these new technologies, and, at a broader scale, for DLTs, so that these contribute to improving the functioning of global food and agricultural markets.

This paper, by Mischa Tripoli and Josef Schmidhuber, seeks to make an initial contribution to the emerging public debate on this issue by providing an overview of DLTs and their application in food and agriculture, examining public policy implications for food security and rural development and identifying some potential challenges, risks and the way forward.

Author Mischa Tripoli Josef Schmidhuber
Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
Number of Pages 40 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Distributed ledger technologies
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Consumer Protection in Digital Credit Paper 2017 English (en)

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This resource appears in: ICT applications

Digitally delivered credit is quickly expanding in emerging markets. “Digital credit” refers to credit products—including digital payments products such as mobile money—that are delivered fully via digital channels, such as mobile phones and the internet. These business models are driven by strong customer demand, lower operating costs, and the greater reach of the instant, automated, and remote lending methodology. The convenience and speed of digital credit are well matched to urgent and unanticipated needs, such as a late-night emergency visit to the hospital or working capital for the quick-turnover, high-margin economic activities common for microenterprises. Yet the very attributes of digital credit—instant, automated, and remote— create consumer protection risks that are distinct from those of more traditional consumer and microenterprise credit models. This paper explores new approaches to address risks and problems in five areas:

  • Disclosure of loan terms and conditions;
  • Marketing approaches to promote responsible borrowing;
  • Appropriate and tailored products to meet the needs of specific consumer segments;
  • Repayment and collections;
  • Credit reporting and information sharing.
Consumer Protection in Digital Credit  -  English (en)

Digital Financial Services in Rwanda: Leveraging technology for maximum use of financial services Technical Note 2017

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This resource appears in: ICT applications

This dedicated FinScope Insight Note is aimed at highlighting the results of the ecosystem and usage of digital financial services in Rwanda. The FinScope Survey not only enabled the assessment of the landscape of financial access in Rwanda, but also provided a benchmark for repeat surveys that will enable the impact of access related policy interventions to be assessed. The survey was comprehensive in highlighting the prevalence and use of digital financial services (DFS).

Impact of Agricultural Value Chains on Digital Liquidity Document 2016

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This resource appears in: ICT applications

This report looks at agricultural value chains and whether they are a potential vehicle for increasing digital liquidity:

  • How much of the population do they reach?
  • How important are agriculture payments to the lives of the poor?
  • Would value chain eMoney tend to stay in electronic form?
Author Jackson, T. H., Weinberg, A.
Publisher International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Number of Pages 28 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agriculture, digital finance, Ict For Development, Ict
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Savings Groups Digitization and Financial Linkages Training Course English (en)

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This resource appears in: ICT applications

Savings Groups (SGs) are community-based financial institutions where members mobilize and manage their own savings, pooling this money in a loan fund from which they can borrow in amounts as small as $5. This approach has proved to be low-cost, highly sustainable, and extremely profitable for the member-owners while achieving significant scale, especially in remote rural areas. In Africa and Asia, it is estimated that SGs are now established in more than 75 countries worldwide, reaching more than 15 million members in over 750,000 groups.

However, SGs are becoming increasingly overcapitalized and require linkages to formal financial institutions and virtual wallets. This is now being accelerated through digital platforms developed in partnership with Financial Technology (FinTech) companies, Mobile Network Operators and Aggregators. The advent of agency banking in most countries introduces another opportunity into the linkages journey. This calls for a more strategic engagement with relevant stakeholders in terms of product development, delivery channels, digitizing operations and disseminating relevant knowledge in savings groups, financial technology, and financial linkages in order to better manage opportunities in these three sectors: digital financial services; savings groups and banking. This course is designed to achieve specific objectives and learning outcomes as below:

Learning Objectives:

  • Expose participants to the methodological approaches and training tools employed by the major implementing organizations in promoting savings groups.
  • Guide financial inclusion practitioners through a focused roadmap of technology-enabled business models at the bottom of the financial pyramid.
  • Introduce participants to the concept and framework of SG linkages from a demand-side and a supply-side perspective.
  • Introduce participants to concepts on the digitizing of SGs concepts.
  • Understand the opportunities that SGs present for accelerating sales at the bottom-of-the-pyramid as last-mile-marketing structures for social enterprise companies including mobile money uptake.
  • Appreciate the role of financial technology service providers in enhancing financial inclusion

Course Fees: $250

Registration Deadline: 04 October 2019

Course Information  -  English (en)

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