India’s efforts to expand financial inclusion by leveraging digital technologies have been much publicized and lauded, both within India and internationally. But how effective have they actually been in expanding the usage of digital financial services across India’s huge population? And what is constraining their further growth?
CGD Policy Blogs
Ensuring Financial Stability in the Era of COVID-19: Recommendations for Latin America and the Caribbean
With a surging pandemic, income losses, and a deepening recession, Latin America and the Caribbean is facing a health and economic crisis that will test its financial systems like few events in modern times. The blow, however, can be softened. Banks as well as governments and central banks can play a crucial role, providing financing to lessen the impact on families and firms and to speed the recovery.
In late April, CGD’s senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez and distinguished non-resident fellow Mauricio Cárdenas participated in an event organized by Columbia University to discuss the economic prospects in Latin America. They were joined by the director of sovereign ratings at Fitch, Richard Francis, and the director of the Western Hemisphere department at the IMF, Alejandro Werner
Financial inclusion—an individual’s access to bank accounts or other financial products—has improved around much of the world, but significant gender gaps remain. How can we account for this gap? Do gender gaps in financial inclusion reflect differences in observable characteristics such as income, education, or labor force status? Would the gaps persist if women had the same levels of education and income as men? Or, are other, less observable, factors at work?
The ability to make payments on a mobile phone has transformed peoples’ lives, especially in developing countries. But what lies ahead for mobile money and its applications for financial inclusion? That may depend on who is using it.
Where Policy and Research Meet: Takeaways from Workshops on CGD's New Policy Decision Tree for Financial Inclusion
On October 10, CGD, in collaboration with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), held a workshop in Mexico City to discuss CGD’s innovative tool that serves to diagnose the crucial impediments to digital financial inclusion in specific country contexts. There, we shared a draft of CGD’s A Decision Tree for Improving Financial Inclusion. The event brought together more than 20 high-level representatives from central banks, ministries of finance, and other authorities involved in the design and implementation of their countries’ national strategies for financial inclusion.
Despite a broad recognition that increased access to financial services can bring significant benefits to the poor, catalyzing economic development, financial inclusion in emerging markets and developing economies continues to lag far behind expectations. While a large number of countries have implemented policy changes to advance digital financial inclusion, results have been mixed. To that end, we are developing a first-ever DFS decision-making tool, A Decision Tree for Improving Financial Inclusion - an analytical framework that allows a systematic identification of the most problematic constraints for financial inclusion in country-specific settings.
We prepared bite-sized summaries of every available paper from this year’s North East Universities Development Consortium annual conference.
Ethiopia has its sights set on becoming Africa’s next tech hub, rivalling Nairobi, Lagos, and Cape Town. But in its quest for digital supremacy, Ethiopia will need to take steps to create an enabling environment for the digital startup sector, which across Africa is driven in large part by fintech.
I’ve been given two kinds of arguments in support of not borrowing for social sector projects. The first is about their ability to repay the borrowing by generating enough foreign exchange. And the second is skepticism about the productivity of government spending in these areas. Let me take each in turn.