A report by the World Bank Development Research Group, the Better Than Cash Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion presents a synthesis of the evidence that the widespread adoption of digital payments in all their forms, including international and domestic remittances, can be instrumental in reaching the goals of the G20.
The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) of Bangladesh was concerned about the high interest and service charges set by MFI’s on consumers. They set out to develop a framework to protect consumers, while at the same time enable MFI’s to operate sustainably. The study describes the data gathering, the consultative process and the support provided in setting a fair and consistent rate. This policy is monitored regularly and continues to show compliance by MFI’s, improved efficiency in MFI operations and greater benefit to the end consumers.
The Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB) realized that they couldn’t develop effective financial inclusion policies without reliable data on access, usage and quality of financial services in the country. To this end and with support from AFI, they undertook a national demand-side survey to diagnose the state of financial inclusion. The study describes the multi-stakeholder approach, involving both the public and private sector and gives a summary of the findings. The findings enabled policy makers to identify barriers and areas of focus for financial inclusion, leading to the development a national strategy. The data also enabled policymakers to set national financial inclusion targets.
The financial inclusion situation in Mexico required policy development to address the disparities in usage and reach of financial services between urban and rural areas. The study describes the formation of the national coordinating body for financial inclusion and the development of a comprehensive data framework to inform policy. The banking agents, mobile payments and tiered-risk account policies and regulations introduced to increase financial inclusion, particularly in the under-served areas, are described. The effects of these interventions are quantified through appropriate data and the remaining challenges to improve the situation are identified.
The study describes the recent evolution of financial inclusion initiatives in the country. It highlights the development and use of core data indicators on access, usage quality and the influence of these on policy formulation. The introduction and results of banking agents are described, as well as the use of monitoring data that lead to the introduction of simplified accounts to increase usage after the banking agent innovation.
The Philippines introduced a micro-saving framework in 2010 to encourage savings in the microfinance market, through a simplified low cost account with a limit on daily balance. The study describes the steps that the regulator took when it appeared that the limit on the balance had an adverse effect on propensity to save. It describes the data gathering exercise and the subsequent policy adjustment, based on the analysis of the data. It highlights the success of the change in policy in terms of increased savings in micro-deposits.
South Africa faced significant inequalities at the beginning of the century, including constrained financial inclusion. As part of a social pact to improve the situation, the banking industry launched a joint simplified product, the Mzansi account. The study details the effect of the introduction of the product and the simultaneous improvement in physical access for banking services, through the use of agreed measurement efforts. It also assesses the situation after the Mzansi initiative and identifies current drivers and issues influencing further improved financial inclusion.
The note gives the rationale for financial inclusion target-setting, provides an overview of the main approaches to target-setting and sketches the global context in which target-setting is being discussed. The conclusion is reached that target-setting and monitoring should be undertaken at the national (country) level, with global aspirational goals being helpful to prioritise financial inclusion efforts. The note was accepted by the GPFI at the Plenary meeting in St. Petersburg and represents the view of the group on the most appropriate way in which to pursue this very important aspect of financial inclusion.
This report outlines recent research substantiating the contribution of the private sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular for new job creation and investment. It also highlights availability and gaps in SME funding, including for specific subsectors such as women-owned firms and agri-enterprises. New findings and trends highlight the potential of collaborative platforms that have emerged from the G20/GPFI process to combine resources to improve SME access to finance. The report concludes with recommendations for priority issues and work areas for the G20 and the GPFI. The report was produced by the SME Finance Forum on behalf of the GPFI.
Documents from the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg mentioning the GPFI: the G20 Leaders Declaration, the St.Petersburg Development Outlook, and the St. Petersburg Accountability Report on G20 Development Commitments