FISF has supported the following knowledge activities to promote understanding of critical issues in financial inclusion:
1. Building an Inclusive Financial Sector for Agriculture-dependent Households:
Individuals engaged in agriculture are estimated to constitute more than 25 percent of the financially excluded globally, which makes them a critical segment in achieving the Universal Financial Access objectives.
- A global experts workshop on Financial Inclusion of Agriculture Dependent Households was held at The Hague, Netherlands on June 23rd and 24th, 2015, and a report on the workshop has been published and disseminated.
- Activities in the pipeline include a report on the digitization of agricultural payments in Sub-Saharan Africa to advance financial inclusion among farmers in the region.
2. Leveraging Technology for Financial Inclusion:
Digital technologies have already begun to transform how adults around the world save, make payments, transfer money, borrow and manage risk. There are two knowledge activities under this stream that explore the potential of such technology in financial inclusion across various fronts:
- A note on innovations in electronic payment adoption for small retailers has been published and disseminated. The report estimated the global market opportunity for expanding electronic payments adoption of small retailers to be USD 19 trillion (the estimated value transacted in cash and checks in the form of retail sales, supplier payments and wage payments), identified key obstacles to electronic payment adoption, as well as public and private sector actions to overcome these obstacles to expand financial access.
- A note explores the potential for smart contracts - programmable contracts that automatically execute when pre-defined conditions are met - in the context of financial inclusion.
- A guidance report on digital savings draws insights from a number of country case studies to identify the characteristics of digital savings products and business models that enhance savings product access. It also highlights important policy issues for fostering digital savings market development. The full report has been published, along with a corresponding blog and public brief.
- Activities in the pipeline include a note on the legal, regulatory and oversight implications of innovations in retail payments as well as three notes as part of a comprehensive toolkit on instant payments, covering topics on modern retail payments infrastructure, interoperability, and digitization of government receipts.
3. Creating an Inclusive Financial Sector for Women:
This knowledge activity examines the issues contributing to the persistent gender gap in financial inclusion.
- A recently published report, State of Women’s Financial Inclusion in Pakistan, provides insights to the low levels of financial inclusion for women in Pakistan, one of the countries where access and ownership is particularly uneven across genders. Key insights from the report were disseminated in an international conference in Pakistan.
- Activities in the pipeline include a diagnostic study of trade finance for women entrepreneurs in the East African Community, a focus note on the imperatives to accelerating women’s financial inclusion and a Gender Financial Inclusion Toolkit to guide policymakers on developing and implementing more inclusive financial inclusion strategies.
4. Addressing Consumer Risks in Digital Finance:
The first of the two new knowledge activities introduced in 2019, this activity aims to better understand the nature of new consumer risks posed by digital finance, to identify learnings and new approaches, and to develop appropriate tools and policy guidance to address and mitigate consumer risks that are deemed high-priority and where there are clear gaps in existing international guidance and knowledge.
5. FISF Program Implementation Knowledge:
The second new activity aims to document the insights and learnings from the experience of the country programs under FISF. It involves learning notes, blogs and dissemination events to reflect on the FISF experience and share the findings to inform effective future policymaking beyond the FISF program. Outputs so far include:
- A feature story under this knowledge activity on measuring demand-side financial inclusion data has been published.
Last Updated: Jun 25, 2020