WHAT IS HIFI
HiFi is a seven-year program aimed at scaling up financial inclusion on a sustainable basis by harnessing technology and innovation. The HiFi program is generously supported by the UK Government and implemented by the World Bank Group through the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice (FCI GP), the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).
WHAT WE DO
IFC provides targeted advisory services to financial service providers to help them develop and scale technology-driven business models to deliver financial services.
FCI GP provides technical assistance to governments and regulators in formulating and implementing a strategic framework for modernization of national payments systems, with a specific focus on shifting government payments and remittances to digital means and enhancing the efficiency of retail payment systems.
CGAP offers expert knowledge and advice on digital financial services to policymakers and providers, generates relevant solutions that can be scaled to help poor people, as well as raises awareness of digital financial inclusion in global forums, including the G-20 and the financial sector standard-setting bodies.
Despite significant progress, 1.7 billion adults worldwide remain without access to basic financial services. New approaches are needed to reach very poor populations and other excluded groups. Mobile and digital banking constitute new approaches to banking and have proven to be successful in helping FIs reach unserved customer segments. Digitalization (FinTech and DFS) provides the opportunity to achieve Universal Financial Access (UFA) and to move from access to inclusion.
Digital transformation has taken hold across industries globally and is also permeating traditional approaches to financial services. Technology trends include e-payments and e-lending, artificial intelligence, big data, distributed ledger technology, and open banking. New entrants, such as MNOs, FinTechs, digital banks, and super platforms are disrupting the competitive landscape and new business models and partnerships are redistributing revenue within the financial services value chain. Consequently, digital transformation for FIs has become inevitable.
Digital financial services contribute to closing the financial inclusion gap. Digitization helps financial institutions to achieve operational efficiencies, lower transaction costs, improve customer experience with financial services that better meet customer needs, as well as gain market intelligence through a data-driven culture that adds value to customers and the institution.
Findings from FIGs advisory work indicate that a major challenge for FIs lies in determining an appropriate strategy taking into consideration the FI’s ambition and goals, business model and customer segments, internal capacity and resources, potential technology partners and vendors, as well as the local ecosystem. That is why our work focuses on supporting clients in addressing these issues.