The Partnership for Financial Inclusion works with microfinance institutions, banks, and mobile network operators to expand access to financial services for low-income people, small-scale entrepreneurs and rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Access to regulated, sustainable financial services can help people make productive economic choices for their families, their businesses and for the future. For society as a whole, it contributes to inclusive economic growth.
Nowhere else in the world have the opportunities offered by new technology and alternative delivery channels been more apparent than in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya’s M-PESA is the world’s leading example of the mobile financial services revolution, but developments have been equally remarkable in less recognized markets such as Tanzania. Though there have been a few spectacular successes in the last few years, there have also been many deployments that have not easily thrived. The Partnership team works closely with clients to help build the private sector expertise and infrastructure that is required to offer financial services to the unbanked through the use of agent banking and technology.
There has been a rapid increase in the presence and growth of commercial microfinance institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years. Whether locally owned and operated, or part of international networks and backed by foreign holding companies, these institutions offer financial services to a broader clientele than established commercial banks. The introduction of digital financial services has made it increasingly feasible to expand microfinance beyond the traditional branch network, reaching populations even in rural and remote areas. The Partnership team works with microfinance institutions to develop the right products for new customers, and to broaden the services offered from just credit to a full suite of financial tools.
Digital financial services is a rapidly evolving industry. The benefits and opportunities that new technology and innovative business models may bring to financial inclusion are yet to be fully explored. In order to have a broader impact beyond our program projects, the Partnership for Financial Inclusion pursues an ambitious research agenda to share insights gained and lessons learned in our work with the broader development community. Some of the questions we seek to answer are; Do micro-financial services improve peoples’ lives? What are the determinants of scaling up microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa? What are the key drivers of successful uptake of digital financial services? What are the benefits to providers and customers? You find all our reports, handbooks and our blog in the knowledge section.