Displaying all posts under the topic of Payments
Half of the adults in the world are “unbanked” -- about 2.5 billion people. That’s the starting point of a new book, Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion, published by the MIT Press.
April 5, 2013
The fastest growing part of the financial inclusion movement isn’t a product or even a standard, it’s data and measurement. And if there’s something experts are increasingly agreeing on, it’s that it is illusory to try to define financial inclusion in any precise, universal way. John Gitau says he’s confused, and so am I. How do you measure financial inclusion?
April 4, 2013
In just 30 years, the microfinance movement has reached 200 million people who had been deemed "unbankable." That's a stunning success. But the narrative that drove this success has implicitly shut the vast majority of the unbanked out of the system. That's why it's time to change the story, and our minds, on how microfinance works, argue FAI's Jonathan Morduch and Timothy Ogden in Foreign Policy.
What’s next? Jamie Zimmerman says it's the opportunity to make government-to-person payments a major vehicle of financial inclusion.
January 22, 2013
The microfinance space has never been a dull place. As the tumult of the last few years—debates about effectiveness, industry crises and crashes in several countries—seemingly dies down, it’s a good time to speculate about what’s next. It seems clear that “business as usual” in terms of rapid growth and expansion paired with unvarnished enthusiasm and uncritical praise is not what’s next.
So what is?
December 14, 2012
One of the many important questions in the transition to mobile and/or electronic money is who will bear the costs associated with using the system. This question is particularly salient since the Kenyan government announced it was planning to begin taxing mobile money transfers, adding to the cost of the system.
September 26, 2012
I attended the Better than Cash Alliance launch this week at the Ford Foundation. The alliance’s goal is to accelerate the transition from cash to electronic payments in developing countries. For a good overview of the process, benefits and challenges of the transition, see this white paper from Bankable Frontier Associates (which is one of our partners in the US Financial Diaries project...
September 14, 2012
This is our late summer/back to school edition of Links We Like. Let us know if we missed anything critical over the summer!
August 15, 2012
Remittances represent an important source of income for millions of households around the world. The size of remittance flows, as compared to a country’s own domestic output, can reach numbers as high as 30% (that’s in Tajikistan, if you’re wondering.) This has led economists and policymakers alike to ask whether remittances can be relied upon to spur development.
July 20, 2012
We haven’t posted an update on stuff we’ve been reading for quite some time. So, here’s a round-up of some to the articles, blogs and papers we’ve been reading.