July 24, 2015
1. Transfers and Subsidies: India's plan to provide subsidies electronically through bank accounts, biometric ID cards, mobile transfers (also know as JAM) can reduce leakage and increase efficiency but what are its limitations? Does it really have the potential to be "the holy grail of efficient and equitable welfare policy?" The New York Times
July 17, 2015
1. Savings: A new report from the US Financial Diaries project provides evidence that lower income households are saving up for frequent, short-term emergencies that prevent the growth of long-term savings. Could 401k style auto-enrollment programs help to manage both long- and short-term savings goals? AARP...
July 10, 2015
1. Transfers: Cash transfers are a more common form of benefits for the world's poor than you might think. In fact, Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where food and other in-kind transfers are more prevalent than cash transfer programs. The World Bank
2. Global Poverty: Between 2001 and 2011, the global middle-income population (those living on $10-$20...
June 26, 2015
1. Mobile Money: What risks do customers perceive when using digital financial services and what are the consequences of those risks? A new brief explores these questions through the lens of lower-income customers in 16 markets around the world. CGAP
2. Financial Literacy: Most financial literacy programs are geared toward steady paycheck earners with long-term savings goals. But how can programs assist...
June 19, 2015
1. Alternative Credit Scoring: In a new working paper, researchers analyze consumer call data from a Caribbean mobile money provider and are able to predict the likelihood of loan default with accuracy similar to credit scoring models that rely on previous financial history. Brown University - Department of Economics
2. Consumer Lending: After 146 years of financing the 1%, Goldman Sachs announced it will...
June 12, 2015
1. Financial Inclusion: A comprehensive synthesis of various financial inclusion indicators reports large strides in achieving the goal of universal access by 2020. But what will be the next set of challenges to developing quality products for harder-to-reach populations? CFI
2. Debt: After filing for personal bankruptcy, San Francisco-based photographer Brittney Powell...
June 5, 2015
1. Income Volatility: Insights into employment opportunities in the "sharing economy" (and research from US Financial Diaries) provide evidence that "life is no longer a matter of having or losing a job, but of stitching together a comfortable and secure quilt from a colourful range of fabrics." The Globe and...
June 4, 2015
The 2014 Global Findex data has been a hot topic of conversation around the FAI offices since its release last month. While there is a lot to dissect in the 97-page report, the biggest headline is the 20% decrease in the number of unbanked worldwide - approximately 700 million people worldwide.
However, there are concerns that this number is overstated and the data leave us with outstanding questions as to why certain trends occur over the last 4 years. One reason is we do...
May 29, 2015
1. Mobile Money: Will a handful of high-profile fraud cases damage mobile money? It depends on how fast operators can adapt 21st century security and authentication systems to protect customers and retain their trust. NextBillion
2. Retirement Savings: For the 53 million public pension participants in Mexico, making a contribution to a retirement account is now as easy as buying a pack of gum or a lottery...