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NextBillion Financial Innovation is a blog and news resource dedicated to improving financial access for low-income people around the world. 

The site, part of the NextBillion network, focuses on the businesses, issues and innovations that are making an impact on financial inclusion worldwide. It features a diverse collection of experts and practitioners, who share their knowledge, research and experiences in helping low-income people improve their lives and livelihoods.

The blog, which has been made possible by the Citi Foundation, serves as a space for discussion and debate, where readers can go to find fresh approaches and unconventional thinking. It also features job listings, news articles and event listings important to financial inclusion professionals.
Some of the topics featured on NextBillion Financial Innovation include:

  • Financial products: Advances in financial products to meet the needs of low-income people in the areas of microlending, microsavings, credit scoring and microinsurance, among others
  • Financial capability innovations and research: Developments in research and real-world initiatives for improving the financial capability of underserved and unbanked customers, regardless of geography
  • Technology: New innovations that harness mobile devices, mobile applications, and other technology to expand and deliver financial services and enable people to build financial capability
  • Business innovators: From startups to large banks, profiling some of the innovators who are deploying new financial products to help low-income customers secure credit to purchase a home, start a business or get an education
  • New approaches to investing: Innovative ways to maximize and assess impact investments across sectors to reach under-served communities
  • Discussion/Debate: Debates on the effectiveness of specific private enterprise approaches as well as government/aid agency and public policy efforts to improve financial inclusion
  • Knowledge: Coverage of important learnings and research shared at conferences, dedicated to financial inclusion dialogue and understanding

James Militzer serves as editor for the new blog. James, an accomplished writer and editor, is the former editor of NextBillion Health Care. He can be reached via email:

Follow NextBillion Financial Innovation on Twitter @NextBillionFI.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Needed: Naïve People with Stupid Ideas: An interview with Intellecap co-founder and director Vineet Rai

By James Militzer — WDI

When Intellecap was founded in 2002, few people would have predicted that it would become a social business and investing powerhouse. According to co-founder and director Vineet Rai, the company's early years were defined by failure. He discusses the lessons he learned from these failures (and subsequent successes), Intellecap's unique model and future plans, and many other topics in this wide-ranging video Q&A.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Seven Approaches to Agent Management: A new paper documents the variety of ways that digital finance providers assemble and manage agent networks

By Mike McCaffrey and Ignacio Mas

Agent networks are the main service touch points for most digital finance customers, and they're probably the most challenging and costly element of the value chain. The authors of a new paper, Designing Successful Distribution Strategies for Digital Money, discuss how digital finance service providers in various regions have assembled and managed their agent networks.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekly Roundup 7/25/15: 'Worm Wars' and other conflicts from the past week

By NextBillion Editor

Maybe it's the heat, but as we approach the dog days of summer, people seem to be in a fighting mood. This week featured plenty of conflict, involving companies, nonprofits, politicians – and even researchers. Grab some popcorn as we cover the hostilities – and compile some memorable tweets – in this Roundup.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Financial Power of the Group: How demand aggregation can enable consumer financing for renewable energy products

By Umang Prabhakar and Manisha Pandita

Salt farmers in Northern India use diesel pumps to help them harvest salt from sea water. They run these pumps for over 16 hours a day, which means up to 60 percent of their income is spent on fuel costs. Solar pumps could substantially increase their income, so Dalberg explored financing options that could make these pumps accessible. They discuss demand aggregation, one particularly promising solution.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

June's Most Popular Posts on NextBillion: From microfinance 'haters' to M-PESA challengers

By James Militzer — WDI

Our most-read and most-shared posts for the month of June included an impassioned riposte in the microfinance debate, an analysis of changes in Kenya's world-leading mobile money market, and appreciation for the value of health microinsurance.


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M2Money & Payments Latam 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Social Business Festival Riga

Friday, July 31, 2015


East Africa Microfinance Summit 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015


Global Payment Summit

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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