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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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Monday, May 4, 2015

NexThought Monday - Financial Capability: Where Do We Go From Here?

By Daria Sheehan and Joshua Sledge

Collectively, the financial capability field has arrived at a key point in its evolution, write Daria Sheehan of the Citi Foundation and Joshua Sledge of CFSI. The concept has reached widespread adoption and attempts at innovation are yielding new and effective models for helping people better manage their money. With so much accomplished in the recent past, what will it take to continue the momentum for the future?

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Twitter Top Ten - 5-3-15: #Nepal

By NextBillion Editor

Normally we recognize ten tweets each Sunday that stood out to us from the week gone by. This week we're doing 11 - including one on a point of hope for Nepal, one week after the devastating earthquake has taken so many lives and left so many more uncertain.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Weekly Roundup - A Tale of Two Earthquakes: As the development community focuses on Nepal, will it repeat the mistakes it made in Haiti?

By James Militzer — WDI

Over 6,200 people have died from Nepal’s recent earthquake, with almost 14,000 injured – numbers that will certainly grow in the coming days. But as the world seeks ways to help the country, some are raising the cautionary tale of a related disaster: the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, and the inefficient, tragically mismanaged response from the global development community that followed it.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Power of Texting: How a simple text message can make the difference between success and failure for social initiatives

By Roxanne Bauer

Mobile phones are increasingly prevalent throughout the world, and researchers have found that sending text message reminders can help people follow through with their intentions, significantly increasing the success of development interventions. Roxanne Bauer explores the impact of text reminders on malaria treatment and savings initiatives, and discusses the science behind the approach.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Financial Inclusion on the Final Frontier: After years of isolation, Myanmar must build inclusive finance from the ground up

By Michael Schlein — Accion

After decades of isolation, a new government is helping Myanmar rejoin the rest of the world, drawing a flood of new investment. But with 80 to 90 percent of its population lacking access to formal financial services, this investment could fail to fully impact the country’s poor. Accion CEO Michael Schlein discusses the need for new entrants to approach this market with social values and principles.


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