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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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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Twitter Top Ten - 1-25-15

By NextBillion Editor

It was an eventful week in global development - it almost always is. But this week featured a number of particularly important developments, ranging from Bill and Melinda Gates' trend-shaping annual letter, to some significant new research on microcredit's impact on poverty. These developments are featured - along with cute rats and an inspiring student - in our weekly top 10 list.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Eight Tech and Policy Trends That Will Impact Financial Inclusion This Year

By John Owens

The use of digital financial services will continue to be one of the main drivers for financial inclusion in 2015, says John Owens of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI). He discusses eight interesting trends AFI has noted - both on the technology and policy sides - that should have a direct impact on advancing financial inclusion through digital means this year.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 – The Breakout Year for Agriculture Digital Payments?

By Lee Babcock

For digital finance to really expand throughout the developing world this year, it needs greater uptake among the rural poor, says Lee Babcock. To achieve that, the sector must think about how best to strategically insert digital finance into the agriculture value chain. He explores a number of ongoing initiatives that are focused on doing just that.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Announcing NextBillion's Latest E-book (and the first from NextBillion Financial Innovation): A compilation of posts and videos from our Impact Investing Insights series

By NextBillion Editor

In the spring of 2014, NextBillion Financial Innovation videotaped interviews with 11 top investors, academics and advocates working in impact investing. We published the Q&As in a series called Impact Investing Insights. We have compiled the posts and videos into this e-book, which covers a broad cross-section of the topics and trends that drive the sector today.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Financial Inclusion Trends and Innovators Already Lighting Up 2015: The most exciting technologies and startups in inclusive finance this year

By Vikas Raj — Accion

What will 2015 hold for financial inclusion innovations? Accion Venture Lab highlights some current groundbreaking trends, and several seed stage companies leading the charge.


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