Follow @NextBillionfi:

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.


Story Thumbnail

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Three Key Steps for Boosting Mobile Money in Nigeria: Grameen Foundation explores ways the struggling sector could reach its potential

By Debbie Dean — Grameen Foundation

As the largest of Africa's fast-growing economies, Nigeria is a promising market for mobile finance. Yet though almost 57 percent of Nigerian adults have no access to formal financial services, only 0.1 percent actively use mobile money. Grameen Foundation explores the reasons for the stunted growth of mobile services, and outlines some key steps that could increase their adoption and continued use.

Story Thumbnail

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cash Versus Cows (Part 2): What's more scalable - cash transfers or in-kind transfers?

By Rod Dubitsky and Sadna Samaranayake

Successfully catapulting ultra-poor households over the extreme poverty line is incredibly hard work, and requires philanthropic capital and grant-based approaches. In this second part of a two-part series, BRAC's Rod Dubitsky and Sadna Samaranayake  pose a seemingly simple question: Is it better to give a cow or cash to seed sustainable livelihoods for the poorest-of-the-poor?

Story Thumbnail

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Financial Education in the Digital Age: It's affordable, it's scalable - but does it work?

By Sneha Stephen and Pooja Wagh — IPA

Financial education is a key strategy for achieving full financial inclusion. But in-person group training by a human trainer have failed to consistently improve beneficiaries' knowledge and behavior, and they are often too costly to scale. Nowadays, however, individualized financial education can reach millions at a low cost via digital platforms. IPA is examining the impact and potential of these programs.

Story Thumbnail

Monday, December 15, 2014

NexThought Monday - 12/15/14 - The Over-The-Counter Paradox: Dependence on agent transactions is holding digital finance back – but could agents also move the sector forward?

By Graham Wright

Over-the-counter (OTC) transactions are mobile money transactions facilitated by a provider’s agent network - and they're an integral part of most successful services. But while MicroSave founder Graham Wright argues that dependence on OTC transactions is hobbling the development of the digital finance ecosystem, he says these agents could also present a solution.

Story Thumbnail

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Twitter Top Ten - 12/14/14: Our favorite tweets of the week

By NextBillion Editor

As we move one step closer to the end of the year, we've got a full slate of interesting tweets from the past week. They include some encouraging investments and new partnerships, important new research, and an intriguing reply from Safaricom to a recent NextBillion post. As always, if you see anything you like, be sure to retweet it.


  • Content Partners

  • Content Partners

  • Content Partners

  • Content Partners

  • Content Partners




The Social Lending Awards

Thursday, January 22, 2015


TBLI Conference

Friday, January 23, 2015


Story Snapshot