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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: jamesmil@umich.edu

Follow NextBillion Financial Innovation on Twitter @NextBillionFI.

FeaturesFEATURES

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's Hard Out Here for a Personal Finance App: CFSI offers tips on creating a successful app for the underserved in a tough competitive landscape

By Theresa Schmall — CFSI

As mobile access has exploded worldwide, smartphone ownership has skyrocketed among low-income Americans, spawning countless personal finance apps for the underserved. These apps can provide services, offer timely guidance, and help users achieve financial goals. CFSI discusses how developers can create apps that improve financial health, while surviving in a cutthroat market.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mobile Money on the Move: Part two of our interview with Carol Caruso, Senior Vice President, Channels and Technology at Accion

By James Militzer — WDI

The growth in global mobile connectivity has been astonishing, and perhaps no sector has been more impacted than finance. We spoke recently with Carol Caruso, Senior VP of Accion’s Channels & Technology unit, about the shifting trends and future outlook of mobile finance in part two of this Q&A.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

NexThought Monday - Everybody Loves M-Shwari: So why isn't everybody using the mobile banking service?

By Anastasia Mirzoyants-McKnight

M-Shwari, a mobile service that offers access to formal credit and savings in Kenya, has received tremendous attention from the media, as well as praise from digital financial services advocates. But has this attention led to strong consumer awareness, and if so, has that awareness translated to improved financial access? InterMedia shares the results of their long-term evaluation.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Weekly Roundup - 6 Mobile Finance Innovations (That Have Nothing to Do With Apple): While the U.S. obsesses over the latest gadget, mobile finance accelerates around the world

By James Militzer — WDI

Lately, the digital payments conversation in the U.S. seems to revolve around whatever Apple is doing. But while we discuss the latest gadget, mobile finance innovation is exploding in countries around the world. We highlight six intriguing recent developments affecting countries from China to Kenya in this roundup.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Reaching 'an Emerging Market Within an Emerging Market': JPMorgan Chase and Omidyar back new impact fund aimed at Brazil’s middle class

By Dennis Price

Entrepreneurs who can deliver high-quality basic services on the cheap are rushing to meet the pent-up demands of Brazil’s 112 million lower- and middle-class consumers. Those entrepreneurs can tap a new source of capital: impact investors - including one backed by JPMorgan Chase and the Omidyar Network - focused on the huge population of Brazilians who make under $10,000 a year.

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EventsEvents

March
30
2015

ESG, SRI, & Impact Investing Summit

Monday, March 30, 2015

March
30
2015

Ye! Pitching Event

Monday, March 30, 2015

March
31
2015

Investing for Impact: Seattle

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April
06
2015

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