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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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Monday, June 29, 2015

NexThought Monday – Three Winning Conditions to Enable Mobile Money Interoperability

By Amitabh Saxena and Selma Ribica

Interest is growing in the topic of “interoperability” in mobile money and its potential impact for the nascent sector. A handful of deployments, such as in Indonesia and more recently in Tanzania, have garnered attention. Amitabh Saxena, who led mobile money at MasterCard in Latin America, and Selma Ribica, who leads interoperability strategy at Vodafone’s global M-Pesa team, provide nuance on some of the industry perspectives currently being advocated.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Five Trust Issues That Are Undermining Mobile Money: Surprisingly, says MicroSave, fraud is not customers' biggest concern

By Graham Wright

After years spent overcoming the core challenges of establishing large-scale, sustainable digital finance systems in developing countries, attention is now shifting to consumer protection. According to Graham Wright, many of the key consumer protection issues relate to basic customer service – and they appear to be undermining trust and thus reducing both uptake and usage.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Six Questions for Microfinance's Biggest 'Haters': Why it's time for the sector to shake off its critics

By Maria May

Since January, when six randomized control trials were published stating that microcredit is not a viable poverty alleviation tool, microfinance has been taking a lot of heat in the media. But though she says the backlash is partially the sector's own fault, BRAC's Maria May offers six questions she wishes its loudest critics would consider.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Big Advantages of Being Small: How a mobile money startup beat the major players in Zambia

By Jungwon Byun

Once called “the best kept secret in Africa,” the digital finance company Zoona has quickly advanced from a scrappy startup to one of the leading mobile money providers in Zambia. Jungwon Byun describes how, despite being outmatched in terms of size and capital, Zoona has outcompeted the telcos and established banks in the country.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Trouble with Over-the-Counter Digital Finance: Powerful agents and fractured markets cause challenges in Pakistan

By Mike McCaffrey and Maha Khan

Pakistan is easily one of the top five leading digital finance markets in the world, and also one of the least understood. The country adopted an Over-the-Counter methodology, in which transactions are executed by the agent as opposed to the customer over a mobile wallet platform. But according to the Helix Institute, this approach has caused significant challenges for the industry.

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EventsEvents

July
06
2015

Caribbean Microfinance Forum

Monday, July 6, 2015

July
13
2015
July
29
2015

M2Money & Payments Latam 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

August
26
2015

Global Payment Summit

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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