Articles by Blaine Stephens
It’s no secret that capital is flowing into fintech. In 2018, global fintech investments exceeded USD $100 billion. Yet this investment is highly concentrated among a relatively small group of companies. Blaine Stephens and Chrissy Martin Meier of MIX share five insights from a new research initiative based on 40 interviews with fintechs, investors and ecosystem actors, designed to drive capital to inclusive fintechs in hopes of reaching 1.7 billion unbanked people around the world.
Better Data for Better Products: New Online Resource Aims to Close the $200 Billion Smallholder Finance Gap
The US $200 billion gap in farmer finance is a tremendous opportunity – but it's one that financial service providers are missing, due to the lack of transparent and reliable data. That's why One Acre Fund and MIX, with support from the Mastercard Foundation's RAF Learning Lab, launched the Smallholder Finance Product Explorer. A May 8 webinar will show industry actors how to use some of these new online tools to reach the 450 million smallholders in need of financing.
Financial Inclusion is Failing Farmers: How the Sector Can Finally Reach the $200 Billion Smallholder Market
There are 450 million smallholder farmers supporting about 2 billion people worldwide. Yet financing available to farmers lags behind the need, which is estimated in excess of $200 billion. Blaine Stephens of MIX and Mike Warmington of One Acre Fund explore the reasons why and offer potential solutions – including a new, centralized directory their organizations are building, which provides useful information on existing smallholder finance products.
Many financial service providers look to technology to enable new means of distribution and achieve universal access, but agent banking remains the most commonly deployed alternative delivery channel today – and arguably the most effective. To achieve scale, the authors say, providers should analyze each channel and develop the right strategies for their desired business and social outcomes. A webinar set for Thursday is designed to help.