Majority of ASEAN Region Fintech Firms Are Planning to Raise Additional Funds While Expanding Operations in 2021: Report
Four in five or 80% of Fintech companies in the ASEAN region are focused on expanding their operations following the COVID-19 outbreak. ASEAN member countries include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
- South Asia
Data + Digitization: The Key To Helping African Banks and Microfinance Institutions Support Their Customers During COVID-19
Thanks to COVID-19, the IMF projects 2020 to be the worst year for Africa's economic growth since its record-keeping began in 1970. And concerns are also mounting about the likelihood of an increase in non-performing loans, which will impact businesses, industries and individuals across the continent. Cate Rung at Pngme explores how financial technology – including a unified data API platform – can help banks and microfinance institutions weather this crisis, while delivering services that comply with social distancing measures.
A Phone Can Only Do So Much: Why Mobile Access Isn’t Leading To Digital Financial Service Usage Among Women in India
India has made significant progress in financial inclusion in recent years. However low-income working women are not benefiting from this momentum, even when they receive their wages digitally. To better understand why, BSR’s HERproject and MSC have researched the financial behaviors of female garment workers in India. Akhand Tiwari at MSC and James Steady at BSR explore the results, and discuss how the financial inclusion sector should respond.
Specifically, lower-income groups in developing countries and emerging economies face not only the prospect of abject poverty in many cases but also the likelihood that their financial systems may not be sufficiently robust to help them through these dark times.
- Asia Pacific
Enabling Ecosystems: How To Boost Fintech Innovation and Financial Inclusion During and After COVID-19
Lockdowns in response to COVID-19 have rapidly accelerated digitalization worldwide, particularly in finance. But as analysts from the University of New South Wales, the University of Luxembourg, the University of Hong Kong and GIZ point out, ensuring the safe and inclusive development of digital finance is a major challenge. They explore why an ecosystem-based strategy could be the answer.
Maintaining a Critical Link To Last-Mile Customers: Challenges and Opportunities Facing Financial Service Agents During COVID-19
Agents are a critical last-mile link to financial services for lower-income households and micro- and small enterprises. But as the COVID-19 crisis has spread globally, it has had a profound effect on how agents operate, introducing new restrictions – and new responsibilities. Nisha Singh and James Robinson at Itad explore the findings from a recent report that highlights key strategies for building and managing high-performing agent networks despite the challenges of the pandemic.
Social enterprises at the last mile are working relentlessly to close the gap in achieving the SDGs. But since their customers are generally underprivileged, they're also very sensitive to a product’s price, which means boosting efficiency is key to increasing these businesses' profitability. Thibault Lesueur and Simon Schaffner at Solaris Offgrid explore how process digitalization and interoperable software systems can streamline last-mile distribution and help these enterprises scale.
When the Alliance for Financial Inclusion outlined its “Five Key Financial Inclusion Policy Trends for 2020” on January 17 of this year, the spread of the novel coronavirus was still in its infancy. Now that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the global economy, Robin Newnham at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion revisits those trends, viewing them through the prism of the pandemic – and finding both new risks, and new opportunities.