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Partnerships for Progress: Benin Could Benefit from Financial Sector Coordination

In 2014, only 16 percent of adults in Benin had a financial institution account (1) compared to 29 percent of adults across Sub-Saharan African. While the digital financial services market is beginning to grow in Benin, less than 1% of the population actively uses mobile money services (2). While there are some promising initiatives currently underway, if Benin is to move toward greater financial inclusion it must forge partnerships within its financial sector to reach the unbanked.

10,000 Data points: New Senegal Workbook Explores Access at the Commune Level

Today we launched the Senegal Financial Inclusion Workbook 2.0. Since the first iteration in 2013, MIX has added a significant number of additional datasets at a more granular level: The total number of financial access points collected increased from 1,903 to 10,155. Most of these datasets can now be viewed at the third administrative (commune) level, an important change from the initial workbook where the datasets were only displayed at the first administrative (region) level. In addition, we were able to map microfinance correspondents that did not exist back in 2013.

FINclusion Lab Philippines workbook 2.0 Shows Promising Evidence of Decreasing Gaps in Financial Access

With the Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit next week, MIX is happy to announce the release of the Philippines workbook 2.0. This workbook includes not only updated figures of the existing indicators, but also new indicators that were not present in the previous workbook: time series of loans and deposits 2001-2015, and information on the unbanked municipalities and adult population. With additional datasets from as recently as June of this year, this updated workbook serves as a tool for policy makers, financial services providers, and researchers as they formulate strategies to increase financial inclusion in the country.

Azerbaijan: a study in urban-rural contrasts

Azerbaijan's capital, Bakı, has over 23% of the entire country's population. It is also the center of the oil, gas, and financial services industries. The country has no other city close to it in size, and agriculture plays a much larger role in the economy outside Bakı's region. With this background it is not surprising that there are dramatic differences in financial services provision between the capital and the rest of the country. However, these are differences in type, not the differences in overall access that might have been expected.

Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit 2015: Accelerating Financial Inclusion to Enable Economic Progress

The three-day conference will be a catalyst for debate, best practice, knowledge exchange and partnerships among practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders seeking to achieve significantly greater financial inclusion in the region.

1.3 Million Square Miles of Financial Inclusion: New MIX report offers granular data on India

A startling statistic encapsulates the gravity of India’s financial inclusion problem: The country is currently home to 21 percent of the world’s unbanked adults. In an effort to counteract the fact that nearly half of the Indian population is without a bank account, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an ambitious financial inclusion plan in 2014.

State of the Data 2015: Filling the Gap in Financial Inclusion Data

The importance of data in strategic decision-making cannot be overstated – especially in the era of ‘big data’. Yet, as the inclusive finance community continues its efforts to shift more people from unbanked to banked, improving both data quality and data regularity is emerging as a priority issue.

Perú: Desafíos para ampliar la cobertura de servicios financieros

FINclusionLab acaba de actualizar su base de datos y las visualizaciones correspondientes para el Perú. La información disponible en esta plataforma se nutre principalmente de la amplia base de datos de la Superintendencia de Banca y Seguros (SBS), y se complementa con información de las cooperativas miembros de FENACREP y las ONG microfinancieras pertenecientes a COPEME. FINclusionLab permite visualizar a lo largo del territorio de manera gráfica y dinámica la evolución de los puntos de acceso a servicios financieros, lo cual junto a datos sobre volumen de créditos y depósitos permite analizar la evolución y profundidad del sector financiero por tipo de entidad en las distintas regiones del país. A continuación se resaltan algunas de las conclusiones que se pueden extraer luego de un primer análisis de estos datos

Burundi, slowly but surely moving towards financial inclusion

In 2012, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB) together with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Financial Inclusion Data Working Group (FIDWG) conducted a national financial inclusion survey to diagnose the state of financial inclusion in Burundi. The survey results showed that only 12.5% of the adult population had a bank account. With this as a baseline, the BRB projected the financially included adult population to reach 25% in the next five years. Barriers to financial access may be both socio-economic and physical. Across the country, monthly income for more than 60 percent of the population is less than 25,000 BUF ($20), and 40 percent of the population is illiterate. Additionally, the long distance to access points is practical barrier that prevents people from using available financial services.

Malawi, advancing steadily towards financial inclusion

The outlook for Financial Inclusion in Malawi continues to improve, driven by new products and reach of market actors. The technology infrastructure for financial service is improving, finally implementing a much needed national switch[ to improve interconnectivity between banks. Mobile Money is maturing, seeing the entrance of a second major player in the market, TNM, in addition to dominant Airtel. Evidence of success from a 2011 agent banking initiative by the Reserve Bank of Malawi can be seen from the number of Commercial Bank Agents present in districts where traditional brick and mortar bank branches are not. Even mobile money seems to be actively adopting a similar strategy of using established retail outlets for agent roll-out, circumventing infrastructure woes prone to small agents.