The idea of a world that is financially included is compelling. But it will be almost impossible to achieve without a groundswell of collaboration and creativity. A host of actors need to cooperate to bring transparency to financial services, to track progress over time and to help target outreach. And we may not know in advance who needs to participate for the effort to truly succeed.
Globally Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains the region with the largest portion of people excluded from formal financial services. Only 12 percent of adults have a bank account, and the situation is most dire in rural areas where the large majority of the 863 million people in Africa live.
People who favor a commercial approach to microfinance and people who oppose interest rate caps have argued for years that competition would bring meaningful reductions in microcredit interest rates. Others have been skeptical about this prediction.
Geospatial mapping is being used to show the geographic distribution of banks, automated teller machines (ATMs) and banking agents in relation to low-income and other population groups, thus giving an indication of the accessibility of financial services to those groups.
Microfinance Focus, December 27, 2011: The joint UNCDF-UNDP project ‘Nepal Rastra Bank-Enhancing Access to Financial Services (NRB-EAFS) project has recently registered and uploaded information of all its partner microfinance institutions on MIX Market.
Just a few years ago the idea of common indicators for the impact investing space was still abstract and vague. In 2010, the JP Morgan report on the state of the impact investing industry indicated that only 2 percent of impact investors used third party systems for social impact measurement; the vast majority applied proprietary systems.