MIX News Brief: 25 January 2019

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25 January 2019


Every other week we post recent articles curated by our team of data analysts and financial sector experts.  The articles span sectors and topics including fintech, smallholder finance, mobile money and more.  The MIX News Brief is intended to keep socially responsible investors and businesses updated on the latest thinking on financial services for the poor because, at MIX, our mission is to provide the data, analytics and insight that enable decision makers to build inclusive financial services ecosystems.  Let us know what you think by tweeting at @mix_market!   


What can Nigeria learn from China's digital economy? (FiDA)

This entry, authored by Ashley Lewis of Accion Venture Lab, reads like a travel blog but spotlights three takeaways from her recent time in China.  The first two briefly describe the volume and methods Chinese companies like Ant Financial and WeBank are using to amass their, well, massive datasets.  But what we found most interesting is the final observation about "the high level of collaboration in the Chinese fintech sector": Some of these companies have uncovered the value in sharing customer pipelines based on their unique advantages, no doubt based on the aforementioned massive datasets at their disposal.  Yet, the author does well to remember that Nigeria - and other countries - must "forge [its] own path."


Financial inclusion and imagination (CFI)

The title really says it all.  This post encourages us to use our imagination to get a better grasp on the realities of money management; that "the decision to be virtuous and set money aside is made once, but the decision not to raid that money is made continuously thereafter."  Ignacio Mas, the Executive Director of Digital Frontiers Institute, separates individuals into their "virtuous" and their "venial" selves,  with the latter deserving more of our attention.  Accepting this fundamental reality - that we occupy our venial persona more often - can help financial inclusion practitioners give people the tools to "manage the tradeoff between discipline and flexibility".


The value of digital ID for the global economy and society (McKinsey Global Institute)

It's not exactly breaking news that digital identification can lead to signficant gains across a number of aspects of the economy.  But this new report from McKinsey Global Institute introduces a framework for assessing the economic impact of digital identification and beginning to actually quantify that impact.  Yet, there are still significant risks involved with digital identification, particularly as it pertains to data security and breaches (made more relevant given the massive financial data breach reported in the United States this week).  Additionally, even as digital ID efforts gain traction with governments around the world, considerations must be made to ensure marginalized populations aren't left behind.