Financial inclusion enables individuals and firms to participate in and benefit from the formal financial system. A responsible approach towards financial inclusion emphasizes robust consumer protection frameworks and effective financial capability interventions to address the opportunities and risks of digital finance and fintech.
The 2017 Global FICP Survey tracks the prevalence of policy, legal, regulatory, and supervisory efforts to advance financial inclusion and financial consumer protection in 124 jurisdictions representing 141 economies.
Our new discussion note, Financial Consumer Protection and New Forms of Data Processing Beyond Credit Reporting, analyzes the implications of new data sources and data processing methods emerging in digital financial services.
A 24-country survey yields a comprehensive view of SME financial capability, identifies clusters of vulnerable SMEs, and recommends areas of early stage policy intervention and support to help SME improve performance and attract investment.
Developing a national financial inclusion strategy (NFIS) can help countries chart a clear and coordinated path toward greater financial inclusion. This toolkit provides practical guidance on developing and operationalizing a NFIS. The toolkit draws on over 20 country experiences and is informed by the World Bank Group’s role as a technical partner in NFIS development and operationalization in a diverse range of country contexts.
Fintech is increasingly recognized as a key enabler for financial sectors worldwide, enabling more efficient and competitive financial markets while expanding access to finance for traditionally underserved consumers. A critical challenge for policy makers is to harness the benefits and opportunities of fintech while managing its risks, including for consumers. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the widespread transition of consumers to fintech and digital financial services, highlighting their significant benefits while also demonstrating how risks to consumers can increase in times of crisis and economic stress. This paper (1) identifies a range of consumer risks posed by fintech, focusing on four key fintech products (digital microcredit, peer-to-peer lending, investment-based crowdfunding, and e-money) and (2) discusses consumer protection regulatory approaches emerging internationally for policy makers to consider when developing regulatory policy to target such risks. Examples of regulatory approaches are drawn from country examples and international literature. The paper also discusses a range of implementation considerations.