I prepared an hour long training session for Kiva interns on the future of financial inclusion, called Modern Microfinance, Mobile Money and Fintech, which I delivered to three groups of new hires over the period of a year.
The session covered a brief history of the rise and fall of microfinance, the emergence of the financial inclusion model and the new thinking around the potential for inclusive fintech solutions. It included group discussions around new financial products Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) solar providers are offering to rural populations, and digital credit scoring algorithms being used across the developing world.
The focus of the session was on how technology has lowered the cost of reaching customers through mobile money and agent banking systems, but has not yet led to very deep usage of digital finance systems. While the new wave of inclusive fintech solutions promises to innovate solutions to some of these issues, many of the answers being offered struggle with some of the very same issues we faced with microfinance decades ago. The future of the sector is still very uncertain.