Financial Inclusion Roundup: Refugees, Expensive Poverty, and P2P Lending in China

  • Elizabeth Dwyer explores how both refugees and aid agencies use digital money. The World Food Programme’s new electronic cash transfer system, for example, lets refugees in Kenya purchase food directly from their phones.
  • Fausta Challco, a woman from a small rural village in Peru, helped lead a program that brought financial access to her community. Despite her husband’s initial disapproval, Fausta learned the basics of financial management, turned a profit by investing her family’s funds, and now works with Credinka, a local microfinance institution. Thanks to Credinka’s program, more than 7400 women have opened savings accounts.
  • Fausta with one of her clients in rural Peru
    Fausta, right, with one of her clients in rural Peru
  • Fausta thrived as a female entrepreneur, but what about her counterparts around the world? World Bank’s “Women, Business and the Law 2016” examines an extensive array of legal barriers for female business owners. 90% of the economies included in the study had at least one law hindering women’s financial opportunities.
  • The Economist asserts a simple argument: It’s expensive to be poor. Low-income folks in the United States can pay a lifetime aggregate of roughly $40,000 in fees for financial services, and payday loans have an average interest rate of more than 300%.
  • As the largest peer-to-peer (p2p) lending market in the world, China’s p2p borrowing network extends credit access to the unbanked. In the absence of a formal credit score, lenders analyze digital data from apps, sites, and payments history to determine a borrower’s likelihood of repayment.
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