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NextBillion Financial Innovation is a blog and news resource dedicated to improving financial access for low-income people around the world. 

The site, part of the NextBillion network, focuses on the businesses, issues and innovations that are making an impact on financial inclusion worldwide. It features a diverse collection of experts and practitioners, who share their knowledge, research and experiences in helping low-income people improve their lives and livelihoods.

The blog, which has been made possible by the Citi Foundation, serves as a space for discussion and debate, where readers can go to find fresh approaches and unconventional thinking. It also features job listings, news articles and event listings important to financial inclusion professionals.
Some of the topics featured on NextBillion Financial Innovation include:

  • Financial products: Advances in financial products to meet the needs of low-income people in the areas of microlending, microsavings, credit scoring and microinsurance, among others
  • Financial capability innovations and research: Developments in research and real-world initiatives for improving the financial capability of underserved and unbanked customers, regardless of geography
  • Technology: New innovations that harness mobile devices, mobile applications, and other technology to expand and deliver financial services and enable people to build financial capability
  • Business innovators: From startups to large banks, profiling some of the innovators who are deploying new financial products to help low-income customers secure credit to purchase a home, start a business or get an education
  • New approaches to investing: Innovative ways to maximize and assess impact investments across sectors to reach under-served communities
  • Discussion/Debate: Debates on the effectiveness of specific private enterprise approaches as well as government/aid agency and public policy efforts to improve financial inclusion
  • Knowledge: Coverage of important learnings and research shared at conferences, dedicated to financial inclusion dialogue and understanding

James Militzer serves as editor for the new blog. James, an accomplished writer and editor, is the former editor of NextBillion Health Care. He can be reached via email:

Follow NextBillion Financial Innovation on Twitter @NextBillionFI.


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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Two Sides of the Same Coin: How India’s microfinance and health sectors can collaborate for greater impact

By Sabina Rogers and Fred Stuart

In countries like India, microfinance can be a valuable tool for providing the financing that the poor need to maintain their health. And for microfinance to achieve its goal of providing financial security to the poor, it has to address health security. Sabina Rogers of the Microcredit Summit Campaign describes how the two sectors could collaborate to expand health care access to hundreds of millions.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Missing Link in Financial Inclusion: Addressing India's financial literacy gap

By Radhika Binani

India is at an inflection point on the road to financial inclusion, writes Radhika Binani of the Dell Foundation. On the one hand, the country has made considerable progress in the last few years in expanding access to financial products. But even among Indians who have accounts, usage is low. The missing link, she says, is financial literacy, and she describes five design principles for delivering it.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Finding A Responsible Way Forward For Digital Finance: A CGAP global survey looks to shape the roadmap

By Eric Tyler and Jamie Zimmerman

Between 2011 and 2013, registered mobile money users almost tripled, growing to more than 200 million globally. But growing opportunities in the sector bring new risks for consumers, and new challenges for providers and regulators. That's why CGAP has launched a global survey to help shed light on the state of practice, and drive discussion around responsible digital finance.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Failure to Launch: Why mobile money hasn't taken off in Nigeria - and how the sector can turn things around

By Mike McCaffrey and Annabel Lee

In contrast to other African countries, Nigeria's digital finance sector has yet to take off, with one survey finding that just 0.01 percent of Nigerians have a mobile money account. Critics suggest the lack of progress is due to banks rather than telecoms leading the charge. But research from the Helix Institute of Digital Finance suggests that other factors may be responsible - and points toward some solutions.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekly Roundup - 7/19/14: Can't we all just get along?

By James Militzer — WDI

In a week marked by conflict and tragedy on the global stage, the financial world experienced its share of both. And though this was balanced with a fair amount of good news, even the positive developments sparked discord. We explore these issues in this weekly roundup.


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Asia Microfinance Forum

Monday, August 04, 2014


Marketing to Low-Income Consumers

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


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