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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, August 28, 2014

'Cash Burns Your Pocket' : New World Bank, Gates report finds mobile payments vital to G20 goals

By Leora Klapper

Just 41 percent of adults in developing economies have a bank account - a problem that G20 nations are increasingly focused on. To that end, this week the Gates Foundation, the Better than Cash Alliance and the World Bank released a report on the potential of digital payments to advance financial inclusion - and the challenges that must be addressed.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Shift in Focus: Impact investing needs to concentrate less on problems, more on solutions, says Burckart

By James Militzer — WDI

Impact investing has generated plenty of discussion and some fairly unbridled enthusiasm - though earlier predictions of $1 trillion in new capital by 2020 now seem overly optimistic. Bill Burckart, managing director of Impact Economy North America, discusses the sector's growth and challenges in this video interview, part 6 of our Impact Investing Insights series.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

150 Million Bank Accounts - Is That Enough?: Infrastructure is only one part of designing an inclusive financial system in India

By Jeffrey Mosenkis — IPA

Indian prime minister Modi recently announced an ambitious new plan for financial inclusion for all Indians. The plan focuses on the estimated half of the country’s population that does not use a bank, providing them with debit cards and insurance policies (among other things). But IPA points out that creating an inclusive financial system will require more than ATM cards.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

FEATURED EVENT: The 17th Microcredit Summit, September 3-5 in Mérida, Mexico

By NextBillion Editor

For 17 years, the Microcredit Summits have been exploring the use of microfinance as a means to end extreme poverty. This year's Summit, which has the theme "Generation Next: Innovations in Microfinance," will take place in Mérida, Mexico this September 3rd to 5th. NextBillion Financial Innovation will be a media partner at the event.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Smart Loan Products, Smarter Lending Approach: Kazakhstan’s Asian Credit Fund serves the country’s financially underserved, rural poor

By Emily Youatt and Rinchin Gaekwad

There's a dramatic income gap between rich and poor in Kazakhstan. Recognizing this, in recent years Asian Credit Fund (founded in 1997 by Mercy Corps) has been targeting the country’s most remote areas, adapting its products to the rural context, with a sustainable twist.


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Retail Banking Africa Forum

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


17th Microcredit Summit

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


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