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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: jamesmil@umich.edu

Follow NextBillion Financial Innovation on Twitter @NextBillionFI.

FeaturesFEATURES

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why Is Financial Inclusion in India Not Improving?: New numbers, new approaches

By Ritesh Dhawan

In the past five years, the Reserve Bank of India has worked harder than many central banks in developing countries to bring financial inclusion to the BoP. Nevertheless, recent reports show that full financial inclusion is not happening, and is probably not even progressing by most important metrics. MicroSave's Ritesh Dhawan explores why this is the case, and how things might improve.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Better Loans for Better Housing: How housing microfinance and strategic value chains can help alleviate the low-income housing deficit

By Gary Carrier

The majority of the world’s population lives in cities, and much of our future population growth is projected to occur in cities in the developing world. But in spite of the demand, the BoP housing market has been largely handicapped by informality and undeveloped channels for financing and technical assistance. Gary Carrier explores a number of market-based solutions.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekly Roundup - The Indispensable Platform: The growing importance of mobile access to businesses that serve the poor

By James Militzer — WDI

With over 50 percent of people in the developing world having access to a cell phone, mobile access has become an indispensable platform for businesses and services focused on the BoP. We discuss its impact and potential in this week's Roundup.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Cashless Education: How mobile money helps Bridge International Academies deliver quality for-profit education for $6 a month - Part 5 in our Digital Finance Plus series

By Marie Leznicki

Bridge International Academies has integrated mobile money fully into its business. All of the school's 300+ branches accept no cash, using mobile money for school fees, student lunch purchases, payments to staff and vendors, and expense reimbursements. In part 5 of our Digital Finance Plus series, Marie Leznicki explains how going cashless helps Bridge maintain its customer focus.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Leveraging Loyalty: How m.Paani is mobilizing BoP consumer behavior for social good - Part 4 of our Digital Finance Plus series

By Gustaf Ericson

Whether they're frequent flyer miles or credit card rewards points, loyalty programs are a mutually beneficial way for companies to build relationships with customers. m.Paani is using digital finance tools to take that model in a new direction, by connecting BoP households' commercial and social behaviors to points that can be redeemed for socially beneficial rewards.

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