December 2018
From the editor

Dear members,

As 2018 comes to an end, the RFILC editorial team would like to thank all of you for your continuous patronage all these years.

This month, we would like to draw your attention to a report titled “Driving Digital Financial Services through High-Volume Payments” developed by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). The future success of inclusive digital finance depends on finding better and more affordable uses for digital wallets that will encourage low-income customers to use them regularly and repeatedly. High-volume payments (HVP) have gained industry attention as a means to drive or diversify usage, particularly among low-income customers. To better understand the prerequisites to implement HVP digitally and to unlock the opportunity of digital finance, the UNCDF has sought greater clarity on the requirements necessary for HVP to drive active account usage as well as the roles and activities of different actors involved in the digitization effort. This report combines the key observations, hypotheses and recommendations derived from this research. It also draws on the results and insights derived from relevant projects that UNCDF has implemented with various partners between 2015 and 2017.

The second highlight of this month is a report prepared by UNCDF and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) titled “Blended Finance in the Least Developed Countries”. Three years after the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there is a consensus that public and private finance will both be needed – at scale – to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Blended finance is receiving increasing attention for its potential to maximize the catalytic impact of concessional finance by sharing risks or lowering costs to adjust risk-return profiles for private investors. Through a rich evidence base, data analysis, and detailed case studies, the report explores how to implement and adapt blended finance approaches to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to maximize their effectiveness in crowding in private capital while minimizing risks. The report also proposes an action agenda to guide decision-makers in operationalizing their blended finance approaches.

Finally, the intensive executive education program titled “Driving Strategic Innovation in Inclusive Finance”, hosted by the Microfinance Association, will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 18th to 22nd of February 2019. This course seeks to provide high-level management and leadership training to leading actors in the microfinance industry, including CEOs of top microfinance institutions and executives of mainstream banks that have entered the microfinance market. This program will combine lectures, case studies, and use of practical tools to allow participants to explore inclusive financial services models.

We want to take this opportunity to wish you joyful and prosperous 2019.

With best regards,
The RFILC editorial team

We hope you enjoy your visit to the RFILC.

The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: